American Jewish History
Jewish Studies/History 449
Prof. Dr. Marc Dollinger
Fall Semester 2005 (3 units)
Phone: (415) 338-3160
Jewish Studies Program Office: HUM 416 (338-6075)
This course will:
- 1) provide a 350 year overview of American Jewish history.
- 2) explore the dominant themes in the field including immigration, anti-Semitism, regionalism, religion, and American exceptionalism.
- 3) compare and contrast issues of class, gender, ethnicity, and denomination in the American Jewish experience.
At the end of this semester, students should be able to:
- 1) identify the major themes in three different American Jewish historical epochs: the colonial era, nineteenth century, and twentieth century.
- 2) assess the impact of at least three major historiographic themes in each epoch.
- 3) compare and contrast figures from American Jewish history across class, gender, etc. lines.
Our course will begin with an exploration of Jews during the British Colonial Period. We continue our study of American Jews in the Revolutionary and Early National periods. We will investigate the impact of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and Natural Rights theory on Jews.
Our second unit will cover the immigration periods (Both German and eastern European). We will examine the changing and varied interactions between the new Jewish arrivals and the host society, looking at the industrial revolution, the role of anti-Semitism, Zionism, and Jewish social mobility.
The third unit focuses on the twentieth century. We will study the particular challenges of Jewish social workers in the 1930s, re-examine the history of American Jews during World War II and the Shoah, and conclude with a look at the Cold War and Jewish liberal involvement in the struggle for racial equality.
Unit Four, Turning Inward, examines the contemporary period. We will study the Jewish ethnic revival of the 1970s and 1980s and will explore the debate over affirmative action and revisit the American Jewish commitment to social justice.
Finally, we will look ahead to the Jew in twenty-first century American society.
This class meets on TR from 11:00-12:35 pm in HUM 286.
Office hours will be Tuesdays, 10:00-11:00 am, Thursdays 3:30-4:30 pm, and by appointment as necessary.
This is a challenging and fast-paced upper-division course. It demands your focused attention and commitment to prepare yourself for each class session. Since I adopt a student-centered learning approach, our discussions, and our class experience, rise and fall according to the level of student interest and knowledge. This promises to be one of the most exciting and interesting courses of your college career. Please help make it great by respecting your classmates and instructor: keep up with the reading!
English 114 is a pre-requisite for this course. If you have any sort of anxiety about writing papers, I am available and interested in helping you develop your thoughts. Please drop by office hours or schedule a special appointment! Critical writing skills are basic to any successful college career. I want to help ensure that you learn them.
Segment III Cluster:
This course is part of the General Education Segment III Cluster entitled “Jewish Experience.” To receive Segment III credit for this course, students must complete the cluster as described in the Class Schedule and Bulletin, including the requirement that they must have earned 60 units by the end of the semester in which they take the course. Segment III courses are required to include a minimum of 10 pages of writing that will be submitted to and corrected by the professor.
JS 449/HIST 449 fulfills one-third of your Jewish Experience cluster within category B. In other words, you are just two (count them 1….2…) classes from completing a segment III cluster. To help you in your class scheduling, you may wish to consider enrolling in either Jewish Social Responsibility (Fall, category A) or Modern Jewish History (Spring, category B).
This course adopts a thematic and analytic approach. We will follow a basic six-step approach to critical reasoning: read, think, write, discuss, rethink, rewrite. You are encouraged to engage one another (and your instructor), think critically about your own conclusions, challenge yourself in front of that blank page (or computer screen), and gain new insights in the process. Our priority is learning; testing is merely a means to that end. Therefore, you can look forward to self-directed writing as the exclusive testing vehicle in the class.
We will cover a great deal of material in just 15 weeks. While we will devote much class time to open discussion, there is no substitute for regular sustained interaction with your classmates. Educational research shows that study groups improve a student’s chances for success. Get together with your new friends outside of class. Debate and argue with one another and then bring your discussion group to office hours. If you wish, I will help you with the administrative details.
All cellular phones and pagers must be turned off during class. Recording devices are forbidden from class as well. There is no substitute for good note taking skills.
Each and every student will receive, on free loan, copies of the books required for the course. This is made possible through the Richard and Rhoda Goldman endowment in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility and is intended to make learning more accessible to SFSU students. Enjoy!
You may, of course, purchase your books at any local bookseller, through the internet, or from the instructor at the end of the course.
