The mission of the Houston Jewish History Archive at Rice University is to collect, preserve, and make available the documents, photographs, artifacts, and memories that tell the story of Jewish life in Houston and South Texas. The HJHA is a collaboration between the Program in Jewish Studies and the Woodson Research Center in Rice’s Fondren Library, where the archive is housed. Funds are used to purchase supplies, hire students for digitization and other HJHA projects, acquire rare historical artifacts, and support exhibits and public programs on Texas Jewish history.
The Program in Jewish Studies sponsors a number of semester-long courses with a travel component, through which students have visited Berlin, New York, and Jerusalem. Your gift helps us subsidize students’ travel so that we can offer these incomparable opportunities for experiential learning to all of our students. Read more about our travel courses here.
Each year, the Program in Jewish Studies offers travel vouchers to a pool of Jewish high-school students who have been accepted to Rice. These vouchers allow the students to come to campus for Owl Days or Admit Days, the Admission Office recruitment events. Visiting campus and participation in these events is a major factor in many students’ decision to come to Rice. The fly-in programs are intended to increase the size of the Jewish community at Rice and demonstrate Rice’s appeal to a broad range of Jewish students from around the country.
In conjunction with local community organizations, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, and area synagogues, the Program in Jewish Studies works to bring in scholars, writers, and artists from around the world to appear in Houston. In recent years, the program has helped to bring speakers as diverse as Abdullah Antepli, co-director of the Muslim Leadership Initiative at the Shalom Hartman Institute; Christine Hayes, Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University; and Yidlife Crisis, a comedy duo from Canada who perform humorous sketches in Yiddish.
Our faculty are the core strength of our program. Their courses are the backbone of Jewish Studies at Rice, their research brings recognition to the Program in Jewish Studies, and their connections with students outside the classroom enriches the program and the university. Consider making a gift to honor your favorite Jewish Studies professors!