Welcome to the Center for Jewish Studies

Established in 1982, the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville serves the university and the community. It draws on resources of both, provides services and programming for both, and brings the people of the university and the larger community together intellectually, artistically, and spiritually. Specifically, the CJS coordinates academic course offerings in Jewish Studies, hosts visiting scholars and performing artists, and encourages, supports the activities of Jewish students at UNC Asheville, and assists with the development and maintenance of archival materials on Jewish life in Western North Carolina. The CJS advisory aboard is made up of interested persons from the UNC Asheville faculty, administration, and staff, as well as members of the local Jewish community.

The Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) at UNC Asheville is seeking a new director. The director’s responsibilities currently include the following:

  • Ensuring that at least one course with Jewish Studies content is offered every semester;
  • Providing support for qualified students conducting undergraduate research on some aspect of the broad field of Jewish studies;
  • Developing and presenting high quality intellectual and artistic programming for the campus and the community;
  • Advising and supporting the activities of UNC Asheville Hillel;
  • Supporting the development of the Jewish Life in Western North Carolina archives at UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library;
  • Working collaboratively with the CJS steering committee (formerly called the board of advisors);
  • Working with leaders of major Jewish institutions and organizations in and around Asheville;
  • Managing the Center’s budget, which is comprised of several endowment funds as well as grants and gifts to the CJS;
  • Working effectively with current and prospective  donors to the CJS;
  • Meeting with prospective students and their parents to discuss Jewish student life at UNC Asheville.

The next director will have the opportunity to build on the Center’s success to date and to steer the Center in new directions over the coming years. Possible areas of growth include the establishment of a minor in Jewish Studies, developing a new, more hands on model for the Center’s steering/advisory committee, raising funds to establish an endowed professor of Jewish Studies, and more.

We are looking for someone with strong programming skills, experience managing an annual budget ranging from $25,000 to $40,000, a demonstrated interest in Jewish life, past and present; strong interpersonal skills, experience working with university faculty, students, and administrators, knowledge of faculty governance, a commitment to interdisciplinarity, and a commitment to Jewish intellectual and cultural life on- and off-campus.

The Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville is an open search.  Potential candidates may be current members of UNC Asheville’s faculty, staff, or administration. Alternatively, the next director might be a full- or part-time resident of the local Jewish community with a history of successful work in Jewish professional life and knowledge of and experience working with an academic Center for Jewish Studies. If the candidate is not currently a member of UNC Asheville’s faculty, he or she must hold the appropriate academic credentials to be appointed as a university research scholar, which is a courtesy appointment. The selected candidate should also be qualified to teach courses in Jewish studies as an adjunct professor.
The current director, a member of the UNC Asheville faculty, receives one course release to facilitate this appointment. Should the next director come from the community, he or she would receive a stipend for teaching. The director reports to the Dean of Humanities. The initial appointment will be for three years, beginning on July 1, 2017. The appointment will be made by UNC Asheville’s Provost, Joseph Urgo.

To apply, please send a letter stating your interest in the position and detailing the main qualifications you would bring to the position. In the letter, please include a statement reflecting your understanding of the function of academic Centers for Jewish Studies and of the CJS at UNC Asheville in particular. Finally, please include a brief overview of your vision for the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville in the next three years. A complete application will also include a current c.v..

Please send your application materials to Dean Wiebke Strehl at wstrehl@unca.edu by the end of the day on Friday, November 11.


If you would like to receive information on our upcoming programs and events, please complete the UNCA Center for Jewish Studies Mailing List Form.