Join a community connected by Jewish religion and culture.

Students in the Jewish Studies minor at St. Edward’s university will learn about Judaism as both a religion and a culture from both a historical and present-day perspective.

This unique program explores the Jewish community and how it interacts with the non-Jewish world, bridging Jewish and Christian students and engaging them in thoughtful discussion. There are 18 total hours required for the minor, including 9 hours of upper-division courses.

Students learn about the Hebrew Bible, Jewish literature, Jewish religion, and gain an international perspective. Learn about significant world issues related to Judaism, such as Zionism and the Holocaust, what gave rise to these events, and the ethical implications. You will also take elective coursework focusing on specialized topics.

Jewish Studies is part of a greater community at St. Edward's University. “Despite being a Catholic school, St. Edward’s has a number of students of different ethnic and religious backgrounds," explains Marla Shields, a Jewish Studies minor. "I was surprised by how many Jewish students there are at St. Edward’s and impressed that they held a Hillel as well as a Jewish Studies Club. Overall I feel a great sense of community at St. Edwards, which resembles my close Jewish community at home.”

Outcomes

Students graduating with a minor in Jewish Studies are equipped for further education in religious studies and also for various career paths.

Graduates of the Jewish Studies program have gone on to many successful endeavors, some of which include:
  • Attending New York University for graduate studies in religion
  • Going on a Fulbright scholarship to Israel
  • Using a major in Social Work to do community service in Brooklyn

“The minor is clearly serving our students well, as they complete and use the minor as a stepping-stone for their careers," says professor Bautch. It's not just about the academic or career growth for students though. “For most Jewish Studies minors, the program has a big impact on their development, intellectually and often spiritually."

Outside the Classroom

The Jewish community at St. Edward’s University grows each year, providing many ways to connect and experience Jewish life.

Study Abroad

Students in this program are highly encouraged to study abroad. This is a chance to broaden your perspective while enhancing your religious studies. To learn more, talk to your advisor or visit the study abroad office.

Jewish Studies Club

The Jewish Studies Club serves to bring together students interested in Jewish faith and culture. This student-run organization welcomes both Jews and non-Jews. They promote the study of Judaism on campus and beyond the to the city of Austin, hosting forums, fundraisers, lectures, and other events to educate about Jewish life and promote Judaism. Past events include Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrations for Rosh Hashanah, a bake sale for Tu B’shvat, and a forum about Israel and its international relations. The club has also participated in community events such as the Austin Jewish Cultural Festival.

Hillel

St. Edward’s University has a Hillel chapter is known as the Hillel Toppers and welcomes people from all faiths. Hillel Toppers serves to build a sense of community and provide an opportunity to explore spirituality and faith. They also bring awareness to important Jewish holidays through events such as Hanukkah on the Hilltop and Hillel Toppers Passover Sedar.

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Bautch leads the university's Jewish Studies program and played a key role in building the program beyond the academic environment. He brings to the program a depth of experience, including a PhD from the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in Hebrew Bible and Judaica with a minor in New Testament. St. Edward's University is lucky to have Rabbi Neil Blumofe, a senior rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim teaches courses in Jewish Studies as an adjunct professor.