HJS 600 History of the Jews in the Middle Ages (Annual)
Social, economic, political. and intellectual history of medieval Jews, particularly in the major European centers. Emphasis is placed on developments in law, philosophy, poetry and mysticism. Topics include: the status of Jews under Christianity and Islam; communal organization and economic activity; Jews in European culture; Jewish-Christian polemics; controversy regarding the study of philosophy; crusades and martyrdom; expulsion, Marranism; Sabbatianism; and transition to the modern period. 3 credits.
HJS 601 History of the Jews in Modern Times (Annual)
A survey of modern Jewish history from the French Revolution to World War 1. Major developments are analyzed in light of political, social and ideological currents and trends. Emphasis is placed upon the emergence of diverse expressions of Jewish religious and secular identity. Topics include: the Enlightenment and emancipation; Wissenschaft des Judentums; rise of Reform Judaism; the Positive-Historical School: Neo-Orthodoxy; eastern Haskalah; Volozhin and the Yeshiva movement; Mussar movement; Jewish socialism; political and racial anti-Semitism; migrations; Hibbat Zion and Zionism. 3 credits.
HJS 602 History of the Geonim and their Yeshivot (Upon Request)
The Babylonian Jewish community and its institutions from the beginning of the Geonic era until the passing of Rav Hai (1038). The Geonim as successors of the Amoraim, as arch champions of the Babylonian Talmud and as predecessors of the Rishonim in Europe. 3 credits.
HJS 607 Development of Post-Talmudic Literature (Upon Request)
An examination of Jewish legal literature from the close of the Talmud until the 14th century. The course will analyze the authorship, content and methodology of specific works, and assess the purpose of these works. Readings will include: R. Hai Gaon, R. Yitzchak Alfasi, R. Yonatan m’Lunel, Rashi, Ri Migash, Maimonides, Nahmanides, Rashba and Ritvah. 3 credits.
HJS 609 History of the Rabbinate in the Middle Ages (Upon Request)
A study of the emergence of an ordained, professional rabbinate in the Middle Ages. Topics include: sources related to the institution of rabbinic ordination; the 16th century semikha controversy; rabbis as educators; the rabbinate in Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities. 3 credits.
HJS 610 Ashkenazic Jewry in the Middle Ages (Biennial)
A study of the political status, economic foundations, communal organization. family structure, educational ideals and reality as well as the intellectual activities of Ashkenazic Jewry in the Middle Ages. Emphasis placed on the primary sources of the period. 3 credits.
HJS 612 Italy: Conduit of Medieval Jewish Culture (Biennial)
A study of the sources of Italian Jewish history highlighting Italian Jewry's role as a transmitter of Jewish culture and its characteristic blend of materials and forms. Topics include: the beginning of Italian Jewish civilization and the varieties of Italian Jewish literary creativity during the early and late Renaissance, with attention paid to such figures as Anatoli, Recanati, Shibbolei Haleket and Azariah de Rossi. 3 credits.
HJS 615 The Church and the Jews (Upon Request)
This course will examine the range of Christian attitudes to Jews and Judaism over the centuries, from the first century to our own time. It will focus on major events and themes. These include the foundational teachings of Paul and the Church Fathers; the growth of the Western Church; the First Crusades; forced disputations; late medieval demonization of the Jews; the impact of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations; the emergence of the ideas of tolerance; and the issuing of “Nostra Aetate” (Vatican II). 3 credits.
HJS 618 The Controversy Over the Study of Philosophy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (Upon Request)
An examination of the controversy in Spain and Provence, exploring the varied positions of proponents and opponents of Maimonides' writings, and the roles of Rashba and Hameiri. 3 credits.
HJS 619 The Jews of Early Modern Europe (Annual)
This course will deal with a period of major transformation in European Jewish life, from 1492 to 1750. It will focus on changes in Jewish-Christian relations, the impact of modern state-building on Jewish existence, and currents in Jewish thought and social life. Throughout, it will entail an examination of different patterns of development within Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and Italianate Jewish communities, as well as the interaction between members of these sub-groups. 3 credits.
HJS 620 History of the Conversos in Spain and Portugal (Upon Request)
This course focuses on the key dynamics of change within the population of Conversos from Spain and Portugal over the course of three hundred years, from 1391 to the end of the seventeenth century. The course will consider major controversies among scholars regarding who the Conversos ‘really’ were, and examine the creation of a diaspora of ex-conversos who rejoined, or established Jewish communities outside Iberian lands. 3 credits.
