The Jewish Studies Department is dedicated to the study of the broad spectrum of Jewish life and culture on a serious academic level. It is designed to introduce students to all aspects of Jewish Studies, across a variety of disciplines, historical periods, and intellectual traditions.
As a field, Jewish Studies covers a wide number of time periods and can be approached through many different academic disciplines, including history, literary analysis, philosophy, and the social sciences.
Jewish Studies students take advantage of the rich resources of the university, as well as the spiritual environment provided by the concentration of important scholars in the university community.
The department provides for the needs of students interested in the rabbinate, Jewish education, and cantorial studies, as well as open-minded “spiritual seekers.”
We have the rare pleasure of seeing many of our graduates in Jewish Studies assume leadership positions in the Jewish community. Hence, the Jewish Studies major can be used both as a preparation for a career and as enrichment in cultural awareness and participation in the Jewish community.
DEPARTMENT CHAIR & ADVISOR
Pinchas Giller, Ph.D.
B.A., Columbia College, New York, (Hebrew & Linguistics) 1973
M.S., Education, Yeshiva University, New York, 1980
Rabbinical Ordination, Yeshiva University, New York, 1980
Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, 1980-1982
Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, (Jewish Thought) 1990
Dr. Pinchas Giller is Chair of the Jewish Studies Department and Professor in Medieval Jewish Thought in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Following his ordination, in 1980, Dr. Giller taught high school in Israel. He came back to the U.S. to earn his Ph.D., then returned to Israel to participate in the Hebrew University Zohar Project. After stints at Concordia University in Montreal and Washington University in St. Louis, he joined the AJU faculty in 1998 and became department chair in 2009.
He is the author of The Enlightened Will Shine: Symbolization and Theurgy in the Later Strata of the Zohar. (1993), Reading the Zohar: The Sacred Text of the Kabbalah (2000)
Shalom Shar’abi and the Kabbalists of Beit El (2009) and
Kabbalah: a Guide for the Perplexed is forthcoming.