Cultural Programs at Temple and Beyond

The Jewish Studies program sponsors Jewish cultural events at Temple not only for our students but for the broader Philadelphia community, especially through the work of the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History.

Study Abroad/Summer Study

Given the modest size of our program, we encourage our students to also consider study abroad either in Israel or at various programs in Europe. We also encourage summer study in intensive Jewish studies or Hebrew language programs in the United States.


The Jewish Studies Internship course enables students to do hands-on work in the Jewish community. Students may work for a variety of Jewish agencies and organizations in the Philadelphia region. Working with a faculty advisor, the student will develop a series of course readings around the history of these organizations and the various issues they are engaged in. The internship course culminates in a final paper that brings together these various forms of critical engagement.

Certificate in Secular Jewish Studies

The Certificate in Jewish Secular Studies was introduced in 2006 and is the first of its kind in the nation. This program highlights the secular, non-religious sphere of Jewish experience and Jews in America. It questions whether Judaism can accurately be called a religion, considers conceptual issues about the rise of Jewish secular traditions in the modern world, and raises provocative questions about the role of religion in public space. The certificate is a vibrant way in to Jewish Studies, and can be completed in five content courses, with no language requirements. This program has been designed with student interest and ease in mind. Students who are already majoring or minoring in Jewish Studies, students in other CLA majors, and students from any program or school at Temple who want to do this mini-minor on secular expressions of Jewishness, culture, politics, literature, history, art, film, philosophy are welcome.

Plan of Study

For the Certificate, students need to complete at least one of the core courses, Jewish Secularism/Jewish Civilization I and II. These courses introduce students to the history of Jewish secular traditions and to the history of the concept of secular space and secular political traditions in Western Society. In addition, students take either 3 of 4 electives, drawn from the Jewish Studies offerings. These electives may include an internship in local Jewish organizations, and an internship elective may be completed during Summer semester. The Temple Bulletin lists the specific offerings of the Certificate.