College of Jewish Studies

The College of Jewish Studies was founded in 1986 as a coalition between the Judaic Studies Department of Binghamton University and several local Jewish sponsoring institutions: the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton, Beth David Synagogue, Temple Concord and Temple Israel. The purpose is “to provide quality adult Jewish education to the greater Binghamton area, providing a wide array of programs dealing with Jewish history, culture, religion and politics.”

Attend a Lecture

College of Jewish Studies lectures are held at the Binghamton JCC (500 Clubhouse Rd, Vestal, NY 13850), and open to the entire community; general admission costs $8 per event, or $14 for both programs; senior admission costs $5 each or $8 for both. Binghamton University students are welcome to attend at no charge.

Past Programs

We have hosted a wide range of programs from leading scholars, artists, and community leaders.  View our list of Past Programs here.

CJS series on “What’s New at BU?” - April 7 to highlight Ottoman Jewish studies

By: Marti Klionsky
The first of the College of Jewish Studies Spring Series programs, “What’s New at BU? Faculty, Research and Resources in Judaic Studies,” will be held on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 pm, at the Jewish Community Center, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal. The speakers for the event will be Professors Dina Danon, Bryan Kirschen and Jonathan Karp, who will talk about an aspect of their research and give an overall purview of “the significance and influence” of Ottoman Jewish history.

Danon, assistant professor of Judaic history, will present the talk “Satirical Passover Haggadot from the Sephardi World.” Danon told organizers that she “will discuss the Passover haggadah as a literary genre in the eastern Sephardi Diaspora, focusing in particular on how such texts provide a lens through which to examine the social and cultural changes of the modern period as experienced by the Ladino speaking communities of the Mediterranean.”

Kirschen, assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics, who is affiliated with the Judaic Studies Department and the Translation Research and Instruction Program, will address the use and development of the Judeo-Spanish language by Sephardim after settling into the former Ottoman Empire in his talk, “The Rise and Fall of Judeo-Spanish in Turkey and Bosnia.” Kirschen stated that “what was once the mother tongue for so many Sephardim now serves as a vehicle of memory for the collective Sephardic experience. Assessing the rise and fall of Judeo-Spanish in both Turkey and Bosnia will demonstrate how different historical and linguistic trajectories have led to an essentially similar fate.”

Karp, associate professor of Judaic studies and history, will introduce the program, moderate a discussion with the presenters and encourage interaction with the audience.

CJS series on “What’s New at BU?” - April 14 event to examine new Center for Israel Studies

By: Marti Klionsky

The College of Jewish Studies Spring Series programs “What’s New At BU? Faculty, Research and Resources in Judaic Studies” will continue with its second session on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 pm, at the Jewish Community Center, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal. College of Jewish Studies lectures are open to the entire community. General admission costs $8 per event, or $14 for both programs; senior admission costs $5, or $8 for both. Binghamton University students are welcome to attend at no charge.
The presenters for the event will be Professors Randy Friedman and Shay Rabineau,with a discussion focused on the new Center for Israel Studies at Binghamton University, on the motivation behind the program and a review of its history thus far.
The program will discuss what Israel studies is and how it differs from previous approaches to studying the Jewish state. It will explain how the Center for Israel Studies at Binghamton fits into “the larger realm of Israel studies” at universities across the United States. Finally, it will explore Binghamton University’s potential for becoming “a key location” for studying modern Israel, and how might that potential be fulfilled through faculty research, course development and high-profile speakers and on-campus events. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Judaic Studies at Binghamton

Members of the community are invited to enroll as auditors in any Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, and Israel Studies course we offer.

View our Fall Schedule of courses.

Last Updated: 3/31/16