The executive committees of the American Academy for Jewish Research and the Association for Jewish Studies are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and diversity in the field of Jewish studies. The study of Jews and Judaism in the modern university should be open to all persons with the proper academic qualifications, regardless of their background. Jewish studies is not an exclusively Jewish endeavor with Jewish goals. In the modern university, the academic study of Jews and Judaism is a core component of a liberal arts education, the humanities and the social sciences, and the understanding of diverse civilizations and cultures. As such, Jewish studies should be and must be a field that is open to all who have the training and credentials to teach and conduct research.
It is inappropriate for search committees in Jewish studies to inquire about candidates’ religious, national, or ethnic background, level of religious observance, denominational loyalty, marital status, or personal lifestyle. Institutions at which religion has been determined to be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) should state so in their announcements. Discriminatory conduct based on such factors as race, religion, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and medical or disability status is unacceptable in Jewish studies and higher education. Interviewing and hiring decisions must be based solely on professional criteria. Intellectual acuity and originality, research and language skills, teaching ability and experience, and, in certain cases, administrative skills and collegiality are the only proper factors in determining the suitability of applicants for teaching positions and research fellowships.
The Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research
The Executive Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies