Although the Department of History does not offer either undergraduate or graduate concentrations in Jewish history as an official rubric, the Department includes several scholars who do offer courses in the field. Professor William H. Propp is an expert on the Hebrew Bible, both as literature and as a source for Ancient History. Professor David Goodblatt focuses on the history of the Jewish people and their culture, both in Israel and in the communities of the Mediterranean Rim and Southwest Asia, during the 1200-year period between the rise of the Persian Empire and the Islamic conquests (550 BCE-650 CE). Professor Deborah Hertz has a specialty in German Jewish history and is currently working on the history of Jewish radicals in Europe and Palestine.
The Jewish Studies Program, whose faculty teach in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences, offers a wide array of courses of interest to undergraduate History majors, as well as an MA degree. The JSP is the sponsor of the Holocaust Living History Workshop, in which students can intern, working with local refugees and survivors. Recent PhD dissertations awarded or currently underway in the Department have focused on modern German-Jewish intellectuals, sermons in the Third Reich, Sephardic theology among converso Jews from Spain, and Jewish refugees in the United States, especially in Los Angeles.