Course Descriptions

Judaic Studies

JDST 100
Introduction to Judaic Studies (GEP: AH or C; GFR: AH)  [3]
A survey of the Judaic experience and expression, including varieties of religious expression, philosophical issues, literary and artistic dimensions, the role of Jewish law, and the contemporary status of Jewish intellectual activity.

JDST 200
Israel and the Ancient Near East (GEP/GFR: AH or C)  [3]
A survey of the cultures of the ancient Near East including Assyria, Persia and especially the development of ancient Judaism. Note: Also listed as ANCS 200 and RLST 201.

JDST 201
Judaism in the Time of Jesus and Hillel (GEP/GFR: AH or C)   [3]
The history of Judaism and the Jewish people from the onset of Hellenism through the second Jewish revolt against the occupation by the Roman Empire. This formative period in the history of Judaism, of early Christianity, and of Jewish-Christian relations
is interpreted in light of extant primary and secondary literary and archaeological sources.  Note:  Also listed as ANCS 220 and RLST 202.

JDST 230
Introduction to the Bible (TaNaKH) (GEP: AH or C; GFR AH)   [3]
An examination of the structure and content of the Jewish Bible (the Torah, the Prophets and Writings). Topics include the Bible’s historical and socio-cultural background, translations, exegesis, and classical and contemporary commentaries. Prerequisite: JDST 100 or the consent of the instructor.

JDST 273
History of the Jews in Modern Times, From the Middle Ages to 1917 (GEP: SS or C;GFR: AH)  [3]
Political and socio-economic forces at work in Europe and within the Jewish community during this period. Hasidism and Enlightenment, Emancipation and Reform, The French and Russian Revolutions, Jewish existence in Eastern Europe, Zionism and Aliyah. Note: Also listed as HIST 273 and RLST 273.

JDST 274
Contemporary Jewish History: 1917 to the Present (GEP: SS or C; GFR: AH)  [3]
Jewish civilization in the twentieth century with attention to interwar years, the attempted destruction of European Jewry in World War II and the resistance of the Jews. Postwar issues are examined, including the Allies and the United Nations; the emergence of new centers in Europe and Israel; Jews in the former Soviet Union; Jewish identity struggle in America; post-Holocaust thought. Note: Also listed as HIST 274 and RLST 274.

JDST 290
Topics in Judaic Studies  [3]
Topics will be announced each semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

JDST 310
Modern Israel: The Land, Its People, Culture and Society (GEP: SS or C; GFR: C)  [3]
A multidisciplinary study of the historical background and current issues in the modern State of Israel. Topics may include physical and cultural geography; population demographics, immigration and absorption; religious and ethnic diversity; social and political structures; the economy and economic institutions including the Kibbutz and Moshav; the Israeli educational system and Israeli international relations.

JDST 311
Modern Israel in Film.
(GEP: N/A; GFR C)  [3]
From its founding to the present, films (features and documentaries) about Israel have shaped public opinion and been molded by it. The course explores issues and problems addressed by these films, and those which have been ignored. Prerequisite: JDST 100, 274 or consent of the instructor.

JDST 320
Literature of the Holocaust  [3]
An examination of the experiences of the Holocaust through works of poetry, drama, autobiography, and/or the novel. Most of the selections relate the Holocaust as it was experienced, after the writers translated those experiences into art, making their personal tragedies into recognizable truths. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of the instructor. Recommended: JDST 274.

JDST 321
Jewish Writing in World Literature (GEP/GFR: C)  [3]
This course will study the development of modern Jewish writing from its beginnings in the Yiddish works of Eastern Europe through its diasporic extension into Western Europe, North Africa, Latin America, North America and Israel.  Special attention will be given to the analysis of Jewish humor, in literature as well as other cultural forms, from the novels of Sholom Aleichem to the films of Woody Allen.   Jewish literary responses to the Holocaust also will be discussed.  This course will emphasize the cross-cultural nature of Jewish diasporic writing in its attachment both to common Jewish traditions and to diverse national, historical, geographical and linguistic contexts.

JDST 323
Survey of Modern Hebrew Literature (GEP/GFR: AH or C)  [3]
A survey of various forms of Hebrew literature in English translation from throughout the world since the 19th century. In addition, modern Hebrew literature is compared to, and contrasted with, premodern Hebrew literature and Yiddish literature. Prerequisite: An English or world literature course in any language at the 200 level or above or consent of the instructor.

JDST 330
Jewish Ethics  [3]
An examination of the sources on Jewish ethics; Jewish ethical analyses of issues in medicine, business, sexual behavior, and politics; Jewish approaches to dilemmas raised during the Holocaust. Prerequisite: JDST 100, or PHIL 150, or consent of the instructor.

JDST 340
Origins of Anti-Semitism (GEP: AH or C; GFR: AH)  [3]

The evolution of anti-Jewish sentiments in the pagan and later Christian world are examined along with images of the Jew as evil, devil consort and Christ-killer and the development and spread of myths about Jews such as their involvement in well-poisonings, the blood libel and host desecration. Study of the changes in beliefs in the modern era includes analysis of how pseudoscientific race theories produced the modern phenomena of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism.

JDST 370
History of the Jews in the United States (GEP/GFR: SS)  [3]
The history of the Jews in the United States from the earliest settlements to the present. The course focuses on political, economic, religious and cultural developments, anti-Semitism, and the rise of American Jewry to a position of leadership and responsibility in the world Jewish community. Special emphasis is placed on comparing and contrasting the American-Jewish historical experience with prior Jewish historical experiences in Europe. Prerequisite: One course in American or European history or permission of instructor.

