Jewish Religious Cultures

Course of Study Description

The Jewish Religious Cultures (JRC) Course of Study offers multiple entry points for graduate research in Jewish studies that take full advantage of Emory’s wide and interdisciplinary offerings. JRC is committed to scholarship that benefits from the best contemporary trends in the academic study of religion, along with careful grounding in languages and research methods appropriate to the various disciplines. We are particularly proud to offer and encourage individualized study programs in both textually and culturally oriented research.

Areas of special strength in our program include the ethnographic study of Jews and Judaism, which benefits from Emory's Forum for the Ethnographic Study of Religion; research into the religious literature of the Judeo-Arabic world (coming soon), including the Cairo Geniza; the reception history and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible through Second Temple and rabbinic literature; and modern Jewish thought. Students benefit from all of the resources of the Graduate Division of Religion as well as other Emory programs such as the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, the Center for Law and Religion, the Institute for Liberal Arts, and the program in Islamic Civilizations. Ideal students are those who seek strong grounding in a particular research discipline and methodology alongside broad comparative and intellectual interests.

We are pleased that applicants to the Jewish Religious Cultures program are eligible to be considered on a competitive basis for Emory’s various graduate student fellowships including the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies Fellowship, which is awarded each year. The Tam Institute also has frequently been able to offer funding on a competitive basis for student language training, conference attendance and preliminary research.

Students in this course of study will work closely with an adviser to identify appropriate course work in the first two years, followed by exams in the third year, after which they will submit their dissertation proposal. Exams will normally include two dissertation-specific exams, one in a field of Jewish studies that is not the student’s primary field, and one in theories and methods in the study of religion more broadly.

Preliminary Examinations

Please contact the course of study chair for this information.

Special Requirements

Please contact the course of study chair for this information.

Selected Courses

Please contact the course of study chair for this information.

**Students are encouraged to contact the course of study chairperson and other relevant faculty well before submitting an application.

Recent Graduates 


Cory Driver,
“Yours or Ours?” Muslims Performing Selfhood in Moroccan Jewish Cemeteries; Continuing Ethnographic research in Morocco


Ira Jay Bedzow, “A Contemporary Jewish Virtue Ethics” New York Medical College, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Medical Ethics Program

Nehemia Stern, "Passions and Piety: An Ethnography of Religious Zionism in Israel", Bar-Ilan University Ramat-Gan, Post-doc in Sociology and Anthropology


Zev Israel Farber, 
 “Images of Joshua: The Construction of Memory in Cultural Identities” Director of Public Intellectual & Educational Organization,