Prague, Czech Republic
CET - Jewish Studies
Prague is one of the best preserved medieval cities of Europe and it is often called "The City of a Hundred Spires". Prague offers a wide selection of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau, Cubist and Socialist-Realist architecture. On any given evening, visitors may choose to see one of dozens of concerts, operas, or theater presentations. Museums boast world-class collections of art and host international exhibitions. The Czech countryside has hundreds of castles, chateaux, and historic ruins. Moreover, there are thousands of kilometers of marked trails for hiking through beautiful landscape to visit these historical landmarks. The dreamlike quiet of an older, slower-paced Europe lures visitors from all over the world, and studying abroad in Prague gives students the chance to develop a genuine feel for the city and its history at a leisurely pace.
Czech Republic: Prague
CET Jewish Studies 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.
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.
Fall (Late August to Mid-December) or Spring (Mid-January to Mid-May) Semester
Fields of Study
Czech Language, Film, Communications, Art, Art History, Gender Studies, History, Literature, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Religion & Theology, Social Science; Film Studies
3.0 CGPA; Previous coursework in Jewish Studies; coursework with Central or Eastern European content strongly recommended
CET students attending the Jewish Studies in Prague program for the fall or spring terms will enroll in a total of five courses, which include: three required courses, JS250 History of the Jews in East Central Europe, CE250 Political and Cultural History of East Central Europe in the Twentieth Century, and CE100-300 Czech Language, as well as two electives. CET has an arrangement with Charles University whereby it is possible to take one elective course at the Humanities Faculty. 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.
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.
Tulane awards credit at the 500-level credit for coursework completed on this program.
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.
Tulane Faculty liaison
Dr. Brian Horowitz, Germanic and Slavic Languages, Jewish Studies
Web links: www.cetacademicprograms.com
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Programs in the Czech Republic
Useful Links for Prague