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Undergraduate Program





Course Offerings


Undergraduate Fall 2000 Courses


JS 100: Survey of Jewish History
JS 125: Introduction to Jewish Literature
JS 169: The Arab-Israeli Conflict
JS 201: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
JS 250: Introduction to Biblical Archaeology
JS 300: Methods In Jewish Studies

JS 301: Advanced Hebrew I
JS 324: The Holocaust
JS 343: Modern Jewish Thought
JS 344: The Ethics of Judaism


JS 100-000: Survey of Jewish History (same as REL 239-000)
Berger, MWF 12:50-1:40, MAX: 60

Content:  This course will offer a general overview of the history of Jews and Judaism, beginning with the Biblical period and ending with modern times. Each week we will focus on a specific period of Jewish history, sketching the general sociohistorical context, followed by a description of how Jews practiced religion at the time, how they related to their neighbors, and what problems they faced and how they solved them. Each Friday, we will break out into smaller groups to examine an exemplary primary text, trying to understand how that specific period produced that

Texts: Required:

  • The JPS Bible (pbk)
  • Raymond Scheindlin, A Short History of the Jewish People
  • H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People
  • J. Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World
  • P. Mendes-Flohr and J. Reinharz, The Jew in the Modern World


  • M. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross
  • M. Jaffee, Early Judaism

Particulars: Weekly 1-2 pp. focus papers; in-class mid-term; final.

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JS 125-000: Introduction to Jewish Literature (same as MES 125-000)
Goldman, TTH 1-2:15, MAX: 25

Content: Reading of major texts in the Jewish tradition, focusing on Bible and modern fiction. Discussion of topics such as Jewish identity, dreams, exile, marginality, and parody.


  • A Treasury of Yiddish Stories , Howe and Greenberg 
  • Modern Hebrew Literature , Robert Alter 
  • Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures
  • The Schocken Book of Contemporary Jewish Stories , T. Solataioff, N. Rapoport 

Particulars: No prerequisites.    

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JS 169-000/001/002: The Arab-Israeli Conflict (same as Hist 169-000/001/002, PS 169-000/001/002)
Stein, MWF 10:40-11:30, MAX: 60

Content: This is an introductory survey course to the history, politics, and diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The first half of the course will deal with the historical origins and development of the conflict to 1948-49, Israel's independence war. The second half will focus on recent political, social and economic aspects of the conflict, including the evolution of Palestinian national identity; the 1956, 1967, and 1973 Middle East wars; and the various diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the conflict during the last quarter of the 20 th century. Reading, discussing, and analyzing documents related to the conflict's 100-year history is a central feature of the course.

Texts: Bickerton, Ian, and Carla Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict , Prentice Hall, 3 rd edition 1998; Smith, Charles D., Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict , (3 rd edition), St. Martin's, 1996; Stein, Kenneth W., Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace , Routledge, 1999; Stein, Kenneth W., and Samuel W. Lewis, Making Peace Among Arabs and Israelis; Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience , Washington, DC, 1991, (to be distributed by the professor). Accounts, Pan-Africanist texts, fictional representations, protest literature, and contemporary scholarship, it explores changes and continuities in the place and representations of Africa in the African American imagination.

Particulars: Students will write three short critical essays (3-5 pages). Participation in class discussions is also required. Grading: short papers (20% each); class participation (40%). This course fulfills General Education Requirement I.C. (Freshman Seminar).

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JS 201-000/001: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I (same as HEBR 201-000/001)
Getz, MWF 10:40-11:30, Tu 10-11:15 MAX: 5
Getz, MWF 2-2:50, Tu 2:30-3:45, MAX: 10

Content: Hebrew 201 is a continuation of Hebrew 102 on a more advanced level. At the beginning of the course there is an in-depth review of the verb system. The vocabulary and texts introduced in this course are more sophisticated than the material of the first year. Much emphasis is placed on speaking and creative writing. The course is a good preparation for students planing to study on a college level in Israel. 


  • Edna Coffin, Encounters in Modern Hebrew , Level II 
  • Edna Lauden, Liora Weinback, Multi Dictionary Bilingual Learners Dictionary
  • Shmuel Bolozky, 501 Hebrew Verbs

Particulars: This course is the first in the Hebrew second year sequence. It is open to students who have completed Hebrew 102, or the equivalent. The course may be used to satisfy the requirements for majors in Middle Eastern Studies, minor in Hebrew.

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JS 250-000: Introduction to Biblical Archaeology (same as REL 260-000, MES 250-000)
Borowski, TTh 10-11:15 MAX: 20

Content: An examination of the relationship between archaeology and the Bible with an introduction to the field of Biblical archaeology and a careful examination of theory and methodology . The famous discoveries (inscriptions, architecture) and important sites (Megiddo, Hazor, Gezer, Dan) which formed the historical background to some of the Biblical stories will be examined as well as issues and topics such as the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob), Exodus, settlement of Canaan (Joshua, the kings of Israel and Judah), and more. Other topics that will be studied include daily life, religion and ancient art.


