The Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University is the focal point for the study and teaching of Judaica through publications, fellowships, lectures, and symposia on topics of interest to scholars and to the general public. The Center sponsors visiting scholars and post-doctoral research fellows and coordinates undergraduate and graduate studies on an interdisciplinary basis.

The Center for Jewish Studies is located on the second floor of the Semitic Museum at 6 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just steps away from Harvard Yard. If you are interested in learning more about CJS, peruse our website or email us at

Harvard was the first university in America to establish a Chair in Jewish Studies, the Nathan Littauer Professorship of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy (1925). Since then, Harvard's commitment to Jewish Studies has continued unabated, and its efforts to solidify and broaden the presence of this field in the curriculum ultimately resulted in the creation of Harvard's Center for Jewish Studies in 1978.

The hope of the Harvard alumni, faculty and administration involved in this project was that the new Center would not only satisfy an unmistakable need for further growth within the University itself but would also benefit the study and teaching of Judaica throughout the country.




Congratulations to Professor David Stern on his book release (October 2015):

Image for Jewish Literary Cultures: Volume 1

This first installment in the three-volume Jewish Literary Cultures is a collection of essays and studies of diverse texts and topics in ancient Jewish literature, ranging from fables in the Bible and ancient Jewish interpretations of the Song of Songs to the use of erotic narrative in rabbinic literature, the canonization of classical Jewish literature, comparative exegesis, and the early history of Jewish reading practices. David Stern uses contemporary critical approaches and textual analysis to explore larger ideas and themes in rabbinic Judaism—and opens new windows onto questions of cultural exchange and influence, the relationship of textuality and materiality, the history of Jewish literature, and the nature of Jewish literary creativity. The essays, written with literary flair, are intended to be accessible to informed lay readers as well as scholars and specialists in ancient Judaism.
You can find Jewish Literary Cultures: Volume I, The Ancient Period on the Penn State Press web site at this URL:


New NELC faculty for 2015-16:

David Stern, Harry Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, will arrive on campus later this summer. He comes to NELC most recently from the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature. Professor Stern will office in Semitic Museum 209.

Please join us in welcoming him to the department!

*Please click here for our most recent 2015 Spring Review newsletter

  • Fall Events: Upcoming events and details can be found on the CJS events page!
  • The 2015-16 Courses Offerings in Jewish Studies are HERE!

  • Please click HERE for a poster on the Hebrew Program at Harvard or HERE for a video




Copyright 2009 President and Fellows of Harvard University