The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) was founded in 1969 by a small group of scholars seeking a forum for exploring methodological and pedagogical issues in the new field of Jewish Studies. Since its founding, the AJS has grown into the largest learned society and professional organization representing Jewish Studies scholars worldwide. As a constituent organization of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Association for Jewish Studies represents the field in the larger arena of the academic study of the humanities and social sciences in North America.
AJS’s mission is to advance research and teaching in Jewish Studies at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning, and to foster greater understanding of Jewish Studies scholarship among the wider public.
Its close to 2000 members are university faculty, graduate students, independent scholars, and museum and related professionals who represent the breadth of Jewish Studies scholarship. The organization's institutional members represent leading North American programs and departments in the field.
Membership in the association is open to individuals whose full-time vocation is teaching, research, or related endeavors in academic Jewish Studies; to other individuals whose intellectual concerns are related to the purposes of the association; and to graduate students concentrating in an area of Jewish Studies.
Institutional membership is open to Jewish Studies programs and departments, foundations, and other institutions whose work supports the mission of the AJS.