insight into evil 

Hobart and William Smith are one of a few colleges in the nation to offer a Holocaust Studies program. Through the minor, you'll learn the impacts of Nazi rule on the Jewish people in Europe between 1933 to 1945 from a blend of courses in the history, sociology, English and political science departments, as well as explore the history of genocide and its continued occurences.   


Student SpotlightJacob Williams '26

"My time in Holocaust Studies has been characterized by two major experiences: my FSEM last fall, 'Genocide in the Modern Age,' taught by Professor of Religious Studies Richard Salter, and my participation in The March program co-led by Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski and Salter. I found both experiences very eye-opening and believe they have had an effect on how I look at world events and social interactions on the macro scale. All of the professors I have worked with have been extremely supportive, informative and overall enjoyable to know." 



Experiential EducationTaking a Closer LookAt History

Learn about the Holocaust through programs hosted at the Abbe Center for Jewish Life or through trips to museums hosted by the Intercultural Affairs Center.   

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.



No Borders:Global Education

Hear the stories of Holocaust survivors and visit monuments, museums and memorials in Germany and Poland, the once-thriving Jewish cultural centers that were destroyed during World War II. The March: Bearing Witness to Hope program will also take you to the Treblinka, Maidanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, where millions of lives were taken. 



Belonging, Equity and Diversity

Students studying in the Holocaust studies program gain a deep understanding of the effects of genocide. By nature, the program’s subject matter reinforces the Colleges’ commitment to belonging, equity and diversity. 

“The Holocaust phenomenon indicates what can happen when a society abandons its core principles," - Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski. 



Learn the background, surroundings and effects of the Holocaust.

REL 271 – The History and Impact of the Holocaust

Analyze the background of the Holocaust, its impact on the Jewish community in Europe and worldwide and theological reflections from it.   

REL 401 – Literary and Theological Responses to the Holocaust

Examine morally pertinent artifacts of the Holocaust in literature, films and in theology.  

REL 276 – Eastern European History and Culture

Learn about the social, political, cultural and religious history of the Jews in Eastern Europe. 




Alum ImpactEmbracing Opportunitiesto Create a Professional Path

Sarah walters '19
Director of Jewish student life for hillel, university of rochester 

After being placed in a Religious Studies course on genocide during her first year, Sarah went on to create her own major: Genocide, Human Rights, and Peace Action. Sarah also engaged with the Colleges’ Hillel program and Abbe Center for Jewish Life, which shaped the trajectory of her life.