Jewish Studies

Program Information

The Jewish Studies Concentration at Kalamazoo College immerses students in the history, religion, and culture of the Jewish people.  Exploring these subjects engages students of all backgrounds in important intellectual and ethical issues, such as:

  • majority/minority relations
  • identity formation
  • the relationship between the religious and the secular

Students receive training in textual traditions, teaching them to read beyond the page and to consider the broader impact of the written word. As an interdisciplinary field, Jewish Studies intersects with different areas of the liberal arts.

Outside of the classroom, the Concentration enables students to develop service learning and social justice projects. In this manner, Jewish Studies concentrators become morally aware and socially engaged scholars.


Amy Elman, Weber Professor in Social Science. BA Brandeis University MA, PhD New York University

Jeffrey Haus (Chair), Professor of History and Religion; Director of Jewish Studies Program. BA University of Michigan PhD Brandeis University

Taylor Petrey, Associate Professor of Religion. BA Pace University MTS, ThD Harvard University Divinity School


  • A religious studies scholar and finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish studies will visit K at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4. The post Jewish Studies Lecture Slated for Wednesday appeared first on News and Events.
  • Irene Butter — a Holocaust survivor, author and University of Michigan professor emerita — will visit Kalamazoo College on Monday, May 13. Butter will discuss her experiences in two concentration camps, how they changed her life and why it’s important to keep telling stories about the Holocaust in an appearance sponsored by the Jewish Studies Department, the […]
  • If your knowledge of poetry is limited, April is the perfect time to expand your horizons and practice your writing. That’s because it’s National Poetry Month, and Assistant English Professor Oliver Baez Bendorf has creatively developed ways for students to hone their skills and develop their interests in poetry to celebrate. Among his classes, Baez […]
  • Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College presents the contemporary comedy Bad Jews, a play that explores what it means to be Jewish in contemporary American society. Written by Joshua Harmon, the play will have four performances in the Dungeon Theatre (Light Fine Arts Building) on Thursday through Sunday (Feb. 25-28). It is part of Festival Playhouse’s […]
  • Amy Elman, the Weber Professor in Social Science, traveled to Bristol, England, in September as an invited speaker at an international colloquium on contemporary anti-Semitism. Her talked was titled “The Enduring Significance of an Abandoned Definition: the EU’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism and its Foreign Policy Ambition,” and it focused on the the past year’s […]