Director’s Message

Rick Chess headshot
Rick Chess

As director of the CJS since 1992, I’ve been privileged to watch the CJS grow over the years. We have become a lively presence on campus and in the community. I’m grateful to our founders and to the directors who preceded me for establishing the solid foundation on which we’ve been able to build. Over the years, we’ve helped many talented, spirited students continue to grow as Jews throughout their college years, seeing them become leaders on campus and contributors to our local Jewish community. We’ve been privileged to host some of the most talented, influential Jewish thinkers and artists who have offered informative, provocative, and inspiring presentations to the campus and community and have had opportunities to meet in small groups with UNC Asheville students. We have fostered the development of rich, valuable archival materials on Jewish life in Western North Carolina—a resource that benefits both our own undergraduates and scholars from far-flung places. We have seen the establishment of a number of academic courses in Jewish Studies—courses in Religious Studies, History, Literature, Classics, and the Arts, and we look forward to the growth of our Jewish studies curriculum in the coming years. I encourage you to participate in whatever way you can. Welcome to the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville!


Rick Chess, Director | 828.251.6576