Project Judaica

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) conducts a joint academic program in Jewish Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) in Moscow. RSUH is the flagship academic institution of the Russian Federation. The program:

  • trains accredited specialists in Jewish history and culture within the framework of Russian higher education;
  • trains the future leaders of Russian-Jewish communal life;
  • acquaints college students with Jewish history and civilization;
  • locates and records all archival collections in the former Soviet Union that are related to Jewish history and culture; and
  • publishes guides to Jewish archival sources in the former Soviet Union, making these resources accessible to interested researchers.

Project Judaica students at RSUH pursue the university's general curriculum while majoring in Jewish history and culture, over a four-year program of study.

Instruction is provided by visiting professors from JTS and local instructors, in Hebrew and Yiddish languages, Bible, rabbinic literature, Jewish history, Jewish philosophy and thought, and modern Jewish literature and culture. Graduates receive bachelor's degrees from RSUH and earn certificates in Jewish Studies granted by JTS.

In addition to the BA program, Project Judaica collaborates with the Reform Movement on a one-year Community Leadership Training Program. This program is designed to educate and prepare future professionals for Jewish communal organizations and lay leaders for liberal congregations in the former Soviet Union. Students take specially tailored courses under the auspices of Project Judaica.

Student Resources

RSUH houses a Judaica reference library of more than 5,000 volumes in Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English, for use by students, faculty, and the general reading public.

Archival Project

The end of the Soviet Union provided an unprecedented opportunity to investigate materials on Jewish history and culture held in Soviet archives which had been unavailable to researchers for many decades. Project Judaica directs the Jewish Archival Survey (JAS) to locate, record, and describe Jewish archival resources throughout the former Soviet Union. The Jewish Archival Survey has published eight archival guides to date, covering Moscow, St. Petersburg, Belarus, Kyiv (Kiev), and various regions of Ukraine. Further guides are currently in progress.

Publications

Project Judaica publishes a series of studies called Judaica Rossica, whose most recent volume was dedicated to Yiddish language and culture in the Soviet Union. It also publishes university-level Judaica textbooks in Russian for universities, including From Abraham to the Present: Lectures in Jewish History and Literature (edited by David E. Fishman and Burton Visotzky); Anthology of Hebrew Literature (edited by Hamutal Bar Yosef); Introduction to the Pentateuch (Igor Tantlevsky); and The Medieval Hebrew Book (Shimon Iakerson).

Contact Information

RSUH is located at 6 Miusskaya Ploschad, Moscow. For more information, please contact Dr. Mark Kupovetsky at Judaica_Mark@mail.ru

In the United States, inquiries should be directed to the director of Project Judaica, Dr. David E. Fishman, dafishman@jtsa.edu.