Courses 2019-2020

Spring 2020 Undergraduate Courses

Jewish Studies 100 “Introduction to Jewish Religion, Culture, and People”

Instructor: Oren Yirmiya
TuTh 9:30AM – 10:59AM in Dwinelle 234
CN# 22731
Units: 4

*JS 100 satisfies the Historical Studies, L&S Breadth requirements
*JS 100 satisfies the Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth requirements

The history of Jewish peoplehood is one of constant migration, of moving from place to place by choice or force, and building a home on new grounds. This class will chart the trajectories of Jews throughout history, from biblical times to modernity. We will trace this movement around the globe by sampling the fiction, poetry, and essays left in its wake. Through surveying cultural expressions across time and geographies, the class presents Jewish identity and its many iterations, exploring lineages such as Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi heritage and intersections of gender and sexuality.

The class syllabus contains three sections. The first introduces canonical sacred texts of Judaism, covering relevant narratives from the Tanakh, the Talmud, Midrash, and the Passover Haggadah. The second section explores the cosmopolitan transformation of Jewish culture through poetry, travelogues, and philosophy from medieval Iraq, Iran, and Andalusia (Southern Spain). The third section jumps forward to the 20th century, presenting the literature of Jewish immigrants before and after WWII, as they travel back and forth among Europe, North-Africa, Mandatory Palestine, Israel, and the US.

The course intends to give Jewish Studies minors and students at large a general introduction to the field of Jewish Studies. No previous knowledge of Judaism or Jewish Studies is necessary.

Jewish Studies 121A “Holocaust Museums in Israel and the World”

Instructor: Stephanie Rotem
TuTh 3:30PM – 4:59PM in Dwinelle 182
CN# 31082
Units: 4

*JS 122 is eligible for the Historical Studies, L&S Breadth requirements
*JS 122 is eligible for the Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth requirements

This course will explore the history, exhibitions, and design of various Holocaust museums around the world, and study their social, cultural and political agendas. This examination will reveal their role and responsibility in Holocaust commemoration and serve as a basis to discuss the ethics and construction of collective memory. We will compare Holocaust institutions and exhibitions from around the world and compare the values that are conveyed within them. We will study theoretical texts that discuss the construction of collective memory and the political forces that manipulate it.

Instructor bio: Visiting professor and architect, Stephanie Shosh Rotem is a graduate of Tel Aviv University. She received in PhD in 2010 in the Program for Interdisciplinary Arts, and her doctorate was published in 2013, as “Constructing Memory: Architectural Narratives of Holocaust Museums.” From 2011 to 2017, Rotem was Head of the Museum Studies Program at Tel Aviv University. She also taught graduate courses in Tel Aviv’s Faculty of the Arts and in the International Program for Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa. In 2018-19 she was a visiting professor for Israel Studies at the University of Virginia. Rotem lectures and publishes on architectural history, museum history and architecture, and Holocaust museums.

Jewish Studies 121B “Arts and Culture of Israel”

Instructor: Stephanie Rotem
MoWe 5:00PM – 6:29PM in Barrows 174
CN# 32128
Units: 4

*JS 121B satisfies the Arts and Literature, L&S Breadth requirements

This course discusses Israeli art and culture through the examination of museums, theatre, visual art, literature and cinema, as they reflect the multi-cultural and pluralistic Israeli society. The course surveys the development of artistic works and the establishment of cultural institutions, from the time of pre-State Israel in the early 1900s, until the present. Students will be introduced to artworks including short stories, poems and popular songs; architecture and design; paintings, sculpture, and video art; theatre and dance; fictional and documentary film. The analysis of these art works and their institutions will be discussed in relation to the political events that shape Israeli culture. As such, they will serve as a means to reflect on the complexity of Israel in the Middle East.

Instructor Bio: Visiting professor and architect, Stephanie Shosh Rotem is a graduate of Tel Aviv University. She received in PhD in 2010 in the Program for Interdisciplinary Arts, and her doctorate was published in 2013, as “Constructing Memory: Architectural Narratives of Holocaust Museums.” From 2011 to 2017, Rotem was Head of the Museum Studies Program at Tel Aviv University. She also taught graduate courses in Tel Aviv’s Faculty of the Arts and in the International Program for Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa. In 2018-19 she was a visiting professor for Israel Studies at the University of Virginia. Rotem lectures and publishes on architectural history, museum history and architecture, and Holocaust museums.

