CET Prague Jewish Studies
Prague, Czech Republic
About the Program|Prague, Czech Republic|Eligibility
Academic Culture|Fields of Study|Student Life|Housing|Helpful Links
About the Program
CET’s Jewish Studies in Prague curriculum was designed by leading U.S. scholars of Jewish History, Czech and Polish Studies, and the Holocaust. The multi-disciplinary curriculum provides an opportunity to examine the history, culture, literature, and the arts of Central and Eastern European Jewry, while at the same time offering a context for exploring the non-Jewish history, politics, and society of the region. CET's emphasis on experiential learning allows students to greet the local culture hands-on. Jewish Studies courses are offered in association with the Charles University Faculty of Humanities. This arrangement promises to maintain the academic quality of our courses and provide students with additional opportunities for immersion into Czech society.
Prague, Czech Republic
Goethe proclaimed Prague to be "the most precious stone in the crown of the world." Prague stands at the crossroads of Europe, where east meets west and history meets the excitement of a post-communist country transitioning to EU membership. Rivaling Paris as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Prague will invite you to wander through its fairytale-like cobblestone streets and take in a thousand years of architectural and artistic history.
Prague, the medieval seat of the Hapsburg Empire, continued to strive as a sister city to Vienna into modern times, always standing at the forefront of culture and industry. Living in this dynamic city today, you'll encounter the challenges that the Czech Republic faces in this period of transition between Communism and the privatization of many political, social, and cultural institutions. Here is the perfect environment in which to become immersed in Czech culture and to explore the heritage of the Central and Eastern European Jews.
The first Jews settled in Prague during the Middle Ages. Throughout the centuries, Jews faced a great deal of persecution, but also thrived during periods of religious tolerance. The reign of Joseph II in the 1780s reversed centuries of official discrimination and relaxed the conditions of life in the Jewish quarter, renamed Josefov in honor of the emperor. You'll learn a great deal more about Prague's thousand-year Jewish history in your course The History of the Jews in East Central Europe.
Prague's rich Jewish history, its Jewish Quarter with six surviving synagogues which house the Jewish Museum, and the growing Jewish community make it an excellent setting in which to explore Central and Eastern European Jewry. The Jewish Museum in Prague contains one of the largest collections of Judaica in the world. The Nazis confiscated these objects from Jewish homes and synagogues throughout Czechoslovakia with the intention of creating a "Museum of the Extinct Race." Instead, the collection pays tribute to Czech Jewish life and to those that perished during the Holocaust. CET students utilize the Museum's extensive library and records for their coursework.
While Prague was home to about 55,000 Jews before the war, today's community has over 1,600 registered Jews, many of whom are survivors. There is also a growing group of young people who have recently discovered their Jewish roots and are searching for their Jewish identity.
- 3.0 CGPA
- Previous coursework in Jewish Studies, or coursework with Central or Eastern European content strongly recommended
Tulane students will take courses alongside other American study abroad students taught by local Czech faculty. All students will take a mandatory elementary Czech language course along with two core courses related to the Jewish Studies theme. For the additional two courses, students may select from among the other core courses or from CET’s elective courses. CET has an arrangement with Charles University whereby it is possible to take one elective course at the Humanities Faculty. All CET courses are taught specifically for CET students, although in some terms Czech students may be invited to certain CET courses. CET works with its academic partners to provide additional non-Jewish Studies electives during the fall and spring terms. Non-CET courses are open to other international students.
Fields of Study
Czech Language, Jewish Studies, Film, Communications, Art, Art History, Gender Studies, History, Literature, Political Science, Psychology, Religion & Theology
In addition to the courses you will take through CET, you will get involved with the Jewish community in Prague through volunteer opportunities, excursions and site visits. You can take advantage of learning about World War II memorials as part of your Holocaust course, using the resources of the Jewish Museum library, or visit Jewish Home for the Elderly. You may also decide to participate in a Service Learning Placement as one of your electives. Scheduled travel takes students to Poland, Budapest, Terezin (Theresienstadt) and Cesky Krumlov, a beautiful medieval castle. At least one excursion, lecture, museum visit or film screening is organized every week. CET will work to engage students as much as possible in local culture and daily life in order to maximize your integration in your host city.
Students are housed with fellow CET students in an apartment in a Czech residential building. Each apartment will have a full kitchen, and will be located close to or in the heart of Prague and the Jewish Quarter. In some semesters CET may invite Charles University students to live in the apartments. CET room and board fees cover three meals a day. Students may dine in Prague's many cafeterias and restaurants or cook at home, using a meal stipend that CET provides on-site. Vegetarian cuisine and kosher food is available in Prague. Information for students with dietary restrictions will be included into the post-acceptance materials, and guidance will be provided in Prague by the resident director. Kosher students should also visit the Keeping Kosher section of the CET website.
CET Jewish Studies Homepage
Contact Past Participants
Click HERE to contact recent study abroad alumni in this region.