- · Hasia Diner, The Jews of the United States
- · Marc Dollinger, Quest for Inclusion
- · Neil Gabler, An Empire of Their Own
- · Ava F. Kahn and Marc Dollinger, California Jews
- · Robert Michael, A Concise History of American Anti-Semitism
- · Pamela Nadel and Jonathan Sarna, Women and American Judaism
- · Jack Salzman and Cornel West, Struggles in the Promised Land
- · All other articles and chapters can be found on e-reserve
- · Analytic Paper 3 @ 25 pts. 75 pts.
- · Group Leader 2 @ 5 pts. 10 pts.
- · Reading Critiques 5 @ 2 pts. 10 pts.
- · Attendance and Participation 5 pts.
- · Total 100 pts.
- · 90-100 A
- · 80-89 B
- · 70-79 C
- · 60-69 D
- · 0-59 F
The basic requirements for this course provide sufficient challenge. An enterprising pre-law student might even consider further demands on your time a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore, no extra credit will be granted.
Each student will prepare three different 5-7 page papers. Since you will decide which subject interests you, you will, in effect, choose your own due date. Students will be able to choose a question based on that day’s reading (and with the instructor’s permission).
Paper revision policy:
Since the goal of this class is to learn, you are encouraged to rewrite your paper. This will give you the opportunity to digest my comments and those of your classmates during your day leading the class discussion. I have found that most learning occurs during the revision process and I want to make it as easy and rewarding as possible.
Students who wish to revise their paper may do so provided the following three conditions are met:
I will count the higher grade. You are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to both improve your writing skills and your final grade for the course. You can rewrite your papers as many times as you wish as long as the above conditions are met.
- 1. You include the original paper with the revision.
- 2. You come to office hours to discuss the revision.
- 3. You turn in your revised copy within three weeks of its initial return to you.
Twice in the course of the semester, you will be the designated group leader. You will be responsible to give that day’s reading extra attention and be prepared to launch our class discussion on the subject. It has been my experience that students prepare better (and discuss more freely) when their peers lead the discussion. I will take the last 20 minutes to ensure that the course objectives for that class have been met.
Typically, a student discussion reader will prepare a handout for the class. It might contain interesting quotations from the reading, questions to consider, charts or graphs you’ve created to best convey the material, vocabulary words that you think may be a challenge for your classmates, etc. Feel free to be as creative as you wish, provided that you make sure the course content is covered in the process.
You will get to select the days on which you serve as group leader.
Plagiarism occurs when a student misrepresents the work of another as his or her own. Plagiarism may consist of using the ideas, sentences, paragraphs, or the whole text of another without appropriate acknowledgement, but it also includes employing or allowing another person to write or substantially alter work that a student then submits as his or her own. Any assignment found to be plagiarized will be given an “F” grade. All instances of plagiarism in the College of Humanities will be reported to the Dean of the College, and may be reported to the University Judicial Affairs Officer for further action. (Quotation taken from “College of Humanities Plagiarism Resources”).
In case of emergency, the SFSU campus police telephone number is either 911 or 8-2222.
Tutoring is available from the SFSU Learning Assistance Center (LAC) as well as from the instructor during office hours. The LAC is located is HSS 348. Their number is 338-1993.
I wish to make this course as accessible as possible to students with disabilities or medical conditions that may affect any aspect of course assignments or participation. You are invited to communicate with me at the outset of the course or at your discretion about any accommodations that will improve your experience of or access to the course. You can also contact the Disability Resource Center at 338-2472 (Voice/TDD).
Jewish Studies and our Learning Community:
The success of our class depends on our ability to create an inclusive and safe learning community for all students. In any given class, we can usually count students with a high level of Jewish knowledge as well as those for whom this class is their first formal exposure to Jewish learning. We will have students who identify as Jews as well as those who do not. We might also enjoy students from a variety of denominational, political, and theological perspectives, Jewish and non-Jewish. In order to respect your classmates and improve your own learning experience, I ask that you open your minds to new and different perspectives. This is a place for intellectual discovery and I would like each of you to take advantage of it.
- · Thursday, August 25, 2005
- · Lesson: Introduction
- · Reading: Pamela Nadell and Jonathan D. Sarna, Introduction to Women and American Judaism (WAJ)
- · Tuesday, August 30, 2005
- · Lesson: Historiography
- · Reading: Robert M. Seltzer, “Introduction: The Ironies of American Jewish History,” appearing in Robert M. Selzter and Norman J. Cohen, editors, The Americanization of the Jews, NYU Press, 1995, pp. 1-16.
- · Jonathan D. Sarna, Introduction to The American Jewish Experience, p. xiii-xix
- · Paula E. Hyman, The Normalization of American Jewish History,” American Jewish History, special 350th edition (AJH 350th)
- · Hasia Diner, Introduction, The Jews of the United States (JUS).
Unit I: The Colonial Period
- · Thursday, September 1, 2005
- · Lesson: Colonial Era: Overview
- · Reading: JUS, chapter 1, pp. 13-40
- · Holly Snyder, “Queens of the Household: The Jewish Women of British America, 1700-1800,” appearing in Women and American Judaism (WAJ).
- · Robert Michael, A Concise History of American Anti-Semitism, (CHAAR), skim chapter 1, read chapter 2.
- · Optional Reading: Aviva Ben-Ur, “The Exceptional and the Mundane: A Biographical Portrait of Rebecca Machado Phillips, 1746-1831,” appearing in WAJ, pp. 46-80.
- · Tuesday, September 6, 2005
- · Lesson: American Revolution
- · Reading: Diner, JUS, chapter 2
- · Ralph Lerner, Believers and the Founders’ Constitution,” appearing in Alan Mittleman, et al, Jews and the American Public Square: Debating Religion and Republic.
- · Richard B. Morris, “The Role of the Jews in the American Revolution in Historical Perspective.”
Unit 2: The Nineteenth Century
- · Thursday, September 8, 2005
- · Lesson: A Century of Migration in the East
- · Reading: JUS, chapter 3
- · Gerald Sorin, “Mutual Contempt, Mutual Benefit,” AJH, vol. 81, n. 1.
- · Jacob Katz, Toward Modernity, p. 247-267
- · Tuesday, September 13, 2005
- · Lesson: Migration and Regionalism
- · Reading: JUS, chapter 4
- · Ava F. Kahn and Marc Dollinger, California Jews, (CAJEWS), introduction, chapter 2.
- · William Toll, “From Domestic Judaism to Public Ritual: Women and Religious Identity in the American West,” appearing in WAJ, pp. 128-147.
- · MI Greenberg, “Becoming Southern,” AJH, vo. 86, no. 1.
- · Thursday, September 15, 2005
- · Lesson: Colonial Era: Primary Source Documents
- · Guest Lecturer: Laura Rosenzweig, Doctoral Candidate, American Jewish History, UC Santa Cruz
- · Tuesday, September 20, 2005
- · Lesson: Gender and Jewish Life, 1820-1920
- · Reading: Karla Goldman, “The Public Religious Lives of Cincinnati’s Jewish Women,”WAJ
- · William Toll, From Domestic Judaism to Public Ritual: Women and Religious Identity in the American West,” WAJ
- · Eric Goldstein, “Between Race and Religion: Jewish Women and Self-Definition in Late-Ninteenth Century America,” WAJ
- · Thursday, September 22, 2005
- · Lesson: A Century of Jewish Politics
- · Reading: Diner, JUS, chapter 5
- · Dianne Ashton, “Shifting Veils: Religion, Politics, and Womanhood in the Civil War Writings of American Jewish Women,” appearing in WAJ, pp. 81-106
- · Tuesday, September 27, 2005
- · Lesson: Anti-Semitism, 1861-1917
- · Reading: Michael, CHAAS, chapters 3-4
- · Thursday, September 29, 2005
- · Lesson: American Zionism, 1880-1920
- · Reading: Joyce Antler, “Zion In Our Hearts: Henrietta Szold and the American Jewish Women’s Movement,” appearing in AJWH.
- · Jonathan D. Sarna, “A Projection of America as It Ought To Be: Zion in the Mind’s Eye of American Jews,” appearing in Gal, Envisioning Israel.
- · Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Unit 3: The Twentieth Century
- · Thursday, October 6, 2005
- · Lesson: Scientific Racism and the Gilded and Progressive Eras
- · Reading: Eric L. Goldstein, “Different Blood Flows in Our Veins,” AJH. Vol. 85, no. 1
- · Eric Goldstein, “The Unstable Other: Locating the Jew in Progressive-Era Racial Discourse, “ AJH, vol. 89, no. 4.
- · Beth S. Wenger, “Mitzvah and Medicine: Gender, Assimilation, and the Scientific Defense of “Family Purity,” appearing in WAJ, p. 201-222.
- · Tuesday, October 11, 2005
- · Lesson: Guest Lecture, Dr. Steven Bayme
- · Thursday, October 13, 2005
- · Tuesday, October 18, 2005
- · Thursday, October 20, 2005
- · Lesson: At Home and Beyond, 1920s
- · Reading: JUS, chapter 6
- · Tuesday, October 25, 2005
- · NO CLASS-SHEMINI AZERET
- · Thursday, October 27, 2005
- · Lesson: Hollywood and the Jews, 1920-1940
- · Reading: Neil Gabler, An Empire of Their Own, TBA
- · CAJEWS, chapter 8
- · Tuesday, November 1, 2005
- · Lesson: The New Deal
- · Reading: Dollinger, QFI, chapter 1
- · Point/Counterpoint, Dollinger and Alexander, AJH, Vol. 90, No. 2.
- · Thursday, November 3, 2005
- · Tuesday, November 8, 2005
- · Lesson: Anti-Semitism in the Inter-war period
- · Reading: CHAAS, chapter 5
- · Dollinger, QFI, chapters 2, 3
- · Thursday, November 10, 2005
- · Lesson: World War II
- · Reading: Dollinger, QFI, chapter 4, 5
- · CAJEWS, ch. 9
- · Tuesday, November 15, 2005
- · Lesson: Jews and the Shoah
- · Reading: CHAAS, chapter 6
- · Henry L. Feingold, “Was There Communal Failure? Some Thoughts on the American Jewish Response to the Holocaust.” AJH, vo. 81, no. 1.
- · Rafael Medoff, “New Perspectives on How America, and American Jewry, Responded to the Holocaust,” AJH, vol. 84, no. 3.
- · Thursday, November 17, 2005
- · Lesson: The Civil Rights Movement
- · Reading: JUS, chapter 7
- · Debra Shultz, “Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” AJWH.
- · Bill Issel, CAJEWS, ch. 10
- · Optional Reading: Joyce Antler, “Justine Wise Polier and the Prophetic Tradition,” appearing in WAJ, pp. 268-290.
- · Jonathan Kaufman, “Blacks and Jews: The Struggles in the Cities,” appearing in Jack Salzman and Cornel West, Struggles in the Promised Land, chapter 6
- · Deborah Dash Moore, “Separate Paths: Blacks and Jews in the Twentieth Century South,” appearing in Jack Salzman and Cornel West, Struggles in the Promised Land, chapter13
- · Tuesday, November 22, 2005
- · Lesson: Civil Rights Movement: A Primary Source Reader
- · Reading:Dollinger, QFI, chapters 7
- · Dollinger and Zola, The Civil Rights Movement in Primary Sources
- · Thursday, November 24, 2005
Unit 4: Turning Inward
- · Tuesday, November 29, 2005
- · Lesson: The Great Society
- · Reading:Marc Dollinger, “The Other War: American Jews, Lyndon Johnson, and The Great Society,” AJH, vol. 89, no. 4, p. 437-462.
- · Jerome A. Chanes, “Affirmative Action: Jewish Ideals, Jewish Interests,” appearing in Jack Salzman and Cornel West, Struggles in the Promised Land, chapter 14
- · Theodore M. Shaw, “Affirmative Action: African American and Jewish Perspectives,” appearing in Jack Salzman and Cornel West, Struggles in the Promised Land, chapter 15
- Optional Reading: QFI, chapter 8
- · Thursday, December 1, 2005
- · Lesson: Turn Inward: Jews, Black Power and the Left
- · Reading: JUS, chapter 8
- · Dollinger, CAJEWS, ch. 13
- · Dollinger, “Until We Can Fight As Generals,” Casden Institute.
- · Waldo E. Martin, Jr., “Nation Time!” Black Nationalism, The Third World, and Jews,” appearing in Jack Salzman and Cornel West, Struggles in the Promised Land, chapter 16
- · Tuesday, December 6, 2005
- · Lesson: American Zionism in the Post-war Period
- · Reading: “American Jews and Israel,” The Jewish Role in American Life, vol. 2.
- · Lawrence Grossman, “Transforming through Crisis: The American Jewish Community and the Six-Day War,” AJH, vol. 86, no. 1.
- · Thursday, December 8, 2005
- · Lesson: Contemporary Jewish Life
- · Reading: Deborah E. Lipstadt, “Feminism and American Judaism: Looking Back at the Turn of the Century,” appearing in WAJ, p. 291-308.
- · Steven M. Cohen, “Jewish Continuity over Judaic Content: The Moderately Affiliated American Jew,”appearing in Robert M. Selzter and Norman J. Cohen, editors, The Americanization of the Jews, NYU Press, 1995, pp. 395-416.
- · Egon Mayer, “From an External to an Internal Agenda,” appearing in Robert M. Selzter and Norman J. Cohen, editors, The Americanization of the Jews, NYU Press, 1995, pp. 417-435.