Shira Epstein, Jewish Education
The program in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies (JGWS) at The Jewish Theological Seminary offers an interdisciplinary array of courses that allows students to examine the history, literature, image, and culture of Jewish women and men through the perspective of gender. Course offerings by the regular faculty and visiting professors focus on Jewish women's history, Yiddish and Hebrew literature, women in the Bible, and other women or gender-centered subjects. In addition, our gender studies seminar teaches students to apply a feminist approach to all the biblical and rabbinic texts they will encounter while students at JTS, and raise gender-focused questions in any of the classes they may choose to take in the course of their studies.
Students in our BA and MA programs ordinarily focus on one historical period or discipline while choosing courses from among the many areas of study taught at JTS. They will ordinarily also take complementary courses in women's, feminist, or queer studies at neighboring institutions.
The program in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies prides itself on its commitment to combining feminist and Jewish perspectives. It encourages students to bring their creativity into their work, supports women's scholarship, and aims to teach and promote a gendered understanding of all areas of Judaic studies. Student learning is supported by the many feminist and gender-focused activities and organizations associated with the larger nearby colleges and universities of New York City.
BA Degree Requirements for the Major in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies
30 credits chosen in consultation with the program advisor, distributed as follows:
Master of Arts Admission Requirements
See the Graduate School Admissions page.
MA Degree Requirements in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies
In addition to prerequisite courses and language courses required of all students in The Graduate School, 30 graduate credits are required as follows:
Note: For cross-listed courses taken to fulfill the 12 credits of elective JGWS courses, where a syllabus is not fully dedicated to a women's or gender studies approach, students are expected to fulfill their assignments and papers by choosing gender and women's studies themes, and to submit them to the JGWS program advisor as part of the approval process.
Master's Thesis, Project, or Examination
The master's thesis (40 to 60 pages), ordinarily on a topic in the area of the cognate concentration, is written in consultation with the program chair and advisor, and under the supervision of an approved faculty member as an advisor or co-advisor. An alternative path may be permitted for creative artists who design a project (e.g., creative writing, visual, musical, or performance arts) and enlist an appropriate JTS faculty member as advisor. For students who intend to teach, in consultation with the program advisor and two JGW faculty members, a comprehensive examination may be individually designed and taken to fulfill the capstone requirement.