Jewish Studies 122 “Contemporary Judaism in Israel: Swaying Religion and Nationality”

Instructor: Tomer Persico
TuTh 12:30PM – 1:59PM in Barrows 271
CN# 22752
Units: 4

*JS 122 satisfies the International Studies, L&S Breadth requirements
*JS 122 satisfies the Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth requirements

This Course shall study the divergent forms of Judaism in Israel since the 1990’s, apprehending the ideological and social fluctuations each stream has experienced over the last three decades as it parted from its previous formulations, and noting the way every major expression of Judaism in Israel at this time is in the midst of an identity crisis. It will also examine the tense relations between religion and state in Israel, analyzing the clashes and concurrences between different Israeli-Jewish identities and explaining Religious Jewish radicalism on the one hand, and the secular/spiritual “Jewish Renaissance” on the other.

Instructor Bio: Tomer Persico is the Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies, Dept. of Near Eastern Studies, Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, Center for Jewish Studies at U. C. Berkeley. Persico is also the Shalom Hartman Institute Bay Area Scholar in Residence. He has taught for eight years at the Department for Comparative Religion in Tel-Aviv University, and his fields of study are contemporary spirituality, Jewish Renewal, Forms of secularization and trends of secularization and religiosity in Israel. His book, The Jewish Meditative Tradition was published by Tel Aviv University Press in 2016.

Jewish Studies 123A “Muslim-Jewish Encounters: From the Beginnings of Islam to Today”

Instructor: Ethan Katz
TuTh 9:30AM – 10:59AM in Barker 101
CN# 31207
Units: 4

*JS 123A is eligible for the Historical Studies, L&S Breadth requirements
*JS 123A is eligible for the Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth requirements

The course takes us far beyond contemporary tensions between Muslims and Jews, and deep into a more complicated history that spans the Mediterranean and beyond. We move through topics that include the earliest encounters between Muslims and Jews during the years of the rise of Islam; the historical impact and legacy of the dhimmi (the system of rights and restrictions that defined Jews’ status for centuries under Islamic rule); the culturally fruitful shared experience of Jews and Muslims in Medieval Spain and the Ottoman Empire; the effects of French, British, and Italian colonialism in the modern Middle East; and the important conflicts over Zionism and Arab nationalism during the past century.

Hebrew 1B “Elementary Hebrew”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
MoTuWeThFr 11:00AM – 11:59AM in Barrows 275
CN# 19906
Units: 5
*Hebrew 1B counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Hebrew 100B “Advanced Hebrew”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
Th 2:00PM – 4:59PM in Barrows 275
CN# 23112
Units: 3

*Hebrew 100B counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

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 202B “Advanced Late Antique Hebrew Texts”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
Tu 2:00PM – 4:59PM in Barrows 8B
CN# 222967
Units: 3

*Hebrew 202B counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Historical and literary study of Hebrew and Aramaic Judaic texts (e.g., Talmud and Midrash).

Hebrew 206 “Ancient and Modern Hebrew Literary Texts”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
We 2:00PM – 4:59PM in Barrows 252
CN# 30822
Units: 3

*Hebrew 206 counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Focus on biblical texts seen from a literary point of view, attempting to establish connections with later Hebrew literature.

LEGALST 174 “Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel”

Instructor: Roy Peled
MoWe 5:00PM – 6:29PM in Latimer 102
CN# 23052
Units: 4

*LEGALST 174 counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor
*LEGALST 174 satisfies Historical Studies, L&S Breadth requirements
*LEGALST 174 satisfies International Studies, L&S Breadth requirements

This course will provide an introduction to constitutional law using Israel as a case study. Topics include: Constitutionalism and judicial review, state neutrality and self-determination, minority rights, state and religion, Human Rights Law, the concept of “defensive democracy” and ban of non-democratic political parties, legal aspects of the fight on terror, freedom of expression, equality and anti-discrimination, social rights, and constitutional limitations on privatization.

