student studying in A.D. White Library
Learn about this bright facet of the human mosaic.


All Cornell University undergraduates with an interest in Semitic languages, the Hebrew Bible, medieval and modern Hebrew literature and film, ancient, medieval and modern Jewish history, Holocaust Studies, Jewish ethnography, world Jewish literature, and Yiddish culture are invited to complete a major in Jewish studies.


Students laying on a blanket enjoying the sunshine

Modern Hebrew

Whether you are preparing for travel abroad or are passionate about achieving fluency in a language that is important to you, when studying Hebrew at Cornell you will be part of a close knit group of students and faculty.

We offer elementary, intermediate and advanced  courses in Modern Hebrew.


Collection of contemporary Yiddish books.


The everyday spoken language of Ashkenazi Jews for most of the last thousand years, Yiddish also gave birth to an extraordinary modern literature over a very short time. Yiddish embodies the laughter and solidarity that have enabled Jews to survive and thrive, often as an oppressed minority, in Europe and elsewhere.

We offer elementary and intermediate courses in Yiddish.

students seated around a table in class

Topics in Jewish Studies

We offer courses on ancient, medieval, and especially modern Jewish history and culture. Consider starting with one of our survey courses:

  • History and Jewish Diaspora (JWST 2569)
  • Introduction to Judaism (JWST 2644)
  • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (JWST 2651)
  • Holy War, Crusade and Jihad in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (JWST 2676)