JS Course

JS Course

  • Advanced Modern Hebrew

    hebrew 150px01:563:210 and 01:563:211
    (cross-listed with 01:013:352 and 01:013:353)

    Improve your proficiency in reading and writing skills by reading short essays, newspaper, and magazine articles.

    This course is designed to develop fluency and increase proficiency in reading and writing skills. The course provides an intensive training in Hebrew Grammar and syntax through the reading and analysis of short essays, and newspaper and magazine articles. Reading and writing assignments as well as creative writing and oral presentations are part of the course work.

    01:563:210 Prerequisites: 01:563:132 / 01:013:253 or Hebrew placement test.


    Click to learn more about the Hebrew Placement Exam

    PLACEMENT EXAM

  • Advanced Modern Hebrew

    hebrew 150pxAdvanced Modern Hebrew, Part 1

    01:563:210
    (cross-listed with 01:013:352)

    Improve your proficiency in reading and writing skills by reading short essays, newspaper, and magazine articles.

    This course is designed to develop fluency and increase proficiency in reading and writing skills. The course provides an intensive training in Hebrew Grammar and syntax through the reading and analysis of short essays, and newspaper and magazine articles. Reading and writing assignments as well as creative writing and oral presentations are part of the course work.

    Prerequisites: 01:563:132 / 01:013:253 or Hebrew placement test.

    Click to learn more about the Hebrew Placement Exam

    PLACEMENT EXAM


    Fall 2020 taught by Orna Goldman synchronously.

    Fall 2020 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Orna Goldman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Instructions for Remote Learning Fall 2020

  • Advanced Modern Hebrew

    hebrew 150px01:563:211
    (cross-listed with 01:013:353)

    Improve your proficiency in reading and writing skills by reading short essays, newspaper, and magazine articles.

    This course is designed to develop fluency and increase proficiency in reading and writing skills. The course provides an intensive training in Hebrew Grammar and syntax through the reading and analysis of short essays, and newspaper and magazine articles. Reading and writing assignments as well as creative writing and oral presentations are part of the course work.

    01:563:210 Prerequisites: 01:563:132 / 01:013:253 or Hebrew placement test.


    Click to learn more about the Hebrew Placement Exam

    PLACEMENT EXAM


    Spring 2022 taught by Prof. Orna Goldman.

    Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays @ 12:10 PM - 1:30 PM

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Orna Goldman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Return to Course Schedule page 

  • American Jewish Culture

    jazz-singer01:563:332
    (cross-listed with 01:050:332)

    American Jewish Culture reflects the tension between tradition and acculturation in the American Jewish experience. This course also explores the remarkable influence that Jews have had on American writing, film, and television and on our nation’s social and cultural mores. 

  • American Jewish History

    American Jewish History01:563:231
    (cross-listed with 01:512:231)

    This course traces the dynamics of a religious and ethnic minority in North America from the colonial period to the present. In so doing, it surveys crucial events and developments in the Jews’ encounter with North America and explores what these have meant for both Jewish and American cultures. Topics to be covered include: migration, communal and religious innovation, acculturation, ethnicity, and politics. The course will also explore the ways in which Jews have been represented by popular American cultural forms, including fiction and films.

    This course fulfills Core requirement HST.

  • American Jewish History

    American Jewish History01:563:231
    (cross-listed with 01:512:231)

    This course traces the dynamics of a religious and ethnic minority in North America from the colonial period to the present. In so doing, it surveys crucial events and developments in the Jews’ encounter with North America and explores what these have meant for both Jewish and American cultures. Topics to be covered include: migration, communal and religious innovation, acculturation, ethnicity, and politics. The course will also explore the ways in which Jews have been represented by popular American cultural forms, including fiction and films.

    This course fulfills Core requirement HST.


    Fall 2021 taught by Prof. Nancy Sinkoff both face-to-face and online.

    Tuesdays face-to-face and Thursdays online @ 5:00 PM - 6:20 PM

    Fall 2021 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Nancy Sinkoff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Return to Course Schedule page

  • Ancient Egypt (mini-course)

    Ancient Egypt01:563:266 - 1.5 credits
    (cross-listed with 01:013:302)

    Introduction into ancient Egypt. Topics include a historical overview, religion, art, archaeology, interconnections between ancient Egypt and ancient Israel, and Hieroglyphic Egyptian language and literature.

  • Ancient Egypt (mini-course)

    Ancient Egypt01:563:266 - 1.5 credits
    (cross-listed with 01:013:302)

    Introduction into ancient Egypt. Topics include a historical overview, religion, art, archaeology, interconnections between ancient Egypt and ancient Israel, and Hieroglyphic Egyptian language and literature.


    Fall 2020 taught by Prof. Gary Rendsburg mainly asynchronously, with a synchronous meeting once every two weeks.

    Course will run October 21 – December 10

    Fall 2020 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Gary Rendsburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Instructions for Remote Learning Fall 2020

  • Ancient Near Eastern Religions

    Ancient Near East Religion01:563:324
    (cross-listed with 01:840:301)

    Religious patterns in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Canaan, Israel, and Egypt from texts in translation; their impact on cultural development of the Near East.