YIDDISH 102 “Intermediate Yiddish”

Instructor: Yael Chaver
MoWe 10:00AM – 11:59AM and Fr 10:00AM – 10:59AM in Dwinelle 262
CN# 22028
Units: 5

*YIDDISH 102 counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

 

Spring 2020 Graduate Courses

Jewish Studies 200/290 “Jews and the Archive

Instructor: Ethan Katz/Francesco Spagnolo
Mo 2:00p to 5:00p Room 117 at the Magnes
JS 200 CN# 32862
JS 290 CN# 32704
Units: 4

This course teaches graduate students from History, Music, Anthropology, Museum studies, and a range of other disciplines and area studies how to “read” primary sources of all kinds critically. On the one hand, working with the world-class holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life on the UC-Berkeley campus (where the course will meet), we will undertake a practicum of working “hands-on” with a wide variety of cultural objects: archival materials (personal and institutional records), musical notations and recordings, as well as museum objects ranging from art to material culture across the global Jewish diaspora (embroidered textiles, painted manuscripts, coins, paintings, engravings, and more). At the same time, as we examine objects, we will enter into the thorny matter of how archives and collections are constructed, and examine some of the theoretical literature on this subject that helps us to read sources with a far more critical eye. Students will ultimately write a research paper in their area of particular research interest that shows the ability to utilize multiple types of sources in sophisticated ways. The instructors will encourage the students to utilize the holdings of The Magnes in some stage of their project. While the class focuses on the Jewish experience post-1500, we welcome students working on all times and places, and those with foci or background outside of Jewish history and culture.

 

Fall 2019 Undergraduate Courses

Jewish Studies 120 “Jewish Folklore”

Instructor: Sarah Levin
CN#22261
TTH 11-12:30pm location Cory 237
Units: 3

*JS 120 counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Through reading a “sampler platter” of Jewish folktales, proverbs, and jokes, we will explore diverse Jewish cultures throughout the world and across time. Our approach will be interdisciplinary, combining methodologies of history, literature, and anthropology. We’ll situate contemporary folklore in a long history of interplay between written texts and oral narratives, and between Jewish and non-Jewish traditions. Central issues include creativity and artistic expression, gender, individual and group identity and values, stereotypes, and ethics. Students will acquire theoretical tools with which to analyze folklore (Jewish or otherwise). Movies and guests supplement lecture and discussion. Interested students from all majors and backgrounds are welcome. Conducted in English with readings in English.

 

Jewish Studies 121A* “Tel Aviv: A City from the Sands”

Instructor: Stephanie Rotem
TTH 2-3:30 in Cheit C110
CN# 26200
Units: 4

*JS 121A satisfies the Historical Studies, Social and Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth requirements

This course will follow the history of Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city, from its birth in 1909 as “a city from the sands”, to its present position as a global metropolis. Tel Aviv, planned as a Garden City, quickly became the center of political and cultural activity in Eretz Israel. We will study various aspects of the city’s life: architecture, urban planning, culture, politics and the arts. This examination will include the study of photography, art works and exhibitions, poetry and popular songs, performance, theatre, and film.

 

Jewish Studies 122* “Introduction to Jewish Mysticism”

Instructor: Tomer Persico
Location: MW 12:30-2 in Barrows 252
CN# 26392
Units: 4
*JS 122 satisfies the Philosophy & Values, International Studies, L&S Breadth requirements

Beyond the esoteric names of the divine and the meditative practices used to draw Its graces lies the inner pulse of Jewish Mysticism. In this course we shall explore the Jewish mystical tradition, from the Bible, through the Second Temple literature, Kabbalah, Hasidism, and up to contemporary developments. Emphasizing mystical techniques, we will examine the practices through which Jews in different times sought direct connection with the divine.

 

Hebrew 1A: “Elementary Hebrew”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
Location: M, Tu, W, Th, F 10am-11am in Barrows 252
CN#: 22109
Units: 5

Hebrew 20A: “Intermediate Hebrew”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
Location: Tu, W, Th 11am-12pm in Barrows 275
CN#: 21982
Units: 5

Hebrew 100A: “Advanced Hebrew”

Instructor: Rutie Adler
Location: Tu, Th 12:30pm-2pm in Barrows 275
CN#: 22020
Units: 3

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 and Culture: The Legacy of the Song of Songs in Modern Hebrew Literature”

Instructor: Chana Kronfeld
Location: M 2pm-5pm in Barrows 252
CN#: 21983
Units: 3

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 202A: “Advanced Late Antique Hebrew Texts”

Instructor: Daniel Boyarin
Location: Tu 2pm-5pm in Barrows 8B
CN#: 26404
Units: 3

Historical and literary study of Hebrew and Aramaic Judaic texts (e.g., Talmud and Midrash).

