Jewish studies…refers here to the academic teaching of aspects of Jewish religion, history, philosophy, and culture, and associated languages and literatures...Jewish studies include scholars and students who make use of a broad range of disciplinary methodologies from the full range of academic fields in the humanities and social studies. What defines this diverse and interdisciplinary area of inquiry is the object of its study - Jewish experience in its widest sense - rather than any specific analytical approach (Encyclopaedia Judaica 11: 316).

This guide was created and is maintained by Scott McLaren;
Please direct comments, queries, and suggestions to him at:

    Introductory Texts:


    Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies
    Edited by Mark Goodman (ebook)

    The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies offers a survey of current interests within the field including: Biblical studies; Rabbinic literature; Medieval Jewry; Hebrew, Yiddish, and diaspora Jewish literatures; antisemitism; the Holocaust; mysticism; Jewish women’s studies; music, theatre, and film; and modern Jewish society and sociology.

    Jewish Thought: An Introduction
    By Oliver Leaman (ebook)

    “Surveys the central controversies in Judaism, including…relations between Judaism and other religions such as Islam and Christianity [as well as] contemporary issues such as sex, gender and modernity. Central themes such as authority and obedience, the relations between Jewish and Greek thought, and the position and status of the State of Israel are also considered” (publisher).

    Sacred Texts:


    The Tanakh is the chief sacred text within Judaism. It consists of three parts: the Law (Torah), Prophets (Nevi’im), and the Writings (Ketuvim). This link provides access to the Tanakh in Hebrew with a parallel English translation (according to the Masoretic text and the Jewish Publication Society 1917 edition). Includes MP3 files of each chapter being read in Hebrew. 


    The Talmud is a key text within Judaism that records rabbinic discissions relating to the law, ethics, philosophy, and history. Talmudic traditions in Israel and Babylon resulted in the creation of two Talmuds: the Jerusalem Talmud (Talmud Yerushalmi) and the Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli). The foregoing links provide access to a searchable edition of the Jerusalem Talmud in Hebrew and Michael Rodkinson’s 1918 browsable translation of the Babylonian Talmud.

    Midrashic Literature

    Midrash can refer to a method of scriptural interpretation used in Talmudic literature, or to a separate body of rabbinic commentaries on the Tanakh. Such commentaries are grouped into those that treal legal (halakha) and non-legal (Aggadic) topics. A sampling of post-Talmudic Midrashic literature can be found in Samuel Rapaport’s 1907 English translation Tales and Maxims from the Midrash. The Hebrew Union College also maintains an online Midrash Bibliography.  Consult our library holdings for more.


    Encyclopedia Judaica (2nd edition)

    Berenbaum and Skolnik's 22-volume encyclopedia covering everything from the Second Temple period to the contemporary State of Israel, Rabbinic to modern Yiddish literature, Kabbalah to the contribution of Jews to world cultures.

    Encyclopaedia of Judaism (2nd edition)

    Online access to Brill's four-volume encyclopedia. Articles written by specialists provide a treatment of Judaism from a variety of religious, cultural, social, and historical perspectives.

    Entries on every aspect of Jewish belief and practice, both ancient and modern. With all Hebrew terms clearly explained, entries range from personalities in the Bible to present-day Jewish thinkers and writers. Coverage includes customs, traditions, and Jewish ideas on subjects as diverse as dance, vegetarianism, and eternity.

    Jewish Encyclopedia. com

    An online version of the 12 volume Jewish Encyclopedia published between 1901 and 1906. Includes 15,000 articles and illustrations.

    Entries on the 2,000 year relationship between these religions from theological, historical and cultural perspectives written by more than one hundred scholars.

    Journal Indices:

    Specialized Indices:

    IJP provides a comprehensive guide to English-language articles, book reviews, and feature stories in more than 160 journals devoted to Jewish affairs. Titles include Contemporary Jewry, Holy Land Studies, Jewish Culture & History, Journal of Palestine Studies, Studies in American Jewish Literature, and more.

    RAMBI: The Index of Articles on Jewish Studies

    Begun in 1966, RAMBI provides access to thousands of periodicals published in Hebrew, Yiddish, and European languages on all aspects of Jewish studies. Drawn mainly from the holdings of the Jewish National and University Library.

    Index to Yiddish Periodicals

    An index to signed materials published in Yiddish periodicals and newspapers. Includes periodicals published in Czarist Russia (1862-1917), Yiddish dailies published in Warsaw until the Holocaust, periodicals published in interwar Poland (1924-1939), periodicals published in Ukraine and Russia (1917-1948), weeklies published in Rumania before the Second World War, major Yiddish periodicals published in the United States since the end of the nineteenth century, and a selection of literary Yiddish periodicals published in Palestine after 1948.

    Selected Related Indices:

    The American Theological Library Association's online index to 650 journals and other multi-author publications in Biblical Studies, world religions, and religious perspectives on social issues. Coverage is 1949 - present.

    Indexes articles, anthologies, book reviews, books and essays in anthologies. All aspects of philosophy are covered. It is international in scope and not limited to any one period or culture. Coverage is from 1940 - present.

