02417/Jewish Studies (J ST)

For Jewish Studies Majors and Minors: 2000 or lower division courses count as introductory courses towards your major or minor. 3000 and above upper division courses count as advanced courses. First and Second Year Hebrew language courses are no longer crosslisted with Jewish Studies although they are still required for the major and minor. Upper division language and literature courses in Hebrew also count as electives towards Jewish Studies majors and minors even if they are not crosslisted. All level Jewish culture courses count towards the Secular Jewish Studies Certificate. PLEASE NOTE: Hebrew is no longer housed with Greek and Roman Classics. Hebrew language and literature courses fall under the Critical Languages Department and are listed under the Hebrew section. Some of these are crosslisted with Jewish Studies and all of these classes are taught in English.

General Education

0802. Race & Identity in Judaism (3 s.h.) RCI: GD.

Investigate the relationship between race and Judaism from Judaism’s early period through today, looking both at how Jews have understood their own racial identity and how others have understood Jews’ racial identity. You will explore the idea of racial identity in Judaism in order to examine the complex network of connections between racism and anti-Semitism, as you read primary and secondary texts in Jewish philosophy and history and in the study of race and racism. We hope to illuminate these complex issues as well as to engage with them on a personal and political level, examining the relationship between issues of race, religion, identity, and social justice and injustice, and inquiring into how we, as informed citizens in a global society, can affect change for the better.

Note: This course fulfills the Race & Diversity (GD) requirement for students under GenEd and Studies in Race (RS) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed Religion 0802.

Upper Division Courses

2109. Jewish Voices in Russian Culture (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: English C050/1002/0802 or the equivalent.

Cross Listed with Russian 2109.

In this course we will study the Jewish experience in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and Post-Soviet Russia, with an emphasis on the 20th century, debunking many of the myths with which many students may have been familiar from the film “Fiddler on the Roof”. We will read, in translation, excerpts from memoirs, works of literature and history, and view films, with subtitles by Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, authors, poets, and filmmakers about what Russians have called “The Jewish Question” for more than two centuries. We will also take up issues of anti-Semitism and xenophobia and consider them in the context of European and American history.

2403. What is Judaism? (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: J ST 0110.)

Cross Listed with Religion 2403 (0224).

This course introduces students to the beliefs, rituals, customs, and practices of the Jewish people in a historical context through an analysis of a variety of religious, cultural, and political texts and artifacts.

2405. Introduction to Afro-Jewish Studies (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with African American Studies 2405, Religion 2405.

This course will introduce students to the study of African and African-Diaspora Jews. Students will examine and critically assess the various past and present methods used to study Africana Jewish communities. The research and readings will provide students with a basic introduction to Afro-Jewish history, culture and religion. It will also analyze the effects of race and racism on the construction of Afro-Jewish identities.

2408. Jewish Secularism/Jewish Civilization I (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 2501 (0180).)

Cross Listed with Religion 2408.

Judaism is most often studied as a religious entity, despite the fact that much of Jewish experience does not fit into the rubric and discourse of religion. This course will consider the history of the concept “secularism” and its development in modernity, and will then consider what secularism has meant for Jews in particular. This is the first course of a two-semester sequence. It treats the emergence of Judaism and Jewishness in the modern world, up to the 20th century. Students will be introduced to recent critical work on the construction of “Religion” in the Enlightenment and with it, the “secular/religious” binary. The course will historicize and contextualize the ways that despite Jewish adherence to the notion of Judaism as a religion in the West in the modern period, Jewishness has always exceeded the bounds of this definition. Building on recent work by Baird, Pellegrini and Jakobsen as they rethink “secularism” for the 21st century, students will be asked to rethink Jewish history in other than religious terms. This new conceptual material will provide the framework for reading the classic texts of modern Jewish thought produced up to the end of the 19th century.

2409. Jewish Secularism/Jewish Civilization II (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 2502 (0181).)

Cross Listed with Religion 2409.

