Who We Are

The Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is a global leader in the study of Jewish civilization, opening new vistas in the humanities and social sciences. With a prestigious fellowship program, a vast Judaica library, and a leading scholarly journal, the Katz Center links scholars to scholars, researchers to resources, and ideas to the wider world.

Mission

As an integral part of the larger intellectual community at the University of Pennsylvania and beyond, the Katz Center is deeply committed to encouraging teaching and conversation among its fellows and with a series of broader communities: fellows are given various opportunities to interact with the Penn community of faculty and students, the local Jewish community of the greater Philadelphia and New York areas, and scholars and institutions around the world.

  • Penn faculty and graduate students in related fields across the humanities and beyond regularly participate in the weekly seminars.
  • The Center maintains strong ties to the Jewish Studies Program at Penn.
  • Some fellows teach graduate and undergraduate courses at Penn.
  • Some fellows participate in a series of public lectures in the greater Philadelphia area as well as in New York City and beyond.
  • The Katz Center is partnering with Hebrew University to offer competitive summer graduate study fellowships in Philadelphia and Jerusalem to teach the skills that allow them to delve deeply into the primary documents that tell the history of Judaism and the Jewish people.
  • Local area rabbis sit and learn with the fellows each year, bringing the latest in scholarship and texts back to their congregations.
  • The Katz Center forges formal and informal ties with European and Israeli universities which have allowed for expanded and ongoing collaborations: recent fellowship topics have been echoed in follow-up conferences in Antwerp.

The unique mission of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania fosters and enriches the best traditions by which a great university is defined and simultaneously enhances the cultural legacy though which Jews have identified themselves through the ages.