    Provides coverage of more than 500 journals in archaeology, fine art, classics, communications, dance, film, gender studies, history, journalism, linguistics, literary criticism, music, the performing arts, philosophy, and religion. Coverage is from 1984 - present.

    Provides access to the world's literature in theoretical and applied sociology and related disciplines. The database includes abstracts of journal articles selected from over 2,500 journals published in 30 different languages in anthropology, economics, education, medicine, community development, philosophy, demography, political science, and social psychology.

    Selected Key Journals:

    • Also consult the Israel Union List of Serials for a complete listing of the periodical holdings of university, college, research, and government libraries in Israel.

    Libraries, Digital Book Projects, and Active Book Series:

    Provides access to about nine million bibliographic records (including those for books, theses, films, and sound recordings) in the catalogues of Israeli university and college libraries, research institutes, and government libraries. 

    Created by the Alliance israelite universelle Library, the Paris Yiddish Centre-Medem Library, and the Seminaire israelite de France library to "preserve and disseminate Jewish heritage documents" as a part of wider European culture.

    Provides access to about 1,100 books in the public domain from the holdings of The Jewish National and University Library. RSS feed

    Provides access to about 800 Yiddish books in all fields and subjects (printed using Hebrew letters) housed at Frankfurt University Library. Titles from the mid-sixteenth to the early twentieth century comprise the collection. 

    Online access to recent books on Judaism and other world religions published by Oxford University Press. Use subject option on left-hand side of screen to narrow to Judaism.

    Giuseppe Veltri, series editor [York Holdings]

    Alvin H. Rosenfeld, series editor [York Holdings]

    Paula Hyman and Deborah Dash Moore, series editors [York Holdings]

    Hasia Diner, series editor [York Holdings]

    Matti Bunzl and Jeffrey Shandler, series editors [York Holdings]

    Aron Rodrigue and Steven J. Zipperstein, series editors [York Holdings]

    Richard A. Cohen, series editor [York Holdings]

    Henry Feingold, series editor [York Holdings]

    Harold Bloom and Ken Frieden, series editors [York Holdings]

    David B. Ruderman, series editor [York Holdings]

    Michael Neiditch, series editor [York Holdings]

    Primary Sources and Archives:

    Comprised of material drawn from the manuscript collections and other unique holdings of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. The text to six major organisational collections and twenty-four collections of personal papers is fully searchable and viewable in colour. Chronological coverage is from 1654, when the first Jews arrived in New York, until 1954. 

    An online archive of some of the most important papers originating from the British Colonial Office between about 1840 and 1970. Includes reports, dispatches, correspondence, and other key documents relating to the countries of the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, Turkey, the former Ottoman lands, as well as texts pertinent to study of the first decade following the partition of Palestine in 1947.

    Part of a larger history sourcebook site maintained by Paul Halsall, this page provides links to primary source material in the public domain and freely available on the Internet. Translated items are sometimes available in more recent or more scholarly editions in print.

    Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People

    Located at the Giv'at Ram Campus of the Hebrew University, the Central Archives contains 6,000 linear meters (60,000,000 pages) of documentation including genaeological records, personal papers, organizational records, photographs, printed ephemera, and newspaper clippings. For more consult Yoram Mayorek’s Guide to Israeli Archives and Guide to Jewish Archives in Moscow.

    Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the American Jewish Archives contains nearly 2,500 linear meters of archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio and video tapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials relating primarily to Jews and Judaism in America.

    Located in Montreal on the downtown campus of Concordia University, CJCCC National Archives pursues a mandate to collect and preserve materials documenting all aspects of Jewish life in Canada and Quebec. In addition to its holdings of the organizational records of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Archives also houses the records of other organizations, individuals, photophgraphs, sound records, and film.

    Located at 4600 Bathurst Street in Toronto, the Ontario Jewish Archives contains more than 1,650 metres of original records documenting the history of Ontario's Jewish communities from the 1830s to the present. The collection includes 50,000 photographs, 300 oral histories, as well a Jewish newspapaers in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English.

    Located at 21 Nadolny Sachs Private in Ottawa, the Ottawa Jewish Archives contains more than 120 linear meters of records including marriage registers, photographs, biographical files and printed ephemera, sound records, as well as the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin from 1937 to the present.

    Located in Vancouver, the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia contains approximately 115 linear metres of textual records including 120,000 photographs and 700 oral history interviews relating to Jewish history in British Columbia beginning in 1860.

    Museums and Online Exhibits:

    American Jewish Archives

    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    Library of Congress

    Centre for Jewish History

    American Jewish Archives

    American Jewish Archives

    Centre for Jewish History

    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    Ontario Jewish Archives

    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    Ontario Jewish Archives and Ryerson University

    Web Guides:

    Hosted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, this site contains some 5,000 links to web resources in 25 categories for the study of Jewish history and culture. 

    Collection of links maintained by New York librarian Margaret Vail Anderson

    Extensive collection of links maintained by Andrew Tannenbaum

    Categorized gateway to Jewish studies websites maintained by Diane Romm

    More than a guide to the web, this site provides links to online content as well as extensive print resources housed at the University of Toronto for the study of Jewish history. Maintained by Jenny Mendelsohn.

    Outside North America