Dating back nearly 4,000 years, Judaism is the world's oldest monotheistic faith and the foundation of both Christianity and Islam. Studying Judaism is thus central for understanding the roots of Western Civilization. This is especially true at Fairfield University, an institution whose rich Jesuit heritage is deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition.
Fairfield's interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Judaic Studies welcomes students of all backgrounds - religious and secular, Christian and non-Christian - to explore the relationship of their own traditions, values, and beliefs to the Jewish experience. The program minor offers a diverse array of courses on Jewish faith, history, and culture, all of which contribute to integrating Judaic Studies into the curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences. The program also organizes programs and special events for the University and larger Fairfield/Bridgeport communities.
The Judaic Studies program is comprised of faculty representing the departments of Religious Studies, History, Modern Languages, English, and Visual and Performing Arts. Each semester, the program offers courses on a range of Jewish-related topics. Directed by Gavriel Rosenfeld, professor of history, the program is closely linked to the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, which annually sponsors many lectures and special events.
Student interest in our courses is consistently high, as is University attendance at such annual events as the Jewish New Year celebration, Passover Seder, and Holocaust remembrance service - all of which are co-sponsored by Judaic Studies, the Carl & Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, Campus Ministry, and KADIMA, Fairfield's undergraduate Jewish students' organization.