UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, directed by Professor Todd Presner, is one of the most distinguished centers for research and education in Jewish studies in the world, dedicated to advancing scholarship in Jewish culture and history; educating the next generation about the role of Judaism in world civilization; and serving as an exceptional public resource for Jewish life and learning.
Nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate courses are offered in Jewish studies each year, enrolling more than 2,000 students. The Center sponsors more than 50 lectures, conferences and symposia annually. In addition, the Center supports civic engagement programs that open up the gates of the academy by addressing wide-ranging policy, community, and social justice issues. In this way, the Center is actively preparing the next generation of leaders and encouraging real-world advances by marshalling the riches of Jewish thought, ethics, intellectual history, and culture.
In 1994 Provost Brian Copenhaver of the UCLA College of Letters and Science established the Center for Jewish Studies in the Humanities Division, under the administration and support of Dean Pauline Yu. Through the leadership of its founding director, Professor Arnold J. Band, its two subsequent Directors, Kenneth Reinhard and David N. Myers, Acting Director Carol Bakhos, and current Director Todd Presner, the Center has developed into an exceptionally productive scholarly resource with an impressive roster of 27 affiliated faculty, a steady stream of distinguished visitors, and a world famous library collection.