Jewish & Holocaust Studies

Jewish and Holocaust Studies students in front of class with food prepared
Dr. Meola's HY336 class (Central European History) enjoying food they made from historical German and German-Jewish recipes, including pan-fried fish, latkes, Rotkohl (red cabbage), cucumber salad, and for dessert, Rote Gruetze (berry sauce and custard). (Photo courtesy of Dr. David Meola)
"Surely, it is time to break with the lachrymose theory of pre-Revolutionary woe, and to adopt a view more in accord with historic truth." - Prof. Salo Baron (1928)

A Interdisciplinary Minor for USA Students

Welcome to the University of South Alabama’s Jewish and Holocaust Studies minor!

Beginning in the fall of 2018, students on our campus will have the ability to take courses that fulfill an 18-credit course of study that will lay the foundation for further engagement in this field. Jewish Studies is one of the most diverse fields in academia--there are hundreds of "Jewish histories" in countries and regions from around the world, and students will learn about Jewish life that stretches back more than 3,500 years. From the origins of Judaism to the modern State of Israel, and from East Asia to the Americas (and points in-between), Jews have been important contributors to World History. You can start learning about Jewish life and Judaism by signing up for this minor.

Themes in Jewish history, while similar to peoples around the world, tend to also focus on many of the negative aspects of Jews' interactions with "Others." Given the rise (again) of Antisemitism in the United States and across the world, from the political right and left, learning about real Jewish lives (and not the fictitious and libelous claims of antisemites) will hopefully help to dispel this worrying trend. Another aspect of Jewish history that is increasing in importance is the contributions of Jews of Color throughout Jewish life; aside from notable Black Jewish personalities - like Tiffany Haddish, Daveed Diggs, Nissim Black, and Michael Twitty - Black Jews have been a part of the Jewish people for thousands of years, and make up a sizable portion of the Israeli populace today (Beta Israel, who originally come from Ethiopia). 

Regardless, of what you THINK you know about Jewish history, Jews, and Judaism, this program intends to challenge those conceptions - and also hopes to open your minds to how minorities (including Jews) make lasting and consequential impacts in our world, past and present.

This program was created due to two prominent factors: demand by the student body, and a generous gift from Bert & the late Fanny Meisler, who funded an Endowed Chair in History and Jewish Studies, held by Jewish & Holocaust Studies Program Director, Dr. David Meola.