The Center for Jewish Civilization (CJC) is an interdisciplinary teaching and research unit in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The CJC specializes in subjects ranging from American-Middle Eastern foreign policy as it pertains to Israel, to Holocaust and genocide studies, to Jewish-Catholic relations both past and present, to Jewish literature, culture, and religious expression. Judaism is examined as a religion and as a civilization in dynamic dialogue with other peoples and polities.
The Center is unique in the American academic context, not only because of the issues it studies but because of its placement in a school of international relations. This permits its many distinguished scholars and practitioners to focus on the role of religion in public and international affairs, as well as the geopolitical salience of Israel and Jews living in the Diaspora.
The interdisciplinary character of the CJC fosters a rich array of activities including scholarship, academic courses, conferences, lectures, cultural programs and participation in campus and community dialogue. Deeply committed to classroom pedagogy and the Jesuit principle of “care of the whole person,” or cura personalis, the CJC offers an undergraduate certificate in Jewish Civilization through the School of Foreign Service, and a minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Its courses and curriculum 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. In 2016, the Center for Jewish Civilization was launched. The CJC is now directed by Professor Jacques Berlinerblau and Associate Director Anna Sommer Schneider, with a 47 member Executive Committee led by Professor Robert Lieber.