Jewish Studies Program

Director: Jannay Morrow; Adjunct Assistant Professor: Natalie Joy Friedman (English); Professors: Andrew Busha (Hispanic Studies), Judith L. Goldsteinab (Anthropology); Associate Professors: Peter Antelyesb (English), Rachel D. Friedman (Greek and Roman Studies), Lynn R. LiDonnici (Religion),Jannay Morrow (Psychology), Joshua Schreier (History), Debra Zeifmanab (Psychology); Assistant Professor: Elliott Schreibera (German Studies); Senior Lecturer: Tova Weitzman (Religion).

Jewish Studies is a multidisciplinary approach to the diversity of the history and culture of Jews. This approach involves studying the creation and reproduction of Jewish culture in multi-ethnic societies in the ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary world as well as such theoretical concerns as Diaspora, Zionism and the construction of Jewish identity.

Requirements for Concentration: 12 units, including: 1) Jewish Studies 201 and 301; 2) 2 units of college-level Hebrew or Yiddish or its equivalent; 3) two additional courses at the 300-level drawn from either Jewish Studies offerings or the list of Approved Courses; 4) six remaining units drawn from Jewish Studies offerings and Approved Courses.

Students are encouraged to explore complementary courses in a variety of disciplines. After consulting with the director, students choosing a concentration are encouraged to explore language, literature, texts, religious traditions, history, society, and culture.

Jewish Studies strongly recommends that students pursue a Junior Year Abroad experience whenever possible. Many different options exist, and students are encouraged to begin discussions about this with the Program director and their professors as soon as declaration of concentration is made. No more than 3 units per semester from study away can be counted toward the concentration.

After declaring a concentration, no required courses may be elected NRO.

No more than 4 units of Hebrew, Yiddish or other study in Jewish languages may be applied toward the concentration. Hebrew 305 may be counted as one of the three 300-level courses required of majors.

Senior-Year Requirements: Jewish Studies 301, if not taken earlier. The Senior Thesis or Project (Jewish Studies 300) is optional, but must be elected by students to be considered for Honors in the Program. If elected, the thesis is taken in addition to the three 300 level courses required. The thesis or project should reflect the multidisciplinary orientation of the Program. It will be graded Distinction, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory.

Requirements for Correlate Sequence: 6 units, including Jewish Studies 201, one 300-level course, and four other courses, only one of which can be a field work credit (Jewish Studies 290). Students electing the correlate sequence are encouraged but not required to take 301, as well as two units of college-level Hebrew or Yiddish or the equivalent. Hebrew 305 may be counted as one of the 300-level courses required for the correlate sequence. After consulting with the director, students should choose a correlate sequence program that complements concentration requirements. No more than 2 units from study abroad can be counted toward the correlate sequence.

I. Introductory

101a. Jewish Identities and Jewish Politics (1)

Are "the Jews" white people of East European origin, or Arabic-, Mahrathi-, and Amharic-speaking people of color from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa? Are Jewish politics conservative and affirming of the status quo, or progressive and prophetically charged? Are Jewish gender roles and attitudes towards sex suburban and patriarchal, or queer and radical? This course is a multidisciplinary introduction to the extraordinary diversity of the Jewish people and Jewish culture, and to the ways history, geography, gender, religious status, race, and class are factors in the construction of Jewish identity, in interaction with surrounding cultures. We study primary sources such as the Hebrew Bible and Talmud and

midrash in their historical contexts, as well as art and literature produced by and about Jews. Mr. Epstein.

Open to freshmen only. Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

150a. or b. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1)

(Same as Religion 150) An historical comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course focuses on such themes as origins, development, sacred literature, ritual, legal, mystical, and philosophical traditions, and interactions between the three religions. This course will fulfill the freshmen writing seminar requirements. Ms. LiDonnici, Mr. Epstein.

Two 75-minute meetings.

Fulfills the Freshman Writing Seminar Requirement.

II. Intermediate

201b. Jewish Textuality: Sources and Subversions (1)

Jewish tradition consists of a series of developments from the biblical stratum of text and practice through rabbinic interpretations and medieval, modern and postmodern revisions, reforms and even rejections of those interpretations. This course examines themes in Jewish life and thought from their biblical roots to their postmodern reinventions or reclamations. Mr. Bush.