  • Drinkard, Joel F., Mattingly, Gerald L., Miller, J. Maxwell, Benchmarks in Time and Culture (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988)
  • Rast, Walter E., Through the Ages in Palestinian Archaeology (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1992)
  • May, H.G., Oxford Bible Atlas (New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press), 3rd edition
  • The Bible

Particulars: Examinations: Midterm (25%) and Final (35%), 2 papers (20%); quizzes (10%); attendance (10%)

Comments: This course fulfills the methodology requirements for a Minor in Mediterranean Archaeology; it serves as an excellent background for students planning to go on an archaeological summer program, and fulfills Area III.A in the old distribution requirements and the writing requirements.

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JS 300-000: Methods In Jewish Studies
Blumenthal, TTh 2:30-3:45, MAX 20

Content : Jewish Studies is a data field; it is not a discipline.  Hence, Jewish Studies can be, and is, studied in many disciplines.  This course is intended to display various methods for studying the data of Jewish studies: Historical, philological, exegetical, literary, theological, feminist, artistic, legal, and social scientific.  We will, therefore, begin by examining several texts through which to demonstrate these methods, with special attention to the Akeda (Genesis 22).  This will be followed by an orientation in library sources.  The main part of the course will be devoted to reading in each of the methods and applying the basic tools of that discipline to various texts.  At the end, we will reconsider what we have done and, then, apply our learning to a topic for a final paper.  Students completing this course will have a good idea of the range of methods in Jewish studies and those wishing to go on to doctoral work will be able to intelligently choose one of these disciplines.


  • The Tanakh and translation
  • D. Blumenthal, Facing the Abusing God: A Theology of Protest
  • S. Spiegel, The Last Trial
  • M. Peskowitz and L. Levitt, Judaism Since Gender

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JS 301-000: Advanced Hebrew I (same as HEBR 301-000)
Hary, TT 4-5:15, MAX: 15

Content: The course continues to develop skills acquired in first and second year courses and concentrates on more complicated grammatical forms, written and oral expressions, comprehension and advanced texts, as well as exposure to Israeli culture. In addition, there will be an introduction to the language of the Israeli media and Israeli literature. 


  • Hara Farstei, Tamar Weil, Hapo'al Lelomdei Ivrit
  • Naomi Nansur, Riva Padan, Hebrew from A to Z, volume 3, Tel Aviv University
  • Gesher/Huliot Book

Particulars: Satisfactory completion of Hebrew 202, or equivalent (to be determined by the instructor). There will be several short examinations during the term and a final paper. Participation in "Shenkin in Emory" is required. The course may be used to satisfy the requirements for the majors in Middle Eastern Studies.

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JS 324-000: The Holocaust (same as REL 324-000)
Lipstadt, TTh 2:30-3:45, MAX: 30

Content:   This course will study the history of the Holocaust.  Topics to be examined include: history of antisemitism which preceded the Holocaust, steps involved in the Nazi demonization of the Jews, the role of "ordinary" Germans in the killing process, evolution of the Final Solution and the establishment and operation of the death camps.  We will also examine the role of the bystanders, including the Vatican, Protestant churches, Red Cross, Allied governments, media and public.  We will explore the nature of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust and the role of the Christian rescuers who aided Jews in Europe.  We will also examine the theological question, "Where was God during the Holocaust?" Students will have the opportunity to meet with and talk to survivors of the Holocaust.

On a select number of Wednesday evenings during the semester we will screen films on the Holocaust.


  • Leni Yahil,  The Holocaust
  • Elie Wiesel, Night
  • Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of European Jewry
  • Claude Lanzmann, Shoah
  • Primo Levi,  Survival in Auschwitz
  • Art Spiegelman, Maus

Films:  Shoah

Particulars:  Midterm, Final.

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JS 343-000: Modern Jewish Thought (same as REL 343-000)
, TTh 2:30-3:45, MAX: 12

Content: Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan were, probably, the two most important Jewish religious thinkers of the twentieth century. Heschel tried to evolve a religious philosophy rooted in religious experience while Kaplan tried to evolve and feeling in religion. This course will study carefully the key works of each of these two thinkers, read critiques of their work, and consider the implications of each.


  • Abraham J. Heschel, God in Search of Man
    Mordecai M. Kaplan, Questions Jews Ask, The Meaning of God in Jewish Religion
    David R. Blumenthal, Facing the Abusing God:  A Theology of Protest
    Arthyr Green, Seek My Face; Speak My Name

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JS 344-000: The Ethics of Judaism (same as REL 344S-000)
, MWF 10:40-11:30, MAX: 11

Content: As a discipline, ethics is the way one analyzes a situation and reaches a conclusion as to what one should do. As such, ethics must be done from within a particular tradition, maintaining certain assumptions and following unique patterns of thought. This course is meant to introduce the student to what ethical discourse is like in the Jewish tradition: what sources are used, how arguