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Summer and Fall 2021 Jewish Studies courses

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.

SUMMER 2021 COURSE

JWST/RLST 20300 Living Judaism 1 G HM HU LA TIDE TMBS 
TR 10:00-11:30 Online synchronous  
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller 413, Ext. 4-3556, 607-793-8807, rlesses@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: one course in liberal arts
COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Readings, lectures, discussions (both in the class and in student study groups), and student presentations.
GRADING: A-F.

FALL 2021 COURSES

JWST/RLST 10300-01 Hebrew Scriptures 3A H HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM    Job 160

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller 413, Ext. 4-3556, 607-793-8807, rlesses@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 28
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS: All students interested in learning more about the Bible.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Hebrew Bible (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) is one of the foundational books of both western and world culture and serves as the basis for Judaism and Christianity. In this course, we will read the books of the Bible critically as literature, as religious and moral text, and as a source of sociological knowledge. This course surveys the biblical literature, acquaints the students with critical methods for the study of the Bible, situates the Bible within the literature and culture of the ancient Near East, and discusses the religion of ancient Israel. We will deal with questions of history and archaeology, and with questions of meaning—what the biblical text meant to its ancient readers, and what meaning it has today. RLST-10300 is cross-listed with JWST-10300. A student may not earn credit for both RLST-10300 and JWST-10300.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Readings, lectures, discussions (both in the class and in student study groups), and student presentations.
COURSE
READINGS: Readings will include the Bible and The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, by Michael D. Coogan and Cynthia R. Chapman (4th edition)

GRADING: A-F.

JWST 20200-01 Jews in the Modern World 1 G H HM HU LA TIDE
TR 1:10-2:25 PM   Friends 203

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller 413, Ext. 4-3556, 607-793-8807;
rlesses@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: Any students interested in learning about Jewish experiences in the modern world.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course deals with the challenges that Jews have faced in the modern world and the creative responses that they have made to them for the past 500 years, since the Expulsion from Spain in 1492. We will discuss the larger political and social forces that have influenced Jewish life in the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas: European colonialism, mass migrations, the philosophical Enlightenment, Jewish political emancipation, religious and political anti-semitism, the Holocaust, nationalism, Zionism, and the establishment of the state of Israel. In this course, we also seek a lens into the modern Jewish experience through examination of religious and cultural movements like Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and modern Jewish philosophy, and analysis of Jewish material culture, Jewish literature, and artistic representations of Jewish life.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Readings, lectures, films, discussions (both in the class and in student study groups), and student presentations.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: A-F

POLT 23000-01 The Holocaust (POLT 23000) LA SS
MW 4:00-5:15 PM

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introductory survey of major issues related to the Holocaust. We will examine the role of anti-Semitism in Western Culture and the rise of the racial anti-Semitism that animated Nazi hatred of the Jews. Among the topics to be covered are: The rise of Hitler to power; the initial policies of persecution and dispossession of the Jews and Jewish responses to these policies; the evolution of Nazi policy from expulsion of the Jews to extermination; the role of Jewish community leadership in attempting to cope with a murderous onslaught by establishing Jews in vital industries; the cooperation of many German bureaucrats in the final solution; the relationship of the Holocaust to the Nazis’ overall racial views and their war of racial supremacy in eastern Europe; the ongoing controversy over whether more Jews could have been rescued by the nations opposing Hitler and his regime.

file-outline Course flyer for Jewish Studies courses in Fall 2021 - js-course-flyer-fa2021_0.docx (40.51 KB)