VCU Campus VCU Judaic Studies

The VCU Center for Judaic Studies was established for the interdisciplinary study of Judaism. It encourages understanding of the Judaic component of of religious and philosophical thought, history and the arts in Western civilization.

P.O. Box 842021
Richmond, Virginia 23284


Photo of Jack D. Spiro

Jack D. Spiro holds the Harry Lyons Distinguished Chair of Judaic Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University; directs the university’s Center for Judaic Studies and edits its international online publication, Menorah Review; and serves as faculty adviser to VCU’s Hillel Foundation.

Among his books are “A Time to Mourn"; "The Living Bible”; “To Learn and to Teach”; “Dialogue: In Search of Jewish-Christian Understanding”; “Focus on Judaism, Science, and Technology”; “Persistent Prejudice: Perspectives on Anti-Semitism”; “Out of the Whirlwind Discussion Guide”; and “The Living Bible Teacher’s Guide.”

He was editor-in-chief of Religious Education, journal of the Religious Education Association of North America; founding editor of Compass, national education magazine of Reform Judaism; editorial director of The Torah: A Modern Commentary; and executive editor of Reform Judaism.

Spiro has two earned doctorates, one from the Hebrew Union College and one from the University of Virginia. He has received honorary doctorates from the Hebrew Union College and the University of Richmond. He is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta National Honorary History Fraternity and served in the U.S. Air Force European Command with the rank of captain. Spiro also served as chair of the Richmond Human Relations Commission.

Among other honors, he received a citation from the Liberal and Progressive Synagogues of Great Britain for “outstanding service,” VCU’s Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award, the Humanitarian Award of the National Council of Community and Justice, a Mayoral Proclamation for contributions to the City of Richmond and the Liberty Bell Award from the Richmond Bar Association. He was recognized by Style Weekly as one of the most influential Richmonders of the 20th century. Spiro can be reached by e-mail:


« Back to home

Minor in Judaic Studies

The minor in Judaic Studies consists of 18 credits in any of the following courses:
HIST 324: The Holocaust
RELS 318, 319/ HIST 333, 334: History of the Jewish People
RELS 301: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
RELS/INTL 306: Introduction to Judaism
RELS 305: Hebrew Prophets
RELS/HIST 335: The American Jewish Experience
RELS 407: Modern Jewish Thought

The following courses may also be taken with the approval of the Judaic Studies director:
RELS 108: Human Spirituality
RELS 201-202: Biblical Hebrew
RELS 312: Religions of the World (same as INTL 312)
RELS 334: Religion in Contemporary America
RELS 361: The Bible as Literature (same as ENGL 361)
RELS 492: Independent Study in Judaic Studies
HIST 301-302: The Ancient Near East (same as RELS 315-316)
HIST 328: Modern Middle East
INTL 351: Government and Politics in the Middle East (same as POLI 351)
RELS 430: Philosophy of Religion (same as PHIL 430)
RELS 391: Topics courses on Judaism when offered

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  College of Humanities and Science  |  School of World Studies
Center for Judaic Studies
312 North Shafer Street  |  P.O. Box 842021  |  Richmond, Virginia 23284-2021
Phone: (804) 827-1111
Updated: 01/08/2014