HJS 630 Messianic Ideas and Movements (Biennial)
Survey of messianic ideas and movements in Jewish history, with emphasis on medieval developments and their significance. Topics include: messianic movements under Islam; messianism in medieval Jewish philosophy, especially the writings of Maimonides; the impact of the Spanish expulsion; David Reubeni and Solomon Molkho; Lurianic Kabbalah; Sabbatianism and Hasidism. 3 credits.
HJS 632 Readings in Jewish Historical Literature: From the Second Temple Period to the Spanish Inquisition (Biennial)
A study of Jewish historical writing from the Second Temple period to the Spanish expulsion in 1492. Readings include the Letter of Aristeas, Josephus, Iggeret Rav Sherira Gaon, Sefer Josippon, Sefer ha-Kabbalah, Crusade Chronicles and writings of the Spanish Inquisition. Attention is paid to the question of medieval Jewish attitudes toward the study and meaning of history. 3 credits.
HJS 633 Readings in Jewish Historical Literature: From the Sixteenth Century to the Modern Period (Biennial)
A study of Jewish historical writing from the works of sixteenth century authors including Solomon ibn Verga, Joseph ha-Kohen, Samuel Usque and Azariah de Rossi, to the diary of Gluckel of Hameln and Nathan Hannover’s Yeven Metzulah, to the writings of the Wissenschaft des Judenthum in the nineteenth century. (3 credits)
HJS 634 History of the Jews in Eastern Europe, 1772-1917 (Biennial)
A survey of the social, political, religious, and intellectual history of the Jews in Russia and Poland from the partitions of Poland to the Russian Revolution. Topics include: the legacy of the Polish commonwealth; Hasidism and traditional Jewish society; Jews in Russia, Galicia, Congress Poland and Posen; Alexander II, the great reforms and the flourishing of Haskalah; emancipation in Poland, Austria and Prussia; social and economic transformations; the rise of Jewish nationalism; socialist, autonomist, and revolutionary ideologies; beginnings of migration; Hebrew and Yiddish literature; traditional Jewish life and the emergence of an orthodoxy; constitution, war, and revolution. 3 credits.
HJS 635 History of Early Hasidism (Biennial)
An examination of the social, economic and religious context which gave rise to Hasidism. The course will include: an analysis of the tales related to the Baal Shem Tov and disciples of the Besht; a study of the formation of a Hasidic movement; Mitnagid opposition to Hasidism; Hasidic customs and fundamental ideas of Hasidism, including the Zaddik and Devekut. 3 credits.
HJS 636 Reform and Counter-Reform (Annual)
A detailed examination based on original sources of the theological, halakhic, and social issues which shaped the early reform movement in Germany, Hungary, England and the United States; Orthodox reaction and response as mirrored in periodical and responsa literature; internal development and transformation of attitudes within the reform movement; contemporary trends. 3 credits.
HJS 637 Jewish Historical Scholarship in Poland: 1918-1939 (Biennial)
An examination of the various ways in which a sense of national mission shaped the intellectual contours of Jewish historical scholarship in interwar Poland. The course focuses upon the writings of Schipper, Schorr, Balaban, Mahler, Friedman and Ringelblum. 3 credits.
HJS 638 The Holocaust (Annual)
A seminar on the destruction of European Jewry during the years 1939-1945. Topics include: antisemitic and racist antecedents; the rise of the Nazi dictatorship; implementation of the "Final Solution”; Jewish responses to the catastrophe; reactions to Nazism in the free world, and post-World War II legacies. 3 credits.
HJS 639 History of Anti-Semitism (Biennial)
An examination and analysis of the historical and cultural roots of antisemitism from ancient times until the present, concentrating on religious, sociological, economic and philosophical expressions. 3 credits.
HJS 640 The Rise of Modern Israel (Annual)
The emergence of Zionism during the years 1880-1948 is examined with an emphasis on the major ideologues of the movement and factors which ultimately led to the creation of the State of Israel. 3 credits.
HJS 642 Israel and the International Protection of Human Rights (Annual)
The seminar will address the development of international human rights law and politics from the end of the Holocaust until today. Our focal point will be the application and impact of these developments on the state of Israel. Particular attention will be paid to the United Nations system. The course will include a visit to one or more UN meetings. 3 credits.