Judaism is most often studied as a religious entity, despite the fact that much of Jewish experience does not fit into the rubric and discourse of religion. This course will consider the history of the concept “secularism” and its development in modernity, and will then consider what secularism has meant for Jews in particular. This is the second course of a two-semester sequence. It covers the development of Jewish thought and community life of the 20th century, starting with the massive wave of Eastern European Jewish immigration that has defined contemporary Judaism in America. We will discuss issues such as: the presumption of religious pluralism in America to the exclusion of other forms of cultural and social identification; and the roots of Yiddish Jewish Secularism in Eastern Europe and how this secular form of modern Jewish identification was unable to adapt itself to American cultural expectations about Jewishness as a religion. Through a careful reading of this particular secular Jewish movement and its demise in America, students will be asked to reconsider how contemporary notions of Jewishness as an ethnicity, a culture, a politics and a way of life continue to challenge dominant U.S. cultural definitions of Judaism as a religion, definitions that rely on Protestantism as the true model of “religion.” Students will be asked to reconsider how assimilation was played out in the West, in the U.S. as well as Western Europe in terms of religious toleration and the implications of this failed assimilation for contemporary Jewish practices of identification.

2447. Kabbalah and Mysticism (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: G+R CL 0147.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 2447 and Religion 2447.

Introduction to the basic concepts, worldview and psychology of the Kabbalah. Mystical experiences and spiritual practices of the Kabbalists are situated within the context of comparative mysticism.

2496. Introduction to the Bible (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: J ST W221.)

Cross Listed with Religion 2496 (W240).

Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. What is the Bible? Where did it come from? How can there be so many different interpretations of the Bible? An examination of the historical and religious background of the Hebrew Scriptures and the various kinds of literature in the Bible.

2705. Anti-Semitism/Holocaust/Racism (3 s.h.) S. RCI: RS.

(Formerly: J ST R234.)

Cross Listed with History 2705 (R108).

A history of anti-Semitism with a focus on the Holocaust and racism. This course will investigate the development and implementation of racial anti-Semitism in Germany and compare Nazi anti-Semitism with other forms of racism and anti-Semitism in Europe and America. It will also explore the connection between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the growth of neo-Nazism, and the complex relationship between American Jews and African Americans.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core Studies in Race (RS) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

2706. Jewish Diaspora/Survey of Jewish History (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0121.)

Cross Listed with History 2706 (0112).

Jewish history from the destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealth to the creation of the State of Israel. The course will examine minority status, migration, persecution, economic adaptation, gender roles in different environments, acculturation and identity. The survey includes: the medieval Jewish experience under both Christian and Islamic rule; the development of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the United States; the changing role of Jewish women; the rise of Zionism; and the Holocaust.

2779. Love Themes in Hebrew Literature (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0312.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 2779.

The development of the different love themes from the Song of Songs, through the golden age of Spain, Hebrew poetry in Italy, the Enlightenment, revival period, and Israeli literature. Among the themes will be great expectations, happiness and unity, and the happy hell of withered love. Changes in style, form, and content will be emphasized and recurring symbols will be discussed.

2797. Jewish Humor Past and Present (3 s.h.) S. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: J ST W233.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 2797.

The development of Jewish humor from the medieval period to the present. The course will focus on the different literary forms of wit and humor.

2900. Honors Special Topics (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST H090.)

Course content varies each semester. Honors students can obtain a description of the current version at the Jewish Studies office, Anderson Hall, Room 641.

3000. Topics in Jewish Studies (3 s.h.) F S SS.

(Formerly: J ST 0200.)

Course content varies each semester. Students can obtain a description of the current version at the Jewish Studies office, Anderson Hall, Room 641.

3082. Independent Jewish Studies (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0342.)

This is a course for advanced undergraduates to do sustained work with a professor they have already worked with in the program. The content and scope of the course is determined by the individual professor and the student with the approval of the director of Jewish Studies.

