Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Samuel M. Melton, the Samuel M. Melton Center for Jewish Studies was established at The Ohio State University in 1976, the first center for Jewish studies at an American public university. Mr. Melton was committed to changing the state of Jewish education, even if it meant establishing institutions and footing the bill himself.
The Melton Center for Jewish Studies develops, promotes, and supports the study, teaching, and research of Jewish studies at The Ohio State University.
The Melton Center encourages an interest in the study of all aspects of the Jewish experience at Ohio State and within the central Ohio community. Jewish studies coursework occurs across many departments at Ohio State, and Ohio State’s Department of Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures advises the interdisciplinary major and two minors in Jewish studies fields. The Melton Center sponsors educational programs on and off campus and offers research funding, fellowships, and scholarships for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.
Jewish studies at The Ohio State University comprises one of the largest and most diverse programs in the country, offering an impressive selection of courses, including Hebrew and Yiddish language and literature at all levels; Jewish history from biblical times to the present; Jewish literature in both translation and original languages; Jewish thought and philosophy; Jewish mysticism and messianism; and Jewish arts practices and histories.
The Melton Center features a multidisciplinary faculty internationally recognized in their respective fields, including History, Philosophy, Political Science, Dance, Music, English, Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Classics, Art, and Education, and produces a wide range of events. The Ohio State University has the one of the largest Judaica library collections in the country, with a full-time Judaica librarian and over 300,000 volumes.