About Us

The Jewish Studies Program has a history of being different, on campus and nationally.

We pride ourselves on our innovative and creative approach. Through our classes, internships, and other programming, you can learn how to see things differently too.

  • We have a robust community support network that is eager to engage students.
  • We run a major student life operation, the only academic program to do that at the College.
  • We serve thousands of meals per year.
  • We bring guest speakers and performers from all over the world to Charleston.
  • We teach differently.
  • We are involved in myriad research projects.
  • We bring in substantial grant funds every year.
  • Our professors and staff have an approach to college that challenges and defies norms and conventions.

Faculty & Staff

Jewish Studies helps you understand the diversity and complexity of the Jewish experience. Rather than teaching a profession, our professors rely on the historical, religious, philosophical, literary and linguistic components that constitute the Jewish experience to help you develop an armory of useful skills. These include writing, critical thinking, research, digitizing, global and intercultural fluency, creativity, problem-solving and public speaking.

Faculty and Staff List

Centers of Excellence

Three centers of academic excellence operate under the auspices of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program. These centers are run by Jewish Studies faculty and focus on research and public programming. They employ undergraduate research assistants and have other opportunities for student involvement. Get to know the center that interests you most!
  • The Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture

    The Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture at the College of Charleston seeks to broaden public knowledge and inspire conversations about the Southern Jewish experience. Generously funded by the Pearlstine/Lipov family in 2014, it brings together the resources of the College’s Jewish Studies Program, Addlestone Library’s Jewish Heritage Collection, and The Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina.

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  • The Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies

    The Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies is dedicated to the provision of learning opportunities for students at the College of Charleston, our community members in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and interested individuals worldwide through our virtual resources. The activities and initiatives of the Center are motivated by a belief that knowledge of Holocaust history and human rights are pivotally important aspects of “education for citizenship” in the world of today. 

    The Center was founded to preserve the memory of Holocaust victims and educate future generations about these events and their lasting legacies. We believe that learning is the path to a world in which “Never Again” is a reality, not just a hope.

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  • The Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies

    The Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Center for Israel Studies focuses on building a deeper understanding of Israeli history, culture, and society. This center focuses on classes and community programming involving contemporary Israel, religious movements in Israel and a broad range of issues confronting Israel.

Our Story

As early as 1688, Jewish people had a significant presence in Charleston. Our story begins many years later in 1984. Philosophy professor Martin Perlmutter dreamed of a home for Jewish students at the College of Charleston. Using his close connection to the local Jewish community he built a flourishing Jewish Studies Program.

From its beginnings as a small program founded by Henry and Sylvia Yaschik, Jewish Studies has grown to include a 20,000 sq. ft. building, an impressive Jewish archive, an active Hillel, six faculty, a major and a minor, three centers of excellence, a fellowship program, the largest Jewish festival in South Carolina, dozens of guests and speakers, the Charleston Jewish Filmfest and a fully kosher vegetarian dining hall.

Marty Perlmutter with a group of students in the kitchen.