3085. Jewish Studies Internship (3 s.h.) F S.

(Formerly: J ST 0299.)

Prerequisite: Special authorization required for all students.

The Jewish Studies internship course is designed to enable Temple students to work in the Jewish community both to do hands-on work in a Jewish cultural, historical, communal or religious organization in Philadelphia’s vibrant Jewish community and do a research project on some aspect of their work. With the director of Jewish Studies, the students will work out a set of readings appropriate to their individual research project.

3182. Independent Study (1 to 4 s.h.)

Students make arrangements with faculty in their departments to take an individual program of study. Course is by arrangement. Contact department chair for information.

3221. Jewish Experience in America (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: J ST 0223.)

Cross Listed with History 3221 (0285).

This course considers the evolution of the Jewish community in the United States from its colonial beginnings to the present day. Topics include: the immigrant experiences of various waves of migration; the development of the major religious movements within Judaism: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist; the role of Jews in American life and politics; the changing roles of American Jewish women; American anti-Semitism; Black-Jewish relations; relationship between American Jews and Israel; assimilation and identity.

3225. The Image of the Jew in the Motion Picture (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0005.)

This course will vary by semester offering various approaches to issues of Jews and film. It will include topics such as: Eastern and Central European Jewish films; American Jews and Hollywood; films about Jews, Israeli film, and selected Jewish filmmakers and their works.

Note: Sometimes, depending on the topic, this course will be crosslisted with Hebrew or Religion.

3404. Dead Sea Scrolls (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with Religion 3404.

This class will introduce the students to the texts found in Qumran and their implications for the fields of Biblical studies and New Testament studies. In addition to reading the texts, the students will be introduced to archeology and the technological innovations that science has brought to bear in the reconstruction of the texts and in their publication.

3406. Women in Judaism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0333.)

This interdisciplinary course will explore issues of gender in various Jewish texts and practices. Using feminist theory it will ask questions about how normative notions of Jewish masculinity and femininity have been constructed in different texts from different historical periods. Students will engage in close readings of contemporary and ancient texts.

3407. Jews, America and Sports (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0237.)

Cross Listed with Religion 3407.

While Jews are often seen as “the people of the book,” they are also a “people of the body.” This course will locate sports in the history and sociology of American Jewish life. The first section will look at the history of Jews in relationship to athletics and body image. The course will then focus on the American experience to understand sports in the American context, looking not only at the major sports that Jews have been involved with (baseball, boxing, basketball and track), but also how immigration, urbanization, gambling, assimilation, and anti-Semitism have played roles in how Jews have been involved in sports. We will examine questions about ethnicity and race, gender (both masculinity and women’s participation) and class, and the business of sport. A third section will examine the arena of international affairs, especially the 1936 Olympics, and the role of sports in Israel, and the Israel-America relations as experienced through U.S. participation in the Maccabiah games. We will end by looking at sports in the Jewish imagination and the life of contemporary Jews through a study of business, literature and life experience. The course will encourage students to think in new ways about the Jewish connection to sports. It will require weekly writing assignments and several projects in the Philadelphia Jewish community.

3408. Israel in the Middle East (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: J ST 0232.)

Law, geography, education, religion, politics, eastern and western communities, and culture examined by experts in three fields.

Note: This course will be offered in English.

3411. The Philosophies of Judaism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0211.)

Cross Listed with Political Science 3411 (0270) and Religion 3411 (0225).

Close study of works by one or more Jewish and political philosophers, stressing their relevance to an understanding of contemporary politics and issues of Jewish identity, culture, and religion.

3571. Israel, History, Politics and Society (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: J ST 0331.)

Cross Listed with History 3571 (0230).

Development of Israel and its relationship with its Arab neighbors. Includes a discussion of the evolution of Zionism, the growth of Arab nationalism, the creation of the Jewish State, the plight of the Palestinian refugees, and an evaluation of peace prospects in the Middle East.

3711. Israelis and Palestinians (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: J ST 0141.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 3711.

