Center for Jewish Cultures & Ideas


With the generous gift by the Kim and Gary Heiman Family Foundation, the Judaic Studies Department was empowered to launch a new Center for Jewish Cultures and Ideas in October, 2010. Housed in the Judaic Studies Department within the College of Arts & Sciences, the Center provides a wonderful opportunity for the Department of Judaic Studies and the University of Cincinnati to reach new levels of national and international prominence.

The center expands the vision of the department by launching new areas of research and teaching, by taking a leading role in civic leadership, by forging new academic and community ties, by strengthening UC ties to Israel, and by becoming an essential link to the Cincinnati community. A complex network of connectivity, the center enables the department and the college to become a site for transformative learning, cutting-edge research and creative teaching, which will attract eminent faculty and outstanding students ready for international scholarly exchange and for increasing knowledge.

The Center for Jewish Cultures and Ideas explores the complexity of the Jewish experience in its broadest contours. It promotes the rigorous academic study of Jewish cultures, society, politics, history and religion and makes it accessible to all students at the University of Cincinnati. The curriculum emphasizes historical transformations among various Jewish communities and with other groups and religions. The courses, drawing upon a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality, develop critical thinking, writing, and communication skills and have both textual and experiential learning components.

A strong Center for Jewish Cultures and Ideas, housed within the Department of Judaic Studies, will expand the multidisciplinary potential of several departments and programs within the College of Arts and Sciences, including History, Political Science, Middle Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, and Women's Studies, as well as increase the college's interaction with other UC colleges, and other universities within the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

The Center for Jewish Cultures and Ideas will:

  • Serve as a destination in Cincinnati for collaborative educational programming and partnerships with area schools, community centers and other nonprofit organizations
  • Provide a university entry to students of all ages and creeds into the diverse landscape of the field of Jewish Studies that includes: Jewish-Muslim Relations, Modern and Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Studies, Rabbinic Studies, Jewish History, Jewish Politics, the Holocaust, Judaism and Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Jewish Mysticism, Israel, Jewish Pop Culture and Jewish Literature
  • Create opportunities for Judaic Studies faculty and students to work and study in Israel, Europe, and Asia at centers of Jewish traditions and learning
  • Create formal exchange programs with Jewish Studies centers across the country
  • Sponsor international conferences, symposia, and lectures related to topics in Jewish Studies both on campus and throughout the Cincinnati metropolitan area

You can make a gift online now by visiting the UC Foundation Web site.

The Center is located in 3513 French Hall West. You can reach the Center by dialing 513-556-2297.