Prerequisites: Jewish Studies 101 or by permission.

205b. Topics in Social Psychology (1)

(Same as Psychology 205 and Women's Studies 205) Prejudice and Persuasion: This course introduces students to the discipline of social psychology via the in-depth exploration of two areas of inquiry: prejudice and persuasion. A central goal of this course is to advance your understanding of the processes underlying social perception interaction and influence. To this end, we shall examine classic modern, and implicit forms of sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, and antisemitism, as well as explore ways of reducing prejudice and discrimination. We shall examine the mechanisms underlying effective persuasion techniques by using examples from advertising, propaganda, political interest groups, and hate-groups to illustrate research findings. In addition to exposing you to the relevant research and theories, this course should help you to develop ways of conceptualizing some of the social psychological phenomena you and others confront every day. Finally, this course should increase your appreciation of the central role that empirical research plays in psychological explanations of human social behavior. Ms. Morrow.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105 or 106.

215a. Jews and Material Culture (1)

Not offered in 2010/11.

217b. Film, Fiction and the Construction of Identity -- Israeli and Palestinian Voices (1)

(Same as Hebrew 217b and Religion 217b) This course explores the emergence and consolidation of collective identities in modern Israel and Palestine. Through a close examination of Israeli and Palestinian literary texts in translation and select movies students are introduced to an array of competing and complementing narratives that Israelis and Palestinians have relied on to understand themselves and their relationship to the other. Special attention is given to issues related to class, gender, ethnicity, religion and ideology. Ms. Weitzman.

221b. Voices from Modern Israel (1)

(Same as Hebrew 221 and Religion 221) An examination of modern and postmodern Hebrew literature in English translation. The course focuses on Israeli voices of men, women, Jews, Arabs, Ashkenazim and Mizrahim to investigate such topics as memory, identity, alienation, community, exile. Authors may include Yizhar, Yehoshua, Oz, Grossman, Kanafani, Almog, Katzir, Liebrecht, Ravikovitch, Zelda, Zach, Amichai, Darwish and el-Kassim. Ms. Weitzman.

Not offered in 2010/11.

222a. Psychological Perspectives on the Holocaust (1)

(Same as Psychology 222) The Holocaust has spawned several now classic programs of psychological research. This course considers topics such as: anti-Semitism and stereotypes of Jews; the authoritarian and altruistic personalities; conformity, obedience, and dissent; humanistic and existential psychology; and individual differences in stress, coping and resiliency. The broader implications of Holocaust-inspired research is explored in terms of traditional debates within psychology such as those on the role of the individual versus the situation in producing behavior and the essence of human nature. The ethical and logical constraints involved in translating human experiences and historical events into measurable/quantifiable scientific terms are also considered. Ms. Zeifman.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105 or 106.

225. The Hebrew Bible (1)

(Same as Jewish Studies 225) The Bible is one of the most important foundational documents of Western civilization. This course surveys the literature of the Hebrew Bible (Christian ‘Old Testament') within the historical, religious and literary context of ancient Israel and its neighbors. What social and religious forces created these books, and how did they shape the lives of the ancient Israelites, their descendants, and all those they influenced for three thousand years? All texts are read in English translation. Ms. LiDonnici.

Not offered in 2010/11.

227a. The Kingdom of God and the Empire of Rome (1)

(Same as Religion 227) This course examines the conflicts, social movements, theologies, texts and individuals that shaped early Christianity during its formative period, from the first through the fifth centuries CE. How did the ecstatic mysticism of a small, obscure minority group become the official religion of the Roman Empire? How did this "success" affect the way Christianity developed afterward, and its attitude toward difference, heresy, and authority? Ms. LiDonnici.

240a. The World of The Rabbis (1)

(Same as Religion 240)

Prerequisites: Jewish Studies 101, 201, Religion 150, or consent of the instructor.

Not offered in 2010/11.