The course explores the Israeli/Palestinian relationship, beliefs and feelings from the beginning of the 20th century till today, as it is represented in both Israeli and Palestinian literature and art. A strong emphasis is on the development of the image of the other in each group and its connection to self identity.

Note: The course will be conducted in English. Previously titled Mideast Literature in Translation.

3720. Topics in Hebrew Culture (3 s.h.) F S.

(Formerly: G+R CL 0261.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 3720.

Topics from Hebrew culture, which are of general and current interest based on reading Hebrew texts in translation. Lectures, audiovisual presentations, and large and small group work used to explore the significance of the texts.

3797. Literature and Art of the Holocaust (3 s.h.) F. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: J ST 0231.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 3797 (W279).

One of the main assumptions of the course is that the Holocaust, which was considered to be a Jewish catastrophe, is humanity’s catastrophe and affirmation of the bankruptcy and failing of western civilization. The literature of the Holocaust transmits the horrors and terrors in concentration camps, on the trains and in the snowy fields.

Note: The course will be offered in English.

3900. Honors Special Topics (3 s.h.) RCI: HO.

(Formerly: J ST H190.)

Course content varies each semester. Honors students can obtain a description of the current version at the Jewish Studies office, Anderson Hall, Room 641.

4096. Independent Study in Jewish Studies (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: J ST W342.)

Prerequisite: Special authorization required for all students.

Intensive study under individual guidance in a specific area suggested by the student and approved by the faculty advisor from the Jewish Studies faculty.

Note: Capstone course. This course is required for all Jewish Studies majors.

4406. Secular Study of Ancient Jewish History: Between the Torah and the Talmud (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: J ST 0360.)

Cross Listed with Religion 4406 (0362).

Ancient Jewish history is usually narrated as if Jews went directly from Torah to Talmud, with nothing in between. Such an account privileges the authoritative religious developments and the leadership first, of the priests who collated the core of the Torah, and second, of the early Rabbis, who collated the Mishnah, the earliest strata of the Talmud. This course explores the explosive and intriguing history between these two religious moments, and in doing so, rejects the religious chronology as the basis of historiography. The history and textual materials from these periods in Jewish History raise many of the perennial themes that have come to inform Jewish social life over the centuries. In fact, during this period in which Jews first become Jews, these issues arise for the first time: exile, political decentralization, disagreements between Jews about what constitutes the parameters of the Jewish community; peoplehood, nation, and the boundaries of group identity, intermarriage, conversion, and the movement of Jewish identity from a territory-based definition to an ethnic definition, to a definition based in piety.

4411. Secularism: Jewish and Muslim Women (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Students are strongly encouraged to have at least one upper level Jewish Studies, Religion or Women’s Studies course, more than one of these courses is preferred.

Cross Listed with Religion 4411 & Women’s Studies 4411.

In its three-hundred-year history as a Western concept, secularism is often defined as the opposite of religion. Religious women have alternately found western secularism to be a source of liberation (as it grants them greater civil rights) and a source of oppression (as it putatively shrinks the religious sphere). In creating feminisms through Jewish and Muslim experience, feminisms that are both secular and religious, these religious women have complicated the meanings of secularism. They have also challenged the notion that feminism is necessarily secular. This course looks at examples of Jewish and Muslim women’s lives and feminist thought in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. The course will compare and contrast the feminism of these two groups of religious women, in order to more fully understand the role of concepts like secularism, feminism, and religion.

4896. Modern Jewish History (3 s.h.) RCI: WI.

(Formerly: J ST W122.)

Cross Listed with History 4896 (W255).

This course considers the impact of modernity on Jews and Judaism in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. We will discuss the process of emancipation and assimilation; religious reform movements and modern Orthodoxy; the emergence of the Jewish New Woman; the involvement of Jews in liberalism, socialism and communism; the evolution of Zionism and the State of Israel; modern anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; and the complex issues relating to modern Jewish identity.

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