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AJS Mission & History


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.

History of the Association for Jewish Studies

The Association for Jewish Studies: A Brief History (PDF)
Kristen Loveland (AJS)

Association for Jewish Studies 50th Anniversary Survey Report (2018) (PDF)

Jewish Studies in North American Colleges and Universities: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (PDF)
Judith Baskin (University of Oregon)
This article originally appeared in Shofar 32, no. 4 (2014) and is provided courtesy of Purdue University Press.

Jewish Studies and Israel Studies in the Academy: Continuing the Conversation, A Report from the 45th Annual AJS Conference (2013)
Pamela S. Nadell (American University)

Advancing Academic Careers, A Report from the 45th Annual AJS Conference (2013)
Jessica Cooperman (Muhlenberg College)

45th Annual AJS Conference: Introductory Remarks to the Plenary (2013)
Jonathan Sarna (Brandeis University)

45th Annual AJS Conference Plenary Lecture: "From Wissenschaft des Judentums to Jewish Scholarship Today: The Issues We Have Faced and Those That Lie before Us" (2013)
Michael A. Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati

45th Annual AJS Conference Plenary Lecture Response: "The Place of Jewish Studies: Discipline, Interdiscipline, and Identity Studies" (2013)
Rachel Havrelock (University of Illinois at Chicago)

AJS at 40: Poster Display of the Organization's History
In December 2008, the AJS celebrated its 40th Annual Conference with a Plenary Session reflecting on the founding of the AJS and the field of Jewish Studies.

AJS@40 Poster

Strategic Plan

Approved by AJS Board of Directors, June 3, 2019
Extended to 2023 by the AJS Board of Directors, March 27, 2022

Having successfully fulfilled many of the promises and expectations of our last strategic plan, which was developed in 2013 by the Association’s leadership, and fresh from celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, the AJS initiated the formulation of a new strategic plan for the next three years.

Read the AJS's Strategic Plan