Research Centers and Institutes
Brandeis University supports many centers for research in Jewish Studies. These centers cover a wide range of topics from the Holocaust to modern Jewry. Many offer programs for undergraduate and graduate students and some even provide programs for high school students.
The Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI) was founded in 2009 with support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group. This institute aimed to support the Russian-speaking Jewish community and preserve and promote Jewish life. Topics of research have included the assimilation of Russian Jews in Russia, Russian language in relation to Judaism, and understanding Russian Jewish identity. The BGI concluded their research in June of 2016, but their publications are still available.
The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) was founded in 1980 to study how Jewish identities change or stay the same in different communal, societal, and personal contexts. Topics of research have included Jewish educational systems, Israel studies, and Jewish socio-demography. The CMJS has recently hired mostly graduate students and some undergraduate students to assist with their research projects.
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) was founded with a grant given from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Originally named the International Research Institute on Jewish Women, HBI officially opened at Brandeis University in 1997. Topics of research have included women’s fights for gender equality in legal, religious, and cultural environments where the norms were against them. This center currently hires undergraduate and graduate students and also offers residency programs. Researchers focus on Jewish women and women’s rights in cross-cultural perspectives.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, usually referred to as the Mandel Center, was founded in 2002 in an effort to promote and inform the public about the importance of Jewish education. Topics of research have included teaching and learning of Jewish subjects, education of Jewish educators, and the outcomes of Jewish education. The center currently provides doctoral and postdoctoral programs for those who are completing or have already completed a dissertation in Jewish Education.
The Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) was founded in 2005 to think about and create new ways of doing socio-demographic research on Jewish identity. Topics of research have included Jewish identity, diversity, and community resources in various cities in the U.S through the study of population characteristics and estimates. The SSRI often hires graduate students to help with their research.
The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, also known as the Tauber Institute, was founded in 1980 to study Judaism in multidisciplinary perspective. Topics of research have included Zionism and the state of Israel, the Holocaust and its aftereffects, and contemporary Judaism. The Tauber Institute provides lectures for both undergraduate and graduate students and allows graduate students and faculty to run related seminars. The Tauber Institute creates a space where researchers interested in the study of European Jewry can present their ideas and work to like-minded scholars.
The Sarnat Center for the Study of Anti-Jewishness was created in the late 1990’s to conduct research about the history of anti-semitism with a special focus on the Holocaust. The Sarnat Center was created under the management of the Tauber Institute. Topics have included Jewish identity in Germany, anti-semitism in Germany, killing fields in the Ukraine and more.
The National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF) was founded in 1976 for the restoration and preservation of Jewish art and culture. Every year the NCJF produces film projects and programs in Boston and supports and operates film festivals open to the public. Both graduate and undergraduate students sometimes volunteer.