Teaching Jewish Genealogy | Associated Programs

Teaching Jewish Genealogy

Teaching Jewish Genealogy at the university has long been one of the Institute’s stated goals.

 Since IIJG is not a teaching institution, its Teaching Committee, headed by Prof. (emeritus) Aaron Demsky of Bar Ilan University, recommended that the role of the Institute should be to encourage universities and degree-awarding institutions to offer courses on Jewish Genealogy. For that purpose, the Committee developed “Academic Guidelines” for BA and MA courses in Jewish Genealogy, with a view to illustrating the shape and content of such courses. The working assumption was and remains that institutions of higher learning would adopt and adapt the Guidelines  in accordance with their course requirements on the one hand and the students’ interests and needs on the other.

A major problem seems to be the lack of funding for the envisaged courses which in most, if not all, cases would be electives, at least at the outset, and thus probably not funded within a regular course curriculum or program.  Another problem is the apparent scarcity of instructors qualified to teach the courses at the university level. IIJG has therefore elaborated two projects in order to address these problems.

Academic Guidelines

The Guidelines have posted in all their formats, for use in various teaching frameworks:

  1. Teaching Notes for a 2-semester (1-year) BA Course
  2. Synoptic Outline for a 2-semester (1 year) BA course
  3. Guidelines for 1st Semester
  4. Guidelines for 2nd Semester
  5. Preliminary Notes for a 1-Semester BA Course
  6. Guidelines for 1-Semester BA Course
  7. Synoptic Outline for a 2- year MA course
  8. Complete Guidelines for MA Course
  9. Suggested Bibliography

The Institute hopes that the publication of these Guidelines will inspire the launching of academic courses in Jewish Genealogy at the university level and that institutions with an interest in teaching Jewish Genealogy to students of all ages will derive benefit from them as well.

It should be noted that the Academic Guidelines make no claim to be more that what they are – namely, guidelines pure and simple. Behind them is the assumption that the instructor will use them selectively as a basis to build a course, appropriate to the framework in which it is being taught and in accordance with the students’ needs and abilities.

IIJG would only request that whenever and wherever the Guidelines are used, appropriate academic attribution and credits are given. It should be noted that since the Guidelines remain under the Institute’s copyright, they cannot be reproduced in full without written permission in advance.

IIJG would also be grateful to receive an intimation of when and where the Guidelines are being used and also “feedback” on their reception, both by instructors and students.

The Institute would like to express its deep appreciation to Prof. (emeritus) Aaron Demsky of Bar Ilan University for his leadership of the Teaching Committee and for the efforts of both the members of the Committee and the expert consultants, who all contributed significantly to the preparation of the Guidelines.

Click here for a full list of the members of the Academic Committee and of the expert consultants

Click here for a background paper on this subject