  • Ancient Near Eastern Religions

    Ancient Near East Religion01:563:324
    (cross-listed with 01:840:301)

    Religious patterns in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Canaan, Israel, and Egypt from texts in translation; their impact on cultural development of the Near East.


    Fall 2021 taught by Prof. Debra Ballentine face-to-face.

    Mondays and Wednesdays @ 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Debra Ballentine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Return to Course Schedule page

  • Antisemitism

    document01:563:269
    (cross-listed with 01:510:269)

    This course invites students to think deeply about contemporary discourses of and about antisemitism in light of their historical precedents and resonances. Throughout, attention will be devoted to the wide-ranging contexts and content of antisemitism; the functions that anti-Jewish animus has served in different societies; the roles of religion, science, and politics in anti-Jewish ideologies and actions; factors that have intensified and mitigated anti-Jewish ideologies and their expressions; and the relationships that have existed between hatred of Jews and other forms of prejudice. Students will ponder continuities and turning points in the history of antisemitism as well as the significance of antisemitism as an analytic category. They will also consider the dangers of focusing on antisemitism at the expense of other dynamics in Jewish history. Addressing urgent questions in historical perspective, students will emerge better equipped to navigate the challenges of the contemporary world.

    This course fulfills Core requirements CCD and HST.

  • Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Arab Israeli Conflict01:563:282
    (cross-listed with 01:508:212 and 01:685:282)

    This course is an overview of the hundred-year old Arab-Israeli conflict, the controversies it has generated, the attempts to resolve it, and how we as outsiders to the conflict learn about it and experience it. During the first unit of the course, we will work to understand key historical moments of the conflict through multiple perspectives and interpretations. In the second unit, we will evaluate attempts for peace. Throughout these units, we will seek to analyze conflicting claims of truth, justice, history, and ownership. During the third unit, we will examine media coverage of the conflict so as to evaluate how the media shapes our perception of the stakes, the players, and the history. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to discuss events in the last century that have contributed to the conflict, analyze different narratives among Israelis and Palestinians, evaluate attempts for peace, and engage in sophisticated, critical debates about the conflict both in and outside the classroom.

    This course fulfills Core requirements CCD and HST.


    Fall 2020 taught by Prof. Michal Raucher asynchronously.

    Fall 2020 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Michal Raucher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Instructions for Remote Learning Fall 2020

  • Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Arab Israeli Conflict01:563:282
    (cross-listed with 01:508:212 and 01:685:282)

    This course is an overview of the hundred-year old Arab-Israeli conflict, the controversies it has generated, the attempts to resolve it, and how we as outsiders to the conflict learn about it and experience it. During the first unit of the course, we will work to understand key historical moments of the conflict through multiple perspectives and interpretations. In the second unit, we will evaluate attempts for peace. Throughout these units, we will seek to analyze conflicting claims of truth, justice, history, and ownership. During the third unit, we will examine media coverage of the conflict so as to evaluate how the media shapes our perception of the stakes, the players, and the history. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to discuss events in the last century that have contributed to the conflict, analyze different narratives among Israelis and Palestinians, evaluate attempts for peace, and engage in sophisticated, critical debates about the conflict both in and outside the classroom.

    This course fulfills Core requirements CCD and HST.


    Fall 2021 taught by Prof. Michal Raucher both face-to-face and online.

    Mondays face-to-face and Wednesdays online @ 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM

    Fall 2021 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Michal Raucher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Return to Course Schedule page

  • Between Nazism and Communism

    Exile under Nazism and Communism01:563:270
    (cross-listed with 01:510:263 and 01:360:292)

    This course will explore the experience of Poles and Polish Jews under Nazi and Communist rule in the 20th century through history, travel writing, memoir, poetry, and film. Jews lived in Polish lands for a millennium and by the eighteenth century comprised 10% of Poland’s urban population. However, the almost total destruction of Polish Jewry in World War II made the Jews a ‘phantom limb,’ a shadowy non-presence, in the post-war period. Post-war Poles also experienced devastating dislocations due to the war and to the Communist takeover. Both peoples have produced a wealth of memoir literature that explores the meanings of home, exile, longing, and the human need for connection to place that is shared, in this case study, by Poles and Jews. The paradox of this literature is that both nations appear unaware of the similar themes that their memoirs employ and evoke.

    In order to understand the experience of belonging and exile, this course will introduce students to the history of Poland, beginning in its “Golden Age,” which saw the expansion of Jewish settlement, continuing to the effects of the partitions in the late eighteenth century, in which Poland and its peoples became subjects of the Russian, Habsburg, and Austrian Empires which stimulated the development of both Polish and Jewish nationalism in the nineteenth century. We will continue by investigating the dislocations caused by World War I, the exhilaration of the reestablishment of Polish statehood in the interwar period, and then focus on the catastrophic invasion and occupation by the Nazi Third Reich and the subsuming of Polish sovereignty under Communism in 1946.

    After laying the historical groundwork, the course will focus on places (e.g,. Wilno/Vilna/Vilnius; Warsaw; Lwów/Lemberg/L’viv) and individuals (e.g., Czesław Miłosz, Adam Zagajewski, Shimon Redlich, Eva Hoffman, Wisława Szymborska), among others.