Hebrew 206: “Ancient and Modern Hebrew Literary Texts”

Instructor: Chana Kronfeld
Location: W 2pm-5pm in Barrows 271
CN#: 31450
Units: 3

Focus on biblical texts seen from a literary point of view, attempting to establish connections with later Hebrew literature.

History 178-001 “History of the Holocaust”

Instructor: John Efron
TuTh 9:30-11:00am in Valley Life Sciences 2040
CN# 31626
Units: 4

*History 178 This class counts toward the Jewish Studies minor
*History 178
satisfies the Historical Studies, Social and Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth requirements

This course will survey the historical events and intellectual developments leading up to and surrounding the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. By reading a mixture of primary and secondary sources we will examine the Shoah (the Hebrew word for the Holocaust) against the backdrop of modern Jewish and modern German history. The course is divided into three main parts: (1) the historical background up to 1933; (2) the persecution of the Jews and the beginnings of mass murder, 1933-1941; and (3) the industrialized murder of the Jews, 1942-1945.

Legal Studies 190 “Minority Rights: the Israeli Balance”

Instructor: Roy Peled
Tu, Th 2-3:30pm in Hearst Mining 310
CN# 31375
Units: 4

In its’ declaration of independence, Israel declared itself as the fulfillment of the national aspirations of the Jewish people, and at the same time committed to maintaining full equality among all its citizens’ regardless of nationality. These potentially contradicting commitments have been at the center of Israeli political and legal discourse ever since. The course will present some of the choices

Music 180 “Contemporary Music in Israel”

Instructor: Ben Brinner
Tu 12:30-3:30 in Morrison 243
CN# 24336
Units: 3

*Music 180 counts toward the Jewish Studies minor

Different kinds of musical expression have long existed in Israel, augmented in recent decades by many new importations and local creations. Particularly intriguing are the many types of mixtures of differing musical resources from different places, social groups, and musical styles and the crossing of borders — social, cultural, and political — that play out in and through music.

Working with music videos, audio recordings, reviews, and publicity materials we will give our attention to several areas within this musical variety, learning about musical features, communities of performers and their audiences, messages and meanings conveyed, and histories in relation to Middle Eastern (Arab, Turkish, Greek, etc.), Euro-American, African, and Asian connections.

The course will be run as a seminar, with extensive discussion as well as collaborative and individual research projects. No prior knowledge of Israeli music or Hebrew is required, though such knowledge will be welcome. You are likely to find that music you have already heard/played is related to the kinds of music being made in Israel today.

Yiddish 101: “Elementary Yiddish”

Instructor:
Location: M, Tu, W, Th, F 11am-12pm in Barrows 186
CN#: 24097
Units: 5

Introduction to Yiddish language and literature. Attention to reading, writing, and speaking in the context of the historic Yiddish cultural environment.

Yiddish 103: “Readings in Yiddish”

Instructor: Yael Chaver
Location: Tu, Th 11am-12:30pm in Mulford 106
CN#: 24093
Units: 3

Study of selected Yiddish texts including prose, poetry, and drama, from various periods and geographic areas, in the context of time and place. Review of relevant grammatical topics. Increased attention to the Hebrew/Aramaic component. Selections may vary from semester to semester.

Fall 2019 Graduate Courses

JS 290 “German Jewry”

Wed 9-11

Instructor: John Efron

CN: 33195, Units: 4

Room: Dwinelle 2231

*JS 290 fulfills a requirement of the Designated Emphasis in Jewish Studies

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 century through the Weimar Republic. 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 German-Jewish struggle with Jewishness, Wissenschaft des Judentums, integration into and separation from the mainstream, German antisemitism and Jewish responses, economic and family life, and Jewish culture in the Kaiserreich and Weimar Republic.