Fall 2018 Jewish Studies Courses

This is a listing of Jewish Studies courses that will be taught in Fall 2018. 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.

Hebrew Scriptures (JWST 10300 / RLST 10300) Rebecca Lesses
MWF 10:00-10:50
ICC course. Themes: Identities and Mind, Body, Spirit. Perspective: Humanities.
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 meanings it has today. All texts will be read in English translation. This course is offered both as JWST 10300 and RLST 10300 – register for one or the other course, not both. No prerequisites

Jews in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds (JWST 20200) Rebecca Lesses
MW 4:00-5:15 PM
ICC Course. Themes: Identities, Power and Justice. Perspective: Humanities.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to Jewish history and the varieties of Jewish cultures and religious traditions in the ancient and medieval worlds. We will explore Jewish history from the period of the Second Temple (sixth century B.C.E.) to the Expulsion from Spain in 1492. The first part of the course will cover ancient Jewish culture and civilization in Palestine, the Mediterranean basin, and Mesopotamia, exploring such issues as Jewish responses to foreign domination (by the Persian, Greek, and Roman empires), Jews and other cultures (Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Persian), Judaism and Christianity, the rise of rabbinic Judaism and rabbinic culture. In the second part of the course, we will discuss the development of Jewish civilization in Spain, Italy, and northern Europe, Jews under Islamic rule, Jews under Christian rule, medieval Jewish philosophy and mysticism, medieval anti-semitism and expulsions from Western Europe and Spain. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, but also available through course override. 3 credits.

Holocaust (POLT 23000) Don Beachler
Time TBA
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. 3 credits.

HEBR 10100 Elementary Hebrew I Mirit Hadar
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Beginning course. Practice in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing simple idiomatic Hebrew. Emphasis is placed on culture, participation, and self-expression. Open to students with no previous Hebrew, or by placement examination. 3 credits

HEBR 20100 Intermediate Hebrew I Mirit Hadar
MWF 2:00-2:50 PM
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Develops intermediate-level proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Hebrew. Special emphasis is given to Hebrew culture. Prerequisites: HEBR 10200 with a grade of C- or better. 3 credits.

JWST 42001 Internship: Jewish Studies
On-site work experience, combined with academic study, in agencies or educational institutions with significant Jewish content, such as Jewish schools or community agencies or multicultural groups. Arranged individually at the student's request with the individual instructor, a sponsoring agency, and permission of the Jewish studies coordinator. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. 1-12 credits.

JWST 49100 - Independent Study in Jewish Studies
Special research on an individual project arranged by a student with a particular faculty member. The project may include reading books and/or writing papers under the guidance of the faculty member, with a performance expectation of upper-level work. Offered on demand only. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. 1-4 credits.