    Students are required to read the materials in advance of our sessions. We will pay careful attention to the primary sources—all of which are available on Sakai—in class. Additional readings, in the form of articles and book chapters, have been uploaded on Sakai. The secondary sources will allow you to a) deepen your understanding of the history we’re engaging and b) enter into the contemporary scholarly conversation about the meaning of that history. Films, and two poetry readings—one by a Polish poet, the other by a Ukrainian poet—will enhance students’ experience of personal exile and its artistic expression.

    Global Field Experience, “A Tale of Two Uprisings”:  In connection with this 3-credit course, but distinct from it, Professor Sinkoff will be leading a 1-credit Global Field Experience to Poland for fifteen students. Participants will include high-achieving students taking “Exile under Nazism and Communism” as well as students in the Honors Program and in the SAS Honors College.

    Learning Goals:
    Acquire an overview of the major issues related to Nazi and Communist rule in Central Europe—particularly Poland—in the twentieth century.

    Encounter the interconnected history of Poles and Jews: their shared pasts, their dissonant pasts, and their complicated memories of both.

    Engage in the craft of history by studying a variety of primary sources, such as autobiographies, legal charters, poetry, and testimonies, and through reading secondary interpretations, including scholarly articles and textbook readings.

    Develop skills of communicating orally and in writing through classroom discussion based on questions posted on the Sakai site, exams, and short papers.

    This course is open to senior citizen auditors. Please contact Professor Sinkoff (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in advance.

  • Bible in Aramaic, The

    Bible in Aramaic01:563:146
    (cross-listed with 01:013:111)

    Introduction to Aramaic through biblical literature, including Aramaic Bible passages and vernacular translations into various Aramaic dialects, with a focus on Syriac version.

  • Biblical Hebrew

    Biblical Hebrew01:563:141 and 01:563:142
    (cross-listed with 01:013:154 and 01:013:155)


    Part I - 01:563:141

    The aim of this course is to introduce students to Biblical Hebrew, especially the variety known as Standard Biblical Hebrew, used to write the narrative prose texts of the Bible during the period of the 10th-7th centuries B.C.E. These prose texts are to be found most prominently in Genesis, Exodus, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, and Kings.


    Part II - 01:563:142

    This course serves as a continuation of Biblical Hebrew I. This course maintains the same goals and structure of the previous semester. In addition to providing students with basic knowledge of Standard Biblical Hebrew (that is, the language of narrative prose), this course will introduce students to the working of biblical poetry. In addition to continuing with the reading of prose texts, students also will read and analyze some basic poetry as found in the books of Psalms and Proverbs, as well as in the various prophetic books.

  • Biblical Hebrew

    Biblical HebrewBiblical Hebrew I

    01:563:141
    (cross-listed with 01:013:154)

    The aim of this course is to introduce students to Biblical Hebrew, especially the variety known as Standard Biblical Hebrew, used to write the narrative prose texts of the Bible during the period of the 10th-7th centuries B.C.E. These prose texts are to be found most prominently in Genesis, Exodus, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, and Kings.


    Fall 2020 taught by Prof. Gary Rendsburg synchronously.

    Fall 2020 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Gary Rendsburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Instructions for Remote Learning Fall 2020

  • Binding of Isaac (mini-course)

    01:563:382 - 1.5 creditsEnglish Course

    This course offers a close study of the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac and the later development of the biblical story. Our course is completely online, in keeping with the public health concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Along with the obvious health issues, this situation means we are all adjusting to new situations in our personal lives and in our classroom, so I urge everyone to communicate with me if you are experiencing difficulty either with the material/format of the class or with life outside the classroom.

  • Binding of Isaac (mini-course)

    01:563:382 - 1.5 creditsEnglish Course

    This course offers a close study of the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac and the later development of the biblical story. Our course is completely online, in keeping with the public health concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Along with the obvious health issues, this situation means we are all adjusting to new situations in our personal lives and in our classroom, so I urge everyone to communicate with me if you are experiencing difficulty either with the material/format of the class or with life outside the classroom.


    Fall 2021 taught by Prof. Azzan Yadin-Israel online asynchronously.

    Have questions? You can email Prof. Azzan Yadin-Israel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Return to Course Schedule page 

  • Classical Jewish Philosophy

    Maimonides01:563:311
    (cross-listed as 01:730:311)

    Did you know that the first Jewish theology was written in Arabic? That medieval Jewish philosophers wrestled with the same questions about evil, ethics and God’s existence as we do today? In this course, we examine some great works of philosophy in their historical settings. We will do a select reading of four fascinating thinkers: Philo of Alexandria, Saadya Gaon, Judah Halevi, and Moses Maimonides. We will address the “meaning of life,” of the nature of God, and the problems of suffering and injustice. We will also see how Jewish thinkers were in conversation and conflict with the Christian and Islamic cultures of their days, how politics influences philosophy, and how philosophy was used as a practical tool for “virtuous living.” You don’t have to be Jewish—or a philosopher!—to appreciate classical Jewish philosophy.