255. Western Mystical Traditions (1)

276b. Jews Without Borders (1)

(Same as Russian 276) As far back as antiquity, Jews have formed alliances, and sometimes rivalries, amongst themselves that have crossed boundaries of hegemonic powers: long-distance legal consultations and commercial relations, shared reading lists and life practices, and mass population movements through exile and immigration. This course maps correspondences, both literal and figurative, between Jews otherwise separated by political geography, and so enables a critical examination of the commonalities and differences that constitute the alternative understandings of Jewish "peoplehood" and Jewish "community."

281. Imagining Prague (1)

(Same as HIstory, International Studies, and Urban Studies 281) This course explores the ways in which the city of Prague has played on the imagination, in the process becoming both site and creator of mysticism, spectacle, re-invention, and nostalgia. The cornerstones of our inquiry include the Castle (from Kafka to Havel), the Jewish Golem (from myth to modern tale), Amadeus (from Mozart to Hollywood), Alchemy (from Rudolf II's court to absinth), and the Outsider (from the Jewish ghetto to the Anglo-American expatriate community). Using these categories, among others, we move back and forth in time to understand the connections between past and present, and how the space of the city and its inhabitants have shaped one another. Our sources are varied: memoirs, travelogues, literature, comic books, guidebooks, and film. Ms. Bren.

Two 75 minute meetings

288b. Memory and Media (1)

(Same as History 288 and International Studies 288) In this course, we explore the complex relationship between memory and media. Representations of the past encompass competing claims of truth and moral value because the very act of remembering is necessarily mediated—we have no direct access to the past. This makes the medium through which memory and its representations are generated all the more important. For example, it was the film Shoah that prompted the first serious excavation of Holocaust memories; today, in the former Soviet Bloc, multimedia kitsch museums about communism are popular tourist sites; and the violent 1990s Yugoslav Civil War appears to have been as much about its journalists’ experiences as about its victims’. This course spotlights the European stage as a platform for discussing memory-making in relation to fascism, communism, and nationalism, but students are also encouraged to look further afield, as well as explore their own relations to memory. Through film, television, art, comic books, memorials, memoirs, and blogs—as well as student projects—students will examine memory as an active, value-laden process of reconstruction, and media as transmitter and shaper of multiple stories about the past, all contending for recognition, moral judgment, and emotional impact. Ms. Bren

Prerequisites: none

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

III. Advanced

300a or b. Senior Thesis or Project (1)

Optional for students concentrating in the program. Must be elected for student to be considered for Honors in the program.

Permission required.

301b. Special Topics in Jewish Studies (1)

Advanced study in selected aspects of Jewish Studies, emphasizing the multidisciplinary nature of the field. The seminar gives students the opportunity to develop their own scholarly work built around the common core of the topic for that year.

Not offered in 2010/11.

315a. Jews, Jewish Identity, and the Arts (1)

This course examines the relationship of Jews with the arts from ancient times through the postmodern period.

Topic for 2010/11: Jews and American Popular Culture. An exploration of the ways in which Jews have shaped American popular culture, and the ways they have been shaped by it. Our approaches will be historical, thematic, and theoretical, and our primary texts will be drawn from a variety of media. For example: films and the film industry (The Jazz Singer to Crossfire), television (The Goldbergs to Seinfeld), comics (Betty Boop and Superman to The X-Men and Maus), music (popular song from Irving Berlin to Abel Meeropol to So-Called; klezmer from Mickey Katz to Don Byron), theater (Fiddler on the Roof, from its inception in Sholem Aleichem stories to its Broadway incarnation; The Diary of Anne Frank, from diary to stage play), fashion (Yiddish fashion manuals to postmodern immigrant wear), and dolls (Barbie, of course). Among the issues we will consider: Jewish ethnic masquerade from blackface to redface to Jewface; the links between popular media, models of citizenship, and consumerist practices; diasporic identity and the transformative properties of media culture; the relation between outlaw and in-law cultures; and Jews, gender, and the American body. Mr. Antelyes.

320b. Studies in Sacred Texts (1)

Examination of selected themes and texts in sacred literature. May be taken more than once when content changes.

