The list includes both courses directly offered through Jewish Studies, with the JWST prefix, and those offered through other departments which students minoring in Jewish Studies can take for credit towards the minor.

Judaism (JWST/RLST 20300)                                                               Rebecca Lesses
TR 1:10-2:25 / Hybrid modality / CNS 115
ICC: Humanities; Identities; Mind, Body, Spirit
An introduction to Judaism with a focus on theology, ethics, and ritual practice. Readings include selected texts from the biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. Theological and ethical issues include God, good and evil, covenant, death and afterlife, justice, and social responsibility. The course examines how these Jewish understandings are lived out through practices associated with birth and death; marriage and commitment; sexuality; and the life of study, prayer, and devotion. Students may not receive credit for both RLST 20300 and JWST 20300.

Israeli Culture through Film (JWST 27500)                                           Mirit Bessire
TR 9:25-10:40 Online Synchronous
ICC: Diversity; Humanities, Identities, Power and Justice
This course explores the history, culture and art of Israeli society through film. It is divided into two sections: the first part deals with Israeli history through contemporary Israeli film, the second part deals with cultural and social aspects of the Israeli people as shown in Israeli movies. Artistic aspects will be woven into the course discussions to enhance the subjects’ understanding and for better analysis of cinema. Students will become acquainted with some of the major issues that have shaped Israeli society, including religious tensions between different kinds of Jews, relations between Jewish and Arab Israelis, immigration, war, and terrorism. The course will demonstrate that film can serve as an artistic and historical medium that reflects and comments on the history, politics, and culture of Israel.

Contemporary Jewish Identities: Gender, Race, and Power (JWST 29400) Rebecca Lesses
TR 4:00-5:15 / Hybrid modality / CNS 115
ICC: Diversity; Humanities; Identities, Power and Justice
This course addresses the multiplicity of contemporary Jewish identities, focusing on Jews in the United States and Israel, the two largest contemporary Jewish communities. Questions include: What does it mean to be Jewish? Is this a religious, ethnic, national, or racial identity? Is there a common Jewish identity among Jews of widely varying ethnic origins, religious affiliation, and national allegiances? These questions will be explored through four different topics: 1) Jews and Race; 2) Post-Holocaust Jewish Identity; 3) Jewish identity in Israel; 4) Gender, Feminism, and Queer Identity.

Elementary Hebrew II (HEBR 10200)                                                    Mirit Bessire
ICC: Humanities; Identities / Hybrid modality / Hill Center 104
Class meets four days per week (MWF 9:00-9:50 AM with faculty member; R drill session)
Continuation of HEBR 10100; focus on spoken and written organic language in everyday use, with basic understanding of grammar, such as the verb system, adjectives, syntax and translations. There will be grammar explanations and drills, dialogue memorization and recitation, role-playing activities and other opportunities for self-expression. Prerequisites: Limited to students who have completed HEBR-10100 with a grade of C- or better, or equivalent. Students can be waived from level one with instructor’s approval.

Holocaust Literature and Film: From Auschwitz to the Americas (SPAN/ENGL 26100) Annette Levine
TR 1:10-2:25 / Hybrid modality / Friends 201
ICC: Identities; Humanities; WGST elective
Taught in English, this course examines Holocaust representation in literature and film, and the Jewish diaspora in the Americas, with a particular focus on Latin America. We will explore the power of narration to express the human capacity for resistance and resilience.

Seminar: Political Implications of the Holocaust (POLT 40103)             Don Beachler
W 4:00-6:30 / Online synchronous
The seminar will explore portions of the voluminous literature on the Holocaust to extract implications for politics. Among the topics to be considered are the conditions that permit people to participate in genocide and the human capacity for self-deception that enables people to rationalize their actions. This section of the seminar will consider the controversy raised by Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners. We will also explore the academic politics of Holocaust studies by reading works that both proclaim the uniqueness of the Holocaust and by considering authors who argue that too much attention has been paid the Holocaust to the neglect of other historical instances of genocide. The ethical lessons that can be gleaned from global indifference to the destruction of the European Jews will form another segment of the seminar. The global response to atrocities in Rwanda and Bosnia will be included for comparative purposes.

Interested in a Jewish Studies Minor? 
For further information, please contact
Rebecca Lesses, 
Coordinator of Jewish Studies
rlesses@ithaca.edu) | 

Printable version: JWST Course Flyer Spring 2021

Printable poster: JWST Poster Spring 2021