HJS 645 Jewish Life in Europe after the Holocaust: Community and Memory (Annual)
This course will examine Jewish experiences in postwar Europe, exploring social, religious, and cultural issues confronting survivors as they attempted to rebuild their personal lives and communal institutions in Eastern and Central Europe and in the DP camps. 3 credits.
HJS 646 Jewish Communities of the World (Annual)
An exploration of the cultural, social, political and religious character and needs of Jewish communities, large and small, throughout the world, in light of their individual histories. 3 credits.
HJS 647 Varieties of Jewish Memoir Literature: From the Late Middle Ages to the Modern Period (Biennial)
The course explores different forms of Jewish self-writing from the middle ages to the modern period. We will read letters, diaries and autobiographical texts from both Western and Eastern Europe. The Jewish works will be analyzed within their wider social and cultural context. Readings include letters of Rabbi Yom Tov Lippman Heller, the autobiography of Leon of Modena, writings of 16th century mystics, diaries of R. Chaim Yoseph David Azulai and Rabbi Moshe Sofer. 3 credits.
HJS 652 American Jewry in the Twentieth Century (Upon Request)
Seminar on the American Jewish experience from the East European migration to the present. Topics include: acculturation; novel forms of communal life; assimilation; the growth of American Zionism; non-Jewish perspectives, and contemporary issues of concern. 3 credits.
HJS 654 Religious Issues in American Jewry (Biennial)
An examination of religious matters in American Jewish life from colonial times to the present, reflected in responsa, periodical literature and other primary sources. Issues will include: religious Reform and Orthodox responses to Reform; attitudes to the Zionist movement; Conservative / Reconstructionist Judaism; Modern Orthodoxy; Hasidism and the “Yeshiva world” in post-war America. 3 credits.
HJS 660 Topics in Jewish History (Annual)
An analysis of currents in medieval and modern Jewish history through readings of selected texts. Sample topics: Jews in the Muslim World: 15th-20th Centuries; Diasporas, Networks and Urban Centers in the Jewish World from the 15th to the 20th Centuries; The Art of the Other: Jews in Medieval and Modern European Art; Jews and Art; The War Against the Talmud; Jewish Autobiographies in 19th and 20th Century Eastern Europe; The Holocaust through the Lens of Documentary Films; Holocaust and Halakhah; Historiography of the Holocaust; French Jewry, 1806-1905; Religion and State: Israel - A Case Study. 3 credits.
HJS 661 Aggadah and its Medieval Commentators (Biennial)
The attitude of Rishonim toward aggadot Hazal, how the commentators distinguished among various types of aggadot, and how they put their theory into practice in the form of commentary on the aggadot. Among the Rishonim whose views and approaches will be studied are R. Abraham ibn Ezra, Rambam, Ramban, Rashba, and R. Menahem Hame'iri. Special emphasis on the place that aggadah and its interpretation occupied in the world outlook of halakhists, philosophers, and kabbalists in the Middle Ages. 3 credits.
HJS 662 Abot Commentaries as a Source of Jewish History (Upon Request)
Studies in the history of interpretation of passages in tractate Abot, as barometers of trends and developments in Jewish intellectual and social history. 3 credits.
HJS 663 Topics in the History of Halakhah (Annual)
Text-based analysis of topics related to the development and literature of halakhah, with emphasis upon the medieval and modern periods. Sample topics include: History of Prayer; Methodologies of Arukh Ha-Shulchan and Mishnah Berurah; Halakhic Literature of the Sixteenth Century; Pluralism and its Limits in Jewish Legal Theory. 3 credits.
HJS 665 From Synopsis to Code: A History of Halakhic Literature (Biennial)
A history of the medieval halakhic literature from Geonic times: methods and styles of codification and Talmudic exegesis, literary style and influences, genres and their spread. 3 credits.
HJS 666 History of Jewish Ethical Literature (Upon Request)
A survey of Jewish ethical writings from post-talmudic to modern times. Authors studied include Maimonides, R. Bahya ibn Pakuda, R. Judah the Pious, R. Jonah Gerondi, R. Moses Luzzatto, and R. Israel Salanter. Emphasis is placed on the role of ethical literature in Jewish intellectual history. 3 credits.
HJS 667 History of Minhagim (Biennial)
This course will examine the historical and social development of minhag within the body of rabbinic literature. We will investigate the place and status of minhag in halakhah as well as its role as a historical source of law. The analysis will focus on such principles as minhag mivatel halakhah, minhag Yisrael din and minhag avotenu biyadenu. Illustrative examples of specific customs will be explored, including minhagim such as mourning rites during sefirat haomer, the times when women are exempt from work, kapparot, beards, and customs related to the holiday of Shavuot, bar and bat mitzvah and Sefer Torah. 3 credits.
