Jewish Studies is one of the most intellectually compelling and broadly relevant fields in the university. At UC Santa Cruz we design research projects and host public events that conceptually redraw the boundaries of Jewish Studies, while encouraging people who may have previously been uninvolved or even uninterested in Jewish Studies to engage with it.Our primary constituents are the thousands of students at UC Santa Cruz, including the twelve hundred who take Jewish Studies courses every year, making it one of the most popular programs in the entire university. We are also committed to creating programs that attract faculty and staff members as well as people from the broader Santa Cruz community.The content of our programming organically integrates the contemporary issues that are most important to our constituents, with a range of perspectives and methods unique to Jewish Studies. In so doing, we place Jewish Studies squarely at the center of the intellectual and cultural life of the campus and illuminate the central role that Jewish creativity has played in helping to shape human civilization for over three thousand years.
One of the most important goals of the Center for Jewish Studies is to build bridges with other disciplines, thereby illuminating the broad relevancy of Jewish Studies to the university and the wider community. In this regard, we have collaborated with a variety of partners on campus, including Mediterranean Studies, Sociology, American Studies, Urban Studies, Literature, and Cultural Studies.
In addition to our collaborative work on campus and outreach to the local community, the Center for Jewish Studies has created a vibrant network of links with scholars and institutions in other countries, most notably Israel, France, Hungary, and Italy.