The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University brings together scholars and students from a number of different departments and programs to engage in the interdisciplinary exploration of Jewish civilization and culture. Eighteen distinguished core faculty members offer courses and conduct scholarly research in a wide range of fields within Jewish studies. The Institute offers an undergraduate major and minor and support for graduate study through the certificate program in Jewish studies and top-off fellowships. In addition, TIJS offers grants for both graduate and undergraduate students supporting attendance at conferences and workshops, language study not available at Emory, study abroad, and thesis research.
The study of Jewish civilization as a minority culture within western and other cultures forms part of the university’s broad and firm pledge to cultivate multicultural studies. The program’s diversity of methods fosters appreciation for the richness of Jewish civilization by Jews and non-Jews alike. It constructs natural bridges for students across the university to enter into dialogue with Jewish culture and, through such conversations, to reflect on their own disciplines or traditions.
Forging links to many university departments and schools, the Institute creates a center for investigation of the Jewish experience. By encouraging teaching and scholarship across disciplines, the Institute raises questions that are essential to understanding Jews and Judaism, with the goal of supporting the development of a multifaceted intellectual and cultural appreciation of Jewish life and, by extension, to inform deeply the understanding of all humanity.
TIJS also holds as a primary purpose engagement with the Atlanta community. Each year, the Institute sponsors a series of public events, most notably the Tenenbaum Family Lecture Series in Judaic Studies and the Jacob M. Rothschild Seminar on Justice in the Judaic Tradition, which bring distinguished visiting scholars to campus under the Institute’s auspices. Other public events include films, performances, and exhibits related to our academic program. TIJS faculty often participate in community events and programs including the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.
Jewish Studies at Emory also encompasses the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel (ISMI), which coordinates lectures, workshops and visits by scholars on Israel and the Middle East, and the Holocaust Denial on Trial website, which provides access by scholars and the public to the documentation of Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s libel trial.