Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Judaic Studies

The field of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS) is broad and deep, encompassing a complex array of religions, cultures, politics, languages and literatures, and demanding both geographic and historical perspectives. To study the Near East in all its complexity is to gain insight into many of the forces that have shaped the Western world.

From the history of Islam to the state of Israel, from the ancient Near East to the modern Middle East, from Christianity to Rabbinic Judaism, from Yiddish to Arabic, the NEJS major offers a rich assortment of prisms through which to study Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. We also believe in exploring these topics through a variety of disciplines, including textual and literary studies, history, social sciences, intellectual history and philosophy, religion and the arts.

In addition to introducing you to the critical study of Near Eastern and Judaic source materials, the broad, cross-disciplinary scope of the NEJS major prepares you for a wide range of careers, including community organizing, secular and religious education, academia, political consulting, writing and entertainment, business, law and medicine. Many of our majors also pursue their study of NEJS in the finest doctoral programs.

Why Brandeis?

At Brandeis, you will be taught by—and work closely with—faculty who not only are foremost in their field, but who also care deeply about their students. With a commitment to open discussion and respect for different viewpoints, these international scholars will help you gain an appreciation for the diversity of disciplines and approaches that Near Eastern and Judaic Studies embraces—and for the diversity of religious and cultural traditions it examines.

If you do decide to major in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, you will choose one of three tracks: Judaic Studies, focusing on the history, religion and literature of the Jewish people; Bible and Ancient Near East, focusing on the history, languages, literatures and cultures of the ancient Near East, including Ancient Israel; or modern Hebrew.

At Brandeis, you will be studying in one of the oldest and largest Jewish studies programs of its type outside of the State of Israel while benefiting from the many related centers and institutes for which the university is renowned, such as its program in Israel Studies, and its library, which houses one of the best collections of Hebraica and Judaica in the nation.

Academics and Research

Faculty Excellence

Internships and Networking

Careers, Graduate Study and Alumni

“The real value of any academic department is found in its people, and this is especially true in NEJS at Brandeis. I found here a wealth of knowledge and expertise, combined with a sincere interest in helping the students succeed.”

Amber Taylor