JDST 371
The Jewish American Experience in Film (GEP/GFR: SS)  [3]
This course explores the experiences of Jews in twentieth century America as portrayed in film through various themes that have helped to shape American Jewish identity. By examining cinematic representations in light of historical background, students will evaluate stereotypes and fictional images presented of Jews. Students will acquire critical movie-viewing skills as well as insight into the contemporary popular Jewish imagination. Prerequisite: HIST 102, or JDST 274, or JDST 370, or permission of the instructor

JDST 373
History of the Holocaust (GEP: SS or C;GFR: SS)  [3]
An interdisciplinary examination of the attempted destruction of the Jews of Europe and their culture as well as the persecution of others on the basis of physical and emotional disabilities, ethnicity, politics, religion and sexual orientation at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators during W.W.II. The course will briefly survey the migration of Jews to Europe, the history of anti-Semitism and “scientific” racism, the circumstances in Europe that allowed the rise of the National Socialist movement and the pre-W.W.II Nazi policies of discrimination. It will then focus on the perpetrators, victims and bystanders of the “Final Solution” and conclude with an analysis of the legacy of the Holocaust. Note: Also listed as HIST 373. Prerequisite: Any 100-level social science course or junior/senior status.

JDST 390
Topics in Judaic Studies  [3]
Topics will be announced each semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

JDST 400
Special Study or Project in Judaic Studies  [1-3]

Tutorial or independent study, archival or empirical research or field placement. Note: May be repeated for credit.

JDST 410
Dynamics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict  [3]
The development of the Arab-Israeli conflict from its beginnings when Palestine was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. The growth of Arab nationalism and Zionism will be compared, as will the conflicting promises made by the British to both Zionists and Arab nationalists during World War I. A review of British rule over both Arabs and Zionists during the Palestine Mandate and an examination of the Arab-Israeli wars since 1948, the Camp David and Oslo peace processes, the Al-Aksa Intifadah and developments since then. The conflict is analyzed against the background of great power intervention in the Middle East, and the dynamics of intra-Arab politics, political Islam and oil. Prerequisites: One of the following: JDST 274, 310, POLI 280 or 373. Note: Also listed as POLI 485.

JDST 463
Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages  [3]
This course examines moments of contact and conflict between the three major monotheistic faiths of the medieval period: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Topics will include an examination of the scriptural foundations of the three faiths and their influence on topics such as law, violence, conversion, ritual, and legend. The course provides an overview of how individuals and leadership within the three faiths interacted with each other. Prerequisites: HIST 100, HIST 110, HIST 111, JDST 100, RLST 100 or 200- level course, or junior/senior standing, or permission of the instructor. Note: Also listed as HIST 463.

JDST 490
Topics in Judaic Studies  [1-4]

Topics, prerequisite and the number of credits will be announced each semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.


HEBR 101
Elementary Modern Hebrew I (GEP: NA: GFR: L )  [4]

An introduction to Hebrew as it is spoken and written today. Listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills are developed. Introductory exposure to Israeli society and culture is included.

HEBR 102
Elementary Modern Hebrew II  (GEP: NA: GFR: L )  [4]

Continuation of HEBR 101. The course focuses on extending Hebrew language skills. Additional exposure to Israeli society and culture. Prerequisite: HEBR 101 (with a grade of “C” or higher) or equivalent.

HEBR 201
Intermediate Modern Hebrew I  (GEP/GFR: Foreign Language 201 Proficiency)
Further development of listening comprehension and speaking skills, and increased emphasis on reading, writing and cultural knowledge. Focus on everyday life in Israeli society. Prerequisite: HEBR 102 (with grade of “C” or higher) or equivalent.

HEBR 202
Intermediate Modern Hebrew II  (GEP: C;GFR: L)  [4]

Reading, writing and oral use of Hebrew, with an emphasis on contemporary Israeli society. Prerequisite: HEBR 201 (with a grade of “C” or higher) or equivalent.

HEBR 301
Advanced Hebrew I  (GEP: C;GFR: L)  [3]

This advanced Hebrew language course focuses on sociocultural issues and current events in Israeli life as reflected in newspapers, contemporary journals and literature. Language will be developed through such class activities as reading, discussion, composition and oral presentations in Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 201 with a grade of “C” or better, or permission of instructor.

HEBR 302
Advanced Hebrew II  (GEP: AH or C;GFR: L)  [3]

This course is a continuation of HEBREW 301 with increased attention to the development of reading and writing skills. The evolution of Israeli culture will be traced through a survey of 20th century Hebrew literature. Class activities will include intensive reading, discussion and writing. A short critical paper will be required. Prerequisite: HEBR 301, or permission of instructor.

HEBR 323
Selected Hebrew Authors  (GEP: NA;GFR: L)  [3]

This course emphasis is on expansion of Hebrew language skills. Exploration of the work of one or two authors serves as the basis for more advanced work in Hebrew comprehension as well as in writing and speaking the language. Literary critique and analysis through class discussions and writing assignments will be the focus of class activities. The author(s) to be studied will be selected by the instructor. Authors such as S.Y. Agnon, C.N. Bialik, C. Hazaz, or A. Oz may be chosen. Prerequisite: HEBR 201, or permission of instructor