Trustees approve new master's in Judaic studies (Released: 9/8/95)
by Thomas Becher, Office of University Communications.
STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees today approved a new master's degree program in Judaic Studies -- the only one of its kind at a public university in New England.
"Judaic studies across the nation has flourished in only the best universities," said Arnold Dashefsky, a professor of sociology and director of the University's Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. "It's a very creative endeavor and it speaks well for our University."
UConn will offer the program through a consortial relationship with the University of Hartford.
The first graduate courses in Judaic studies will start in January, coinciding with the Oct. 15 opening of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, named for the late senator who served on the prosecution staff during the Nuremberg war crimes trials following World War II. In addition to archives and special collections, the Dodd Center will house the offices of the University's Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life.
The opening of the Dodd Center this fall has given Judaic studies new opportunities, Dashefsky said.
UConn currently offers undergraduate courses with a focus on Judaic Studies in such fields as literature, sociology and history, but does not offer a graduate degree in Judaic Studies.
Dashefsky said the new master's program will enable students to understand the evolution of Jewish civilization by seeing it unfolding in sequence. The MA will include at least one course in each of the major epochs in Jewish civilization, he said.
A total of 10-12 courses in Judaic Studies will be offered in any two- year period.
Course work for the degree will include two University of Hartford courses for three credits each. Other courses will be offered at UConn's West Hartford campus by faculty from both the Storrs and the Stamford campuses, with additional faculty members participating from Trinity College, Wesleyan University and other neighboring institutions.
Dashefsky said 50 students have expressed interest in the program.
The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life has received a grant from the Endowment Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford for $9,500 to provide tuition subsidies for up to 10 students this academic year.
The center also has received an endowment from the Simon Konover Foundation to meet any expenses of the new master's program not covered by student tuition.