Jewish studies equips students with an understanding of Jewish civilisation in its many aspects – language and literature, history, theology, philosophy, rabbinics, law, politics and sociology. Students can also take a stream in Yiddish language which explores language, culture and literature.
Jewish studies is taught by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC), an interdisciplinary centre within the Faculty of Arts whose mission is to research and teach, the significance and evolution of Jewish culture and its contributions to the world.
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Overseas intensive units
The ACJC is well known for its overseas units and exchange programs. The centre offers a number of intensive units overseas including:
- Final Journey: Remembering the Holocaust – this unit explores the modern history of European Jews before and after the Holocaust. Students travel to the major centres of interwar Jewish life in France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Lithuania, and encounter the diverse heritage of Jewish life in each country. Students visit museums, synagogues, cemetries, destroyed ghettos and sites of mass murder including Auschwitz-Birkenau.
- Seeking Justice: South Africa and Rwanda – this unit brings together students from Monash campuses in Australia and South Africa to study the contemporary histories of post-genocide and post-conflict societies. Students spend one week in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a second week in Kigali exploring public debates on memory, testimony, trauma and justice.
- War and Peace: Models of Conflict Resolution – this unit focuses on the Arab-Israeli conflict and investigates current attempts to mediate peace between Jews and Palestinians, the impact of the conflict on the lives of people, poverty, settlements and security issues, terrorism and counter-terrorism, Jerusalem and its holy sites. In some years, students will also travel to alternate sites of conflict such as Northern Ireland or the former Yugoslavia.
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