Russian-American Academic and Research Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies





The Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) in Moscow was the first Russian university to revive the training of highly qualified experts as well as scholarly research in Jewish Studies, ever since this area of studies had been crushed in the Soviet Union at the turn of 1940-50.

Established in 1991 as Project Judaica, a joint venture between the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS, New-York) and RSUH, the initial program was institutionalized in 1996 as a RSUH-run international university center with all the rights and responsibilities of a regular academic department - the Russian-American Academic and Research Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies (CBJS). Until 2002, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New-York) also took part in the Project, and thus it was the first important international project at RSUH.

A program in “Jewish Languages, Culture, Texts, and Archives” was launched in 1991 in cooperation with RSUH Institute for History and Archives, followed by a program in “Jewish Languages, Literature, and History” in cooperation with RSUH Institute for Philology and History in 1993.

The Center now works in cooperation with various academic divisions of RSUH (such as Divisions  for Archives, Art History, History and Philology, Sociology, Religious Studies etc.). Students study RSUH's general curriculum and specialize in Jewish Studies. In general, the Jewish Studies curriculum consists of Classical/Modern Hebrew and Yiddish languages, Bible and Rabbinic Literature, Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Modern Jewish Literature, Jewish Culture, and the like subjects. Graduates of the program receive a diploma from RSUH (equivalent of an American master’s degree) and a certificate from JTS.

The principal goals of the Center are to:

§        reestablish Jewish Studies as a legitimate area of university study, train a generation of indigenous Russian scholars of Jewish Studies, and thus contribute to the entry of Russian university education and studies into the universal field of the Humanities

§        foster the revival of Jewish life in Russia

§        preserve, study and popularize East-European Jewish historical and cultural heritage

§        spread greater knowledge of Judaism, Jewish history and culture in the Russian society

§        foster the development of interconfessional dialogue, ethnic and cultural tolerance in modern Russia

§        discover and describe all Jewish-related materials held in the archives of the former Soviet Union (FSU), and introduce them into scholarly practice

With a view to these goals, CBJS trains highly-qualified specialists who are able to work in various areas of activity, conducts a series of local and international conferences in Jewish Studies, maintains research programs in the field of the East-European Jewish history and culture, and maintains an active publishing program of textbooks, monographs, journals, collections of articles, and of archival guides.