The Program for Jewish Civilization (PJC) at Georgetown University is home to the study of the global dimensions of Judaism throughout the ages and especially in our own era, with an emphasis on the ethical aspects of Jewish civilization and its interrelationship with other peoples and polities. This innovative approach examines Judaism as a religion and it also explores Judaism as a civilization and a community of people in dialogue with others. This program, which is unique within the American academic context, expands the understanding of Jewish history to include cultural, religious, political, philosophical, literary, and scientific accomplishments.
Based at the University’s Edmund A.Walsh School of Foreign Service, the program benefits from the participation of outstanding faculty and prestigious programs in international affairs, government, history, religion, ethics, languages, science, law, and culture. Georgetown’s interest in the place of religion in public and international affairs and in the potential for mitigating conflict based in religious identity augments the activities of the PJC in many ways. The interdisciplinary character of the PJC fosters a rich array of activities including scholarship, academic courses, conferences, lectures, cultural programs and participation in campus and community dialogue. The PJC also offers an undergraduate certificate in Jewish Civilization through the School of Foreign Service, and a minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Its programs, which are open to the public, serve students of every religious and ethnic background.
In keeping with the Georgetown mission to promote a deeper understanding of the world's religious communities and their role in global affairs, the Program for Jewish Civilization (PJC) was established in September 2003 by the School of Foreign Service under the leadership of Georgetown's Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Harold White, and Georgetown professors Robert J. Lieber, an expert on international affairs and American foreign policy, and Yossi Shain, a leading scholar on Jewish Diaspora communities. The PJC is now directed by Professor Jacques Berlinerblau and Associate Director Melissa Weinberg Spence, with a 24 member Executive Committee led by Professor Robert Lieber.