Courses 2017-18

Undergraduate Courses,

Fall 2017


Jewish Studies 39: Jewry of Muscle: “Zionism and Jewish Masculinity”

Wed 2-4 p.m., Dwinelle 279
CN: 44225, 2 units
Instructor: Shirelle Doughty

The Zionist cultural project involved creating a new Jewish masculinity that would replace the diasporic ‘sissy Jew’ with a strong, healthy new ‘Jewry of Muscle.’ Using literary and filmic sources, we will analyze how these Zionist and Israeli cultural productions served to build (and sometimes undermine) this new model of Jewish masculinity.

History 103B: Antisemitism and Jewish Responses

Instructor: John Efron

Hatred of Jews and Judaism is an enduring prejudice, stretching from antiquity to the present. Its seeming chronological limitlessness is matched by its apparent lack of geographical boundaries. So tenacious an ideology is it that even countries where there have never been Jews have nonetheless had antisemites. Beginning with the ancient world, we will examine the history of this hatred by reading both primary and secondary-source material. We will also seriously consider the variety of Jewish responses to it.

Jewish Studies 121: Jewish Nightlife: Poetry, Music, and Ritual Performance From Renaissance Italy to Contemporary Israel

TuTh 2-3:30 p.m., 2121 Allston Way (The Magnes Collection of Jewish Life and Art)

CN: 45137, 4 Units

Instructor: Francesco Spagnolo
This course explores the inter-relations between the ritual performance of Jewish texts and social change across Jewish history, focusing on three related topics: the rise of Kabbalistic nocturnal rituals in the Italian ghettos during the early-modern period; the performance of Hebrew poetry in North Africa and the middle East in the modern era; and the renaissance of piyyut (Hebrew liturgical poetry) in Israel from the 1970s to the present, from the singing of bakkashot among Syrian and Moroccan Israelis to the current transcultural activities of online and participatory communities. The course includes weekly workshops with Victoria Hanna, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at The Magnes, UC Berkeley.

Jewish Studies 123: “Social structure, Inequality, and Political Cleavages in Israel”

TuTh 11-12:30 Wheeler 124
CN: 46688, 3 units
Instructor: Michael Shalev

This course maps diversity and inequality in Israel, and their expressions in politics. It covers not only well-known identity conflicts based on religion, ethnicity, and nationality (i.e. Arab versus Jewish citizens), but also economic and political differences based on gender, race and citizenship. Students will be introduced to relevant concepts and theories that aid understanding and place Israel in a broader perspective.

Jewish Studies 198 (DeCal): “Jew-Ish: An Overview of Jewish Culture and Religion”

Monday 6:30-8:30 p.m., Dwinelle 206
CN: 16109, 1 unit
Facilitator: Reni Forer

This course will provide a broad overview of Judaism from both a cultural and a religious perspective. This course will cover many of the basic concepts in Judaism, including religious practices, cultural traditions, history, identity, and more. This will be accomplished through weekly readings, class discussion, guest speakers, and outside experiences. This course will allow students, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, to create their own definition of what Judaism is and what it means to them.

Hebrew 1A; Elementary Hebrew

MTuWThF 10-11 a.m., Barrows 271
CN: 15137, 5 units

Hebrew 11A: Reading & Composition for Hebrew Speaking Students

Hebrew 11A: Reading & Composition for Hebrew Speaking Students
MTuWThF 9-10 a.m., Barrows 275
CN: 46339, 5 units
Designed for heritage students who possess oral skills (speaking/comprehension, though limited) but need to improve their writing and reading abilities, and expand their knowledge of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Completion of 11A-11B will prepare the student to take Hebrew 20A, Intermediate Hebrew.

Hebrew 20A: Intermediate Hebrew

TuWTh 11-12 a.m., Barrows 275
CN: 15043, 5 units
Instructor: Rutie Adler

Hebrew 100A: Advanced Hebrew

TuTh 12:30-2 p.m., Barrows 275
CN: 15138, 3 units
Instructor: Rutie Adler
Advanced Hebrew, especially designed for those going on to the study of modern Hebrew literature. Vocabulary building, grammar review, and literary analysis of a sampling of modern texts.

