The program for Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado would not be functioning so smoothly without the help of dedicated students like CU senior, Alex Horowitz.
Horowitz will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a certificate in Jewish Studies. He moved to Boulder in the summer of 2008 from a town near San Francisco with hopes to study Judaism, Jewish culture, history and society.
He said that he was drawn to the Jewish studies program, so he contacted the director of Jewish studies and associate professor of history, David Shneer.
“David’s gentle demeanor helped me feel more at ease with the transfer process, his open-door policy made slipping into a new community a natural fit,” he said.
Alex took a break from his busy schedule to answer our 4 questions this week.
Tell me about your position with Jewish Studies and how long you have been doing it?
Not too long after that meeting, I began my position as communications and outreach coordinator with the program. My responsibilities have included event-planning and coordination, campus and community outreach aimed at students of all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities, and public relations- I have helped write the Kol Mevaser newsletter, and provide student insight on making this Program marketable. I learned very quickly from Jamie Polliard, program assistant director, and David that this program is being designed to accommodate everyone. A common misconception about CU’s Program in Jewish Studies is that a person needs to “be Jewish,” and I want to show that you don’t need to be Jewish to participate.
What’s the purpose of the Jewish Studies program? Will it eventually become a minor or major?
The purpose of the program is to familiarize students with the different facets of Jewish culture and to see how these facets relate to the current world. Falling under the aegis of an interdisciplinary program and offering courses in anthropology, history, Hebrew and international affairs, the Jewish Studies Program is currently a certificate program with the hope of becoming a major or minor program in the next year or so. This program has widespread support among students, faculty, and donors. It is continuing to grow and develop.
How many students are currently in the program?
Currently, we have around 55 students working towards completing the Certificate.
Which Jewish Studies classes are most popular?
Some popular classes include: Introduction to Jewish History, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, and Global & Secular Jewish Societies. Everyone should know that we by anyone with an interest to take classes, including through the Continuing Education Program. For more information about the Program in Jewish Studies, please reach us at 303.492.7143 or our website at www.colorado.edu/jewishstudies.