Founded in 1969, the Association for Jewish Studies is a learned society and professional organization that seeks to promote, maintain, and improve teaching, research, and related endeavors in Jewish Studies in colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning. The Association for Jewish Studies is a constituent society of the American Council of Learned Societies.
The Association holds an Annual Conference in December with sessions devoted to a wide variety of scholarly and professional matters. During each conference special interest groups, representing various disciplines within Jewish Studies, meet to discuss subjects of particular concern to the participants. From time to time the Association has sponsored other scholarly or professional meetings. From 1973 to 1978 the Association sponsored a series of regional conferences made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1979 the Association convened the first meeting of representatives from major graduate programs in Jewish Studies.
The regular publications of the Association are: the AJS Review, a scholarly journal; AJS Perspectives,the Newsletter of the association; and Positions in Jewish Studies: Information Bulletin. In addition, the Association has published volumes of proceedings from its regional conferences on such subjects as medieval and modern Jewish religion, Jewish languages, and Jewish folklore. In 1992, the Association published a catalog entitled: Jewish Studies Courses at American and Canadian Universities.
Membership in the Association, which currently stands at about 1,600, is open to individuals whose full-time vocation is teaching, research, or related endeavors in academic Jewish Studies, to other individuals whose intellectual concerns are related to the purposes of the Association, and to graduate students concentrating in an area of Jewish Studies. Members receive all regular publications without charge. They are eligible for discounts on publications and on the registration fee at the Annual Conference.
December 2015-December 2017:
President: Pamela Nadell (American University)
Vice President/Program: Christine Hayes (Yale University)
Vice President/Membership and Outreach: Jeffrey Veidlinger (University of Michigan)
Vice President/Publications: Magda Teter (Fordham University)
Secretary/Treasurer: Zachary Baker (Stanford University)