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Fall 2024 Courses

Jewish Studies

JS 1010 – Judaism: An Introduction

Taught by TBD

Judaism from the ancient Near East to the present day. The Jewish life cycle. Varieties of Jewish practice throughout history. Interaction and dialogue with other religious communities, and the challenges posed by modernity in the wake of Jewish ‘enlightenment’ and political emancipation.


JS 1040 –Introduction to Modern Jewish History

Taught by Sam Finkelman

Meaning and origins of modern Jewish history from 1492. The diverse experiences of Jewish communities across the globe. Men’s and women’s redefinition of Jewish identity as they confronted modernity. Rise of secular rights for Jews but also of new forms of persecution. No credit for students who have earned credit for JS 1240.


JS 1111-01 –FYS –Jews & Muslims

Taught by Julia Cohen

Is there a history of Jews and Muslims beyond the violence that has characterized Israel/Palestine for the last century? Turning our focus to a time, not so long ago, when Jewish communities existed across the Middle East and North Africa, this class examines a neglected chapter of Muslim-Jewish relations. It is a history of Jews and Muslims who lived as neighbors, in cooperation as well as in conflict. We will explore the experiences of individuals who lived through periods of major upheavals (including the impact of colonialism, imperialism, nationalism and decolonization) in order to understand the effect these different processes had on inter-communal relations across time and space. Sources include personal narratives, religious queries, government documents, press excerpts, court records, and works of scholarship, to name just a few. Special attention will be given to critically reading these sources and honing writing skills. Five seats in this class are reserved for each of the three weeks of enrollment for first year students. The final enrollment limit will be 15.


JS 1111-12 –FYWS –Jews and Hollywood

Taught by Judy Klass

Immigrant Jews built the twentieth century movie industry as a patriotic U.S. fantasyland. We’ll examine how Jews created the Hollywood studio system and how Hollywood has chosen to represent and often not represent Jews. We will discuss roles in front of and behind the cameras. We’ll ask why Jewish characters virtually disappeared from American screens by the late 1930s. We will examine charges of Hollywood “collaboration” with Nazi Germany, and we’ll look at Holocaust refugees’ contributions to American film. We’ll also discuss the blacklisting of accused communists during the Cold War. We will conclude with contemporary popular film.


JS-2150: Issues in Rabbinic Culture

Taught by Re’ee Hagay

History of Rabbinic thought from its origins to the Middle Ages through the reading of central Rabbinic texts. Capital punishment, women in Rabbinic culture, sectarianism, and the power structures of Roman Palestine and Sasanian Babylonia. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic, but students  may earn only up to 6 credits per semester of enrollment.


JS 2250W: Witnesses Who Were Not There: Literature of the Children of Holocaust Survivors

Taught by Adam Meyer

Fiction and non-fiction produced by children of Holocaust survivors.


JS 2280: Jewish Humor

Taught by Judy Klass

The flowering of Jewish humor, especially in the U.S. during the twentieth century. Vaudeville, radio comedy, and the Golden Age of television. The careers and works of influential comics, writers and filmmakers, and the development of stand-up comedy. The effect of Talmudic disputes, Yiddish wordplay, and the history of Diaspora life upon secular Jewish comedians, essayists, playwrights, and fiction writers. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2280W


JS 2995: Antisemitism: A History

Taught by Ari Joskowicz

Pre-history and history of modern anti-Jewish sentiments and actions from the Middle Ages to the present; focus on Europe and the United States.



1101 – Elementary Hebrew

Taught by Mazalit Haim

Introduction to alphabet, the basics of grammar, and elementary conversation. Classes meet three times per week with an additional two hours a week required in the language laboratory.


2201 Intermediate Hebrew

Taught by Mazalit Haim

Introduction to modern Hebrew reading, conversation, advanced grammar, and conversation. Classes meet three times a week with an additional three hours a week spent in independent work in the language laboratory.