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Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies

All Programs

LocationEmail AddressProgram Website
 763 Kaneff

Beginning in 1968, York was one of the first universities in Canada to develop offerings in modern Hebrew and in many other areas of Jewish Studies. The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University was established in 1989 to coordinate research in the field by faculty and graduate students. Many of the faculty members affiliated with the Centre are well known internationally. While embracing Jewish culture in all its richness, the Centre has a distinctly modern and interdisciplinary thrust and a strong Canadian core. The graduate diplomas offered by the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies ground graduate students in the current state of scholarship in the many fields and disciplines comprised by Jewish studies, providing exposure to Jewish cultures, contexts, and concepts. The Centre offers scholarship endowments for graduate students, some of which are tenable for study in Israel.

Graduate Diploma in Jewish Studies

The Graduate Diploma in Jewish Studies is designed for people with an interest in Jewish Studies at an advanced level who do not wish to enrol in a degree program, including teachers and administrators in Jewish schools, and professional and lay leaders in the Jewish community. The graduate diploma provides an intellectual grounding for their activities and give them the information needed to put their leadership, teaching, and interests into a broader context.

This is a graduate diploma for students who meet the requirements outlined below. This graduate diploma is not additional to a master’s or doctoral degree. It is offered and granted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies in conjunction with the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies. Students are admitted directly into the diploma.

Students may fulfil the requirements of the graduate diploma through part-time study. Diploma requirements must be completed within four years of enrolment.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for the graduate diploma must be eligible for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and must be accepted by an admissions committee composed of the graduate diploma coordinator and faculty members affiliated with the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies who are also members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Requirements for admission are a B average in the last two years of academic work or equivalent qualifications such as community or professional experience. Mature students with community or professional experience will be able to draw on their expertise to make a unique contribution both to class discussion and to scholarship in the field.

Applications should be submitted by April 30th each year.

Diploma Requirements

1. Research

Students must write two research papers supervised by a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies affiliated with the Graduate Diploma
in Jewish Studies, on topics approved by the Diploma Coordinator. One of these papers may be done in conjunction with the Seminar in
Jewish Studies; the other must be in addition to courses taken.

2. Language

Students must demonstrate basic general competence in Hebrew as established by examinations set by the graduate diploma coordinator.
In rare cases, where appropriate, students may be allowed to substitute Yiddish, Ladino, or Judaeo-Arabic for Hebrew. The graduate diploma requires and ensures that students have language competence appropriate to this program of study. York University has a full range of Hebrew language courses to which students in the Diploma will have access as special students. Courses taken for language competence do not count towards the diploma.

3. Courses

Students take two half courses in Jewish Studies, either in the form of reading courses or courses from a list approved by the Diploma
Coordinator. One graduate course from another university may be accepted in fulfillment of this requirement, if approved by the Faculty
of Graduate Studies and the Diploma Coordinator.

4. Jewish Studies Graduate Seminar

Students take Jewish Studies 6000 3.0: Seminar in Jewish Studies.
The Seminar in Jewish Studies serves as an introduction to Jewish Studies, offering students a thematic and methodological survey of
the field. The seminar meets for a total of 36 hours, over the summer and the fall/winter terms.
The seminar is an interdisciplinary, half course (three credits), open only to candidates for the Diploma. Students explore the problematics of the question, “What is Jewish Studies?” focusing on the historical development and contemporary dimensions of the field through an interdisciplinary, integrating perspective. Through a series of presentations, students have the opportunity to meet York faculty engaged in different areas of Jewish Studies research. Students are expected to present their own works in progress, as they work toward the completion of their seminar paper.

Student Support

Some students may be eligible for fellowships to study in Israel as part of their graduate diploma studies.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact: Professor Sara Horowitz, Graduate Diploma Coordinator
Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, 763 Kaneff Tower, York University, (416) 736-5823; fax: (416) 736-5344;