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Minor in Judaic Studies

The Judaic studies program at Oakland University offers you the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the multi-faceted, interesting and unique religion and culture of the Jewish people. We offer a wide variety of classes on Jewish beliefs and values; history; literature; film; archaeology; and Hebrew. Judaic studies also sponsors interesting programs, as well as opportunities to study in Israel at our sister school, The Max Stern College of Emek Yezreel (in the Jezreel Valley, Galilee region, of Israel).

Whether you are taking courses for interest, to fulfill a general education requirement, or adopting the minor, our classes offer you the unique opportunity to broaden your perspective and increase your understanding of the world in which you live. Moreover, given our increasingly Global World, understanding different cultures and world-views like Judaism is a great asset for success. Whether you are going into business, education, or health care, you will have to work with and provide service for people from many different backgrounds. The addition of a Judaic studies minor can enhance your resume and open doors for employment; adopting a minor in Judaic studies is a great compliment to many other majors including business and education.

A minor in Judaic studies can be obtained by taking 20 credits, or five classes. In addition to the many interesting classes you can take to fulfill the minor, we offer opportunities for community internships and travel to Israel. For more information, contact Michael Pytlik (, sub-director of Judaic Studies.

The liberal arts minor in Judaic studies requires a minimum of 20 credits as described below. At least 8 credits must be taken in religious studies courses at Oakland.

1. Either REL 100 or REL 150.

2. REL 102.

3. Two of the following core studies:

  • PHL 205 - Medieval Philosophy
  • REL 307 - Jewish History
  • REL 318 - Written Traditions of Judaism
  • REL 319 - Concepts of God and Man in Judaism
  • REL 353 - The Bible as Literature
  • REL 420 - The Jewish Experience in America
  • REL 421 - The Holocaust
  • or any REL 300 special topics course in Judaic studies.

4. One of the following applications:

  • Hebrew language course
  • REL 450 (Religious Community Project Internship)
  • REL 490 - Approved Directed Readings in the Religious Studies
  • Approved study abroad in Israel.

Why Take a Minor in Religious Studies?

Michael Pytlik, Director, Judaic Studies

 Oakland University offers exploratory or minors in Judaic, Christian or Islamic studies.  Why should you consider a minor in any one of these areas?  Religious thinking has greatly affected cultures and social formation around the globe.  An understanding of religious thought and movements allows us to peer deeply into and more competently evaluate a society, major movements in history and complex moral and ethical problems.  By enrolling in one of these minors you will be exposed to the rich cultural treasures that these faiths have traditionally offered and still offer today.  You will learn about essential concepts that continue to drive religious expression and motivate their followers. You will learn to articulate essential human questions that affect us all.

Each of these minors will complement almost any other academic or vocational degree in which you are already enrolled.  They will provide for you a rich basis in the humanities.  Understanding religious thinking complements the ideas of science, the ethics of business, the task of holistic healing in medicine, the insights into psychology; above all, it makes you a better informed and well-rounded student of life.  No matter what you are studying, you will gain greatly by enrolling in a minor in any of these religious traditions.  Essential life questions, the meaning of existence, the awe of the natural order and the motivators of human culture are addressed in the courses offered.  Your minor will complement and add meaning to your major: your studies prepare you for life’s great adventures.  This acquired knowledge of faiths, beliefs and practices equip you to look at things from a wider perspective while you work on your major academic specialty, enabling you to enter into the ongoing discussion about religious topics that inform the fundamental political, historical, ethical and cultural drivers of society.