Hebrew 104A: Modern Hebrew Literature & Culture

Monday 2-5 p.m., Barrows 271
CN: 15044, 3 units
Instructor: Chana Kronfeld
A close reading of selected works of modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama in their cultural and historical contexts. Topics vary from year to year and include literature and politics, eros and gender, memory and nationalism, Middle-Eastern and European aspects of Israeli literature and culture.

Hebrew 106A: Elementary Biblical Hebrew

TuTh 2-3:30 p.m., Barrows 275
CN: 15196, 3 units
An introduction to the language of the Hebrew Bible.

Hebrew 201A: Advanced Biblical Hebrew Texts

Monday 3-6 p.m., Barrows 186
CN: 44641, 3 units
Instructor: Ronald Hendel
The exegesis of a biblical book in the light of its ancient Near Eastern background.

Hebrew 204A: Advanced Modern Hebrew Literature & Culture

Wednesday 2-5 p.m., Barrows 246
CN: 44642, 3 units
Instructor: Chana Kronfeld
Critical approaches to the history and textual practices of modern Hebrew poetry and fiction. Alternating focus between period, genre, and author, seminar topics include stylistic developments in Hebrew poetry and fiction from the Enlightenment to the present, modernism, and modernity, the creation of the modern Hebrew novel, women writers and the Hebrew canon, and single-author seminars.

Hebrew 298: Seminar, Special Topics in Hebrew

Tuesday 2-5 p.m., Barrows 8B
CN: 46333, 1-4 units
Instructor: Daniel Boyarin
n this course we are going to follow the semantic development of the word, yahadut from its earliest medieval appearances until modernity when it means something like “Judaism.” The bulk of the course will be readings in medieval and early modern Hebrew texts including such authors as Abarbanel and the Natziv.

Yiddish 101: Elementary Yiddish

MTuWThF 11:00 am – 12 noon, Dwinelle 104
CN: 21733, 5 units

Yiddish 103: Readings in Yiddish

TuTh 11:00 am-12:30 pm, Dwinelle 233
CN: 21715, 3 units
Instructor: Yael Chaver
“Views from the Fringe: Yiddish Literature in Zionist Palestine”. Yiddish was proscribed in the Zionist community of British Mandate Palestine, which elevated Hebrew while considering Yiddish emblematic of an undesirable diasporic life. Yet many Zionist settlers who came from European Yiddish culture were reluctant to disavow their mother-tongue and its literature. In the 1920s and 1930s, Zionist Yiddish writers in Palestine continued to write and publish in that language; their outsider status in the culture often enabled them to express positions and nuanced insights that were unique in the developing community. We will sample the Palestinian Yiddish press, as well as the prose and poetry of Zalmen Broches, Avrom Rivess, Rikuda Potash, and others. Prerequisite: one year of college Yiddish or equivalent knowledge. Readings are in Yiddish, discussions in English.

Philosophy 172: Spinoza

MWF 11-12, Barrows 56
In this course, we will study the distinctive metaphysical, epistemological, psychological, and ethical positions Spinoza argues for in his Ethics. We will analyze his arguments for monism and necessitarianism, evaluate his response to skepticism, assess the philosophical viability of his accounts of the human mind and human passions, and see whether the resultant picture of what constitutes a good human life is coherent (or attractive).

Graduate Courses,

Fall 2017


History 280B, Section 4

History 280B, Section 4
Tuesday 2-5 pm, Dwinelle 3104
CN: 14968, 4 units
Instructor: John Efron

This seminar is designed to introduce students to an intensive examination of the major themes and issues concerning the history of the Jews in Germany from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. German Jews made defining innovations in Jewish life while at the same time, they also contributed to general western culture to a degree disproportionate to their numbers. No other Jewish community has had such a profound effect on both Jewish and European civilizations concurrently. Among the topics to be explored are the debates over Jewish emancipation, the scholarly and religious life of German Jews, integration into and separation from the mainstream, German antisemitism and Jewish responses, economic transformations, communal organization and family life, Jewish culture in the Weimar Republic, life under Nazi rule, Jewish life in postwar Germany.