Topic for 2010/11 Satan (Same as Religion 320) Satan is a multifaceted symbol: a binary opposite for the ultimate good (however this is defined); a tricky lawyer whose job is to trip us up; a countercultural figure representing rebellion against hegemonic power, our feelings about that rebellion, or sometimes the power itself. In literature, rhetoric and the imagination, Satan is also a useful stand-in for our enemies, taking on their shape and opinions which sometimes look just like our own. In this seminar, we trace the development of the figure of Satan through biblical, early Jewish, early Christian, early modern and contemporary sources. Ms. LiDonnici.

Prerequisites: I unit at the 200 level or permission by the instructor.

340b. Women in the Classical Jewish Tradition (1)

Prerequisites: Jewish Studies 101, 201, Religion 150, or consent of the instructor.

Not offered in 2010/11.

350b. Confronting Modernity (1)

According to Jewish critic Vivian Gornick, Jewish literature is over because “there’s nothing to write about…There is no hyphenated Jewish experience anymore.” Yet, Jewish writers since Philip Roth and Saul Bellow have flourished and continued to write, and there’s never been a greater number of Jewish-themed texts and magazines and blogs and websites. So IS this really the end of Jewish literature? To answer this question, this course will examine Jewish writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, and explore how the grapple with the issue of the “hyphenated Jewish identity” in America. Authors will include Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Woody Allen, Allegra Goodman, Dara Horn, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Jonathan Rosen, Joan Leegant, Anne Michaels, Jonathan Wilson. We will also examine HEEB magazine, Nextbook website and blog, and the recent renaissance at the Jewish Daily Forward, America’s oldest Yiddish/English newspaper. Ms. N. Friedman

399a or b. Advanced Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite for all 300-level courses unless otherwise specified: 1 unit at the 200-level or permission of instructor.

Hebrew Language and Literature

I. Introductory

105a. Elementary Hebrew (1)

Introduction to the language. Basic phonics and grammatical structures. Stress on development of reading comprehension, simple composition, and conversational skills. For Hebrew 105, no background in the language is assumed; admission to Hebrew 106 is possible with the demonstration of previous work equivalent to Hebrew 105. Ms. Weitzman.

Year-long course, 105-106.

Open to all students.

106b. Elementary Hebrew (1)

Introduction to the language. Basic phonics and grammatical structures. Stress on development of reading comprehension, simple composition, and conversational skills. For Hebrew 105, no background in the language is assumed; admission to Hebrew 106 is possible with the demonstration of previous work equivalent to Hebrew 105. Ms. Weitzman.

Year-long course, 105-106.

Open to all students.

II. Intermediate

205a. Continuing Hebrew (1)

Formal study of Hebrew language with emphasis on oral practice and writing skills. Ms. Weitzman.

Prerequisite: Hebrew 105-106, or equivalent of two years in high school.

206b. Continuing Hebrew (1)

Formal study of Hebrew language with emphasis on oral practice and writing skills. Ms. Weitzman.

Prerequisite: Hebrew 105-106, or equivalent of two years in high school.

217. Film, Fiction and the Construction of Identity-- Israeli and Palestinian Voices (1)

221b. Voices from Modern Israel (1)

(Same as Jewish Studies 221 and Religion 221)

Prerequisite: One 100-level course in Jewish Studies or permission of instructor.

290. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

III. Advanced

305a. Advanced Readings in Hebrew: Genres and Themes (1)

Expansion of language proficiency through intensified study of culture and literary texts and examination of different Israeli media. Readings are arranged according to thematic topics and course may be repeated for credit if topic changes. Ms. Weitzman.

399a. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Note: A self-instructional introductory course in Yiddish language exists. See Self-Instructional Language Program (SILP).

Approved Courses

American Culture 275 Ethnicity and Race in America (1)

Classics 103 Crosscurrents: History and Culture of the Ancient Mediterranean (1)

English 326 Challenging Ethnicity (1)

Hebrew 105-106 Elementary Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 205 Continuing Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 298 Independent Work in Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 305 Advanced Hebrew (1)

History 214 The Roots of the Palestine-Israel Conflict (1)

History 231 France and its “Others” (1)

History 237 Germany, 1918-1990 (1)

History 337 The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany (1)

History 369 Social Reform and the Evolution of the Welfare State (1)

Religion 266 Religion in America (1)