HJS 668 Individual Reading and Research (Annual)
Credits by arrangement.
HJS 670 Methods Seminar - The Use of Historical Sources (Annual)
Close analysis of texts, with emphasis on proper utilization of primary source material, general and specific methodological problems in the study of Jewish history, currents in recent scholarship, and practical use of bibliographical and research aids. 3 credits.
HJS 672 Research Seminar (Annual)
Students pursue guided research into the sources of Jewish history and formally present the results of their investigations in class for discussion and critical evaluation. 3 credits.
PJS 600 Religion and Philosophy in Medieval Judaism (Biennial)
Study of the framework and basic concerns of medieval Jewish thought as expressed in the works of R. Saadiah Gaon, R. Bahya ibn Pakuda, R. Judah Halevi, Maimonides, and R. Joseph Albo. Themes include: faith and reason, prophecy, miracles, free will, dogma, reasons for the commandments, ethics, and prayer. Differing attitudes toward the value of philosophy will be analyzed, and attention paid to relevant writings of Islamic and Christian thinkers. 3 credits.
PJS 602 Modern Jewish Philosophy (Upon Request)
Study of the framework and basic concerns of modern Jewish philosophy as developed in the works of such thinkers as Franz Rosenzweig, Emil Fackenheim, A.J. Heschel and Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Themes include: the human-divine relationship, philosophy of halakhah and mitzvot, covenant, faith, post-holocaust theology and Jewish peoplehood. 3 credits.
PJS 615 Reasons for the Commandments in Medieval Jewish Thought (Biennnial)
This course will survey the variety of approaches to ta’amei ha-mitzvot by Jewish thinkers from the 9th through the 16th centuries. Among the rabbinic positions discussed will be those of: R. Saadya Gaon, R. Bahya ibn Pakuda, Maimonides, R. Judah Halevi, R. Hasdai Crescas, Nahmanides, and the Maharal of Prague. 3 credits.
PJS 617 Philosophy of the Maharal (Upon Request)
Text-based study of the thought of Maharal of Prague and the influence of his work. 3 credits.
PJS 630 Jewish Ethics (Upon Request)
A survey of major themes in the treatment of ethical issues as found in Jewish sources. Topics include the autonomy of ethics, the relationship of halakhah to ethics, supererogatory behavior, imitatio Dei, Jewish models of moral perfection, and applied moral problems such as lifeboat ethics, capital punishment and war. Emphasis is placed on the methodology of Jewish ethics as a discipline, and on close reading of sources, which include selections from biblical, talmudic, midrashic, halakhic, philosophic and ethical works. 3 credits.
PJS 660 Topics in Jewish Philosophy (Annual)
Analysis of a selected topic in medieval or modern Jewish philosophy through readings of primary sources. Sample topics include: Nature and Miracle in Medieval Jewish Philosophy; Simple Faith and Sophisticated Faith: Rabbi Saadiah Gaon and Rabbi Moses Taku; The Writings of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. 3 credits.
LJB 602 Medieval Biblical Exegesis (Annual)
A systematic and comparative study of the exegetical methods of medieval Jewish Bible commentators, including Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Radak, Nahmanides, and Gersonides. Attention is paid to exegesis as a mirror of intellectual history. 3 credits.
LJB 603 Studies in Sixteenth-Eighteenth Century Biblical Commentaries (Biennial)
A systematic, comparative study of the exegetical methods of Abarbanel, Sforno, Rabbi Hayyim ibn Attar and Rabbi Elijah Gaon of Vilna. 3 credits.
LJB 604 Studies in Nineteenth-Twentieth Century Biblical Commentaries (Biennial)
A systematic, comparative study of the exegetical methods of R. Kalonymus Kalman Epstein, Malbim, R. Jacob Zevi Meklenburg, Neziv, R. David Zevi Hoffman and R. Meir Simcha ha-Kohen. 3 credits.
LJB 610 Chronology and Context in Medieval Biblical Exegesis (Upon Request)
An examination of issues concerning the chronological order of Biblical events and the juxtaposition of sections in the Torah, as analyzed by medieval Biblical exegetes. Attention to differences in emphasis and approach between midrashic literature and medieval commentaries. 3 credits.
