The Harris Center for Judaic Studies promotes and supports scholarship in Jewish studies at Nebraska. Founded in 1991 with an emphasis on educating the people of the Great Plains region about Jewish civilization and the nature and history of anti-Semitism, as well as promoting understanding between Jews and non-Jews, today the Harris Center serves as a vibrant center of academic activity and public programming.
We offer a minor in Jewish studies, support for undergraduate and graduate research, and a scholarly community for faculty working on topics related to Jewish studies, broadly conceived. We provide a wide range of courses in the fields of history, political science, religious studies, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and Jewish languages and literatures, taught by our affiliated faculty.
With particular strengths in the history of Judaism, the history and politics of the Middle East, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, Jewish philosophy, and global Jewish diversity, the Harris Center has become a hub for interdisciplinary scholarship. We count among our resources the University of Nebraska Press, which has long had a strong line of publications in Jewish studies and now handles publication and distribution of books from the Jewish Publication Society.
The Harris Center regularly presents public lectures, conferences, and symposia in the field of Jewish studies.
Jewish Studies in Nebraska
In addition to the Harris Center for Judaic Studies, there are two other academic Jewish studies programs in Nebraska: the Klutznick Chair of Jewish Civilization at Creighton University; and the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Both are within approximately one hour driving distance.
Klutznick Chair of Jewish Civilization
The Harris Center has enjoyed a long-term collaboration with Creighton University’s Klutznick Chair of Jewish Civilization. For over a decade we have co-sponsored the annual Klutznick-Harris Symposium, which has been dedicated to a very wide range of topics in Jewish studies, ranging from the history of Jewish music, philosophy, and food to attitudes to the environment and modern Jewish identity.
Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies
In future years the Klutznick and Harris programs will be joined by the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies in organizing the annual Klutznick-Harris symposium. We look forward to collaboration with the Schwalb Center in other projects, as well.
Frances and Sam Fried Holocaust and Genocide Education Fund
The Harris Center also appreciates the ongoing support and collaboration of The Frances and Sam Fried Holocaust and Genocide Education Fund, formerly the Heartland Holocaust Foundation, which is now administered by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Kripke Center for Study of Religion & Society
Creighton University's Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society often presents lectures of interest to UNL students and faculty.