Jewish Studies

Are you fascinated with the Hebrew or Yiddish languages, the history of the State of Israel, the Jewish people, and Judaism? Do you want to pursue your calling through the study of language, spirituality, and literature? Are you excited by the thought of acquiring a first-hand understanding of texts dating from antiquity until today or by exploring historical and religious artifacts? How about the study of modern Jewish history and contemporary Jewish communities around the world? Majoring in Jewish Studies within the Department of Humanities will expose you to many facets of Jewish culture from literature, language, history and religion to music, art and contemporary social questions. You can further expand your understanding and appreciation of contemporary Jewish issues by studying in Israel through the department’s exchange program. Much more than the pursuit of a mere course of study, majoring in Jewish Studies can open paths to many careers and many captivating futures.

Career Options in Jewish Studies

This list is not exhaustive but provides an idea of the options graduates have and what they have gone on to do. Some options are more directly associated with a Jewish Studies degree than others.

  • Author
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Media Correspondent
  • Archivist
  • Industrial Relations Consultant
  • Non-Profit Organization Director
  • Blogger
  • International Aid Worker
  • Politician
  • Community Coordinator
  • International Development
  • Director
  • Publisher
  • Cultural Consultant
  • Interpreter
  • Professor
  • Diplomat
  • Jewish Community Worker
  • Project Manager
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Entrepreneur
  • Lawyer
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Event Planner
  • Legal Aid Worker
  • Rabbi
  • Executive Assistant
  • Librarian
  • Researcher
  • Foreign Business Consultant
  • Linguist
  • Retail Strategist
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Lobbyist
  • Social Program Director
  • Historian
  • Marketing Director
  • Speech Writer
  • Historical Site Guide
  • Market Researcher
  • Translator

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Jewish Studies Degree

A background in Jewish Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • An ability to think analytically and rationally and be able to critique and examine ideas from a philosophical and literary perspective
  • A grasp of the richness of Jewish traditions, customs, society and history
  • A fluency in the contemporary sociopolitical issues concerning the Jewish people and the Canadian Jewish community as well as key debates within Jewish Studies
  • A solid understanding of Hebrew and familiarity with classical religious texts as well as more modern literary works.

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in oral presentations as well as in written statements and opinions
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.