EJS 600 History of Jewish Education (Biennial)
A survey of the historical development of Jewish educational theories and institutions from the talmudic period through the medieval and modern periods. 3 credits.
EJS 612 Philosophy of Jewish Education (Annual)
A survey of the major ideological approaches to Jewish education from ancient until modern times. Special emphasis on contemporary ideologies and their relevance to Jewish education. 3 credits.
EJS 613 History of Jewish Educational Thought (Upon request)
A study of Jewish educational thought as expressed in Biblical commentaries and philosophic, legal and moral texts. Topics include: education and study as religious duties, parental authority, morals, education and curriculum. 3 credits.
EJS 620 Problems in Child and Adolescent Development (Annual)
Exploration of theories of child and adolescent development in the specialized context of Jewish educational settings. 3 credits.
EJS 632 Curriculum of the Jewish Day School (Upon Request)
An overview of the extant curricular goals and practices in the Jewish Day School. Theoretical and practical issues will be discussed relating to new curriculum design. 3 credits.
EJS 633 From Theory to Practice in Curriculum Development (Biennial)
A study of curricular principles and their practical applications by contemporary practitioners. Students prepare curricula in Jewish studies based on the theoretical principles studied in the course. 3 credits.
EJS 634 Methods in Teaching Tanakh (Annual)
Techniques in teaching the Pentateuch, Prophets and Writings. 3 credits.
EJS 635 Methods in Teaching Jewish Values (Annual)
Techniques in teaching Jewish values, including analysis of classic texts in the field of Jewish values education. 3 credits.
EJS 636 Perspectives on Teaching Jewish Observance (Upon request)
An examination of methodologies of teaching Jewish observance in the light of varying definitions of religiosity. Discussion of curricular implications and Israeli educational practice. 3 credits.
EJS 637 Methods in Teaching Oral Law: Mishnah and Talmud (Annual)
Techniques in teaching Mishnah and Talmud including methodological case studies using selected rabbinic texts. 3 credits.
EJS 638 Methods in Teaching Oral Law: Aggadah (Upon request)
Techniques in teaching aggadah, including analysis of selected rabbinic texts. 3 credits.
EJS 639 Methods in Teaching Jewish History (Upon Request)
Techniques in teaching Jewish history, with emphasis on utilization of primary source materials. 3 credits.
EJS 640 Methods in Teaching Biblical Exegesis (Annual)
Techniques in teaching comparative Biblical exegesis, including analysis of classic commentaries and their methodologies. 3 credits.
EJS 641 Methods in Teaching Hebrew Literature (Upon request)
Techniques in teaching Hebrew literature, including analysis of texts of modern writers such as Agnon and Appelfeld. 3 credits.
EJS 642 Methods in Teaching Jewish Thought (Upon request)
Techniques in teaching Jewish thought, including analysis of classic texts of Jewish philosophical literature. 3 credits.
EJS 643 Methods in Teaching the Holocaust (Annual)
Techniques in teaching the history of the Holocaust as part of an elementary and secondary level curriculum. 3 credits.
EJS 650 Classroom Management (Annual)
Problems relating to classroom organization and student-teacher interaction, with particular reference to the day school classroom situation. 3 credits.
EJS 655 Testing and Evaluation in Jewish Studies (Upon request)
A survey and analysis of various aspects of educational evaluation, with particular application to Jewish studies. 3 credits.
EJS 660 Topics in Jewish Education (Annual)
Sample topics include: Methods of Effective Classroom Instruction in the Day School; The Happy and Giving Student; Gender and Learning; Teaching Practicum. 3 credits.
EJS 665 Advanced Communication Technologies in Jewish Education (Biennial)
Application of new technologies in a Jewish day school setting. 3 credits.
EJS 670 Methods Seminar: The Use of Materials in Jewish Education (Annual)
Problems and prospects in the development and use of Jewish educational materials, including texts and other instructional resources. 3 credits.
EJS 671 Readings Seminar in Contemporary Jewish Education (Upon request)
A study of current thought and scholarship on Jewish educational issues. 3 credits.
EJS 674 Research Seminar: Thesis (Annual)
Students pursue guided research leading toward the preparation of a thesis. Students must formally present the results of their investigation in class for discussion and analysis. 3 credits.
EJS 675 Research Seminar: Special Project (Annual)
Students pursue guided research toward the preparation of a Jewish education related project. Students must formally present the results of their investigation in class for discussion and analysis. 3 credits.