For more information
Please feel free to peruse our website or contact the Director of Graduate Studies:
For general questions (e.g., housing, scholarships, and more), see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences FAQ.
"As a NEJS student, one receives unmatched attention from academic giants and feels part of a scholarly community that values inclusivity, promotes academic rigor, and encourages vigorous debate." --Vlad "Judah" Khaykin, NEJS-Hornstein '11, Associate Director at the Anti-Defamation League, Central Pacific Region
Brandeis’ Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies is one of the oldest, most extensive programs outside of the State of Israel, with the largest faculty in Jewish Studies of any secular American university. NEJS represents a wide variety of areas, approaches, and methodologies, including literature, philology, history, sociology, law, religious studies and gender studies. In addition to ancient near eastern religions and Judaism, we focus on Islamic and Christian studies.
Some highlights of Brandeis and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies include:
Our Academic Approach
Texts, context, and method across our curriculum help students engage the past while standing at the vanguard of contemporary scholarship.
- Texts: Our approach stresses working with texts in their original languages, in their historical contexts, and in dialogue with cutting-edge methods in the humanities and social sciences. Language expertise enables students to hear voices from the past first-hand, opens archives to new discoveries, and allows for original research;
- Context: An emphasis on context underscores that cultural artifacts cannot be understood apart from the worlds in which they were produced;
- Method: Methodological sophistication strengthens research and prepares students to work with colleagues in the variegated disciplines of history, literature, philosophy, sociology, gender studies, and religious studies.
Graduate students interact closely with faculty whose commitment to innovative scholarship and teaching has had far-reaching impact. Our small student-to-faculty ratio fosters close advising and strong mentorship relationships. We invite you to learn more about our award-winning group of educators.
The Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department leverages the scholarly diversity of a top-tier research university and brings research to new levels-- the department's support of rigorous research confers a wealth of opportunities.
- Our breadth of specializations promotes collaboration, opening new interdisciplinary understanding and increasing the likelihood of innovation and impact. Thriving collaborations with departments across the university and a number of Jewish study centers foster far-reaching studies.
- Brandeis' wide array of Jewish studies centers and institutes provide programming, promote research and scholarship, and offer opportunities for involving students in their work. These include the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, Hornstein: The Jewish Community Leadership Program @ Brandeis, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the National Center for Jewish Film, The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.
- Brandeis' graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences complement and overlap with NEJS and promote interdisciplinarity, including politics, history, sociology, and English literature.
- Library Resources: Goldfarb Library has a nationally recognized collection in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. In addition, the Boston Library Consortium expands graduate students' access to area resources.
Our students partake of the rich intellectual and cultural environment of the Boston area, from cross-registration in courses offered by the Boston Graduate Consortium, to seminars, talks, and other events across the city and beyond.
Internships and Job Opportunities
Students take advantage of internship and job opportunities - in addition to working with the centers and institutes on Brandeis' campus, recent internships have included the following: Israeli consulate in Boston, Jewish Advocate news, Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA), American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Gann Academy, Hadassah, Hebrew SeniorLife, JCCs of Greater Boston, JDC-Israel, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Family Services, Keshet, and Mayyim Hayyim.
Generous merit- and need-based scholarships are available, including merit scholarships through the department which can range from $10,000 to $30,000. Need-based scholarships are based on a student's FAFSA or International Student Financial Aid form; more information is available through the Graduate School.