Upcoming Jewish Studies Courses

Winter 2021

COR344A: Nazism/Individual Responsibility, 8:30-11:30, Prof. Windham
Imagine your government has committed an immoral or unethical act: murder, unjustified war, violation of human rights. To what degree does that act define you, as a member of your country? What is (or should have been) your responsibility before, during and after? These questions were posed with particular urgency in the wake of Nazism and the Holocaust and continue to be relevant today. In this course, we will examine how authors, playwrights, filmmakers, political theorists, historians, and other thinkers have struggled to understand and portray Holocaust perpetrators and the normal, everyday German citizens who lived alongside them. We will then examine how these thinkers’ portrayals might lead to new ways of thinking about our own roles as active, engaged citizens. The interdisciplinary focus makes this course suitable for students in all majors. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. If you consider taking this course to count for Jewish Studies, your Capstone Project has to focus on a topic relevant for JST. Please contact Dr. Windham in advance to discuss your topic interest.

HEB270A – Israeli History Through Cinema, 1:30-4:30, Prof. Avraham-Katz
This survey course will focus on the different historical periods of the state of Israel. The course will explore Israeli cinema as a productive site of national culture. It will also explore the idea that cinema was a partner in the invention of the nation. The course will aim to shed light on ideological myths and explain the dynamics between different ethnic parts of the Israeli populace and its relationship with its Palestinian neighbors. Counts towards Civilization requirement; Jewish Studies.

Spring 2021

HEB 122A: Modern Elementary Hebrew II, MWF 12:30-1:40, Prof. Avraham-Katz
This course builds on the skills learned in HEB 121 and continues the study of basic Modern Hebrew grammar and syntax and provides further development of culture, communication and comprehension skills. Prerequisite: HEB 121 or permission by chair of the department. If you have prior knowledge of Hebrew either in a traditional academic setting or a religious setting contact the instructor to determine your Hebrew level. A paper and pencil placement exam is available. Counts towards Civilization requirement; Jewish Studies; Middle East Studies.

HEB 370: Falafel Nation, MW 2:00-3:40, Prof. Avraham-Katz
Focusing on the period between the 1905 immigration wave and the present, the course will explore the cultural, social, and economic practices relating to the production and consumption of food in Palestine and later Israel. The course will also analyze how the change in relationship between Israelis and their food mirrors the search for a definition of modern Jewish nationalism. It will examine the role of women, ethnic groups, and different generations in the food narrative of the country, and also highlight some of the issues associated with this narrative. Counts towards Civilization requirement; Advanced Studies requirement; Jewish Studies.

REL 131: Jewish Biblical Literature in Context, MW 2:00-3:40, Prof. Claussen
This course introduces students to the critical study of biblical literature, focusing on the text known as the Hebrew Bible, Jewish Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament. We will explore the Bible in light of the ancient contexts in which it was composed, while also studying the way that ancient Jews and Christians interpreted and transformed the meaning of biblical texts.  We will read the Bible’s narratives, poems, proverbs, prophecies and laws, and consider its diverse approaches to topics such as power, holiness, gender, nature, love, death, God, and the relation of the people of Israel to other peoples. Counts towards Civilization requirement; Jewish Studies; Classical Studies; Middle East Studies, International and Global Studies (Middle East Regional Concentration); Religious Studies; Interreligious Studies.

REL 382: Jewish Ethics, T/Th 12:30-2:10, Prof. Claussen
This course explores historical and contemporary Jewish approaches to ethics. We will read classical Jewish texts, examine how understandings of Jewish ethics have been shaped by various modern cultures, and consider how Jewish ethics might speak to a range of contemporary moral and political issues. We will discuss diverse approaches to qualities such as honesty, curiosity, forgiveness, compassion, and solidarity, and we will explore topics involving gender and sexuality, religion and politics, war and violence, and a range of other topics determined by student preferences. Counts towards Civilization requirement; Advanced Studies; Jewish Studies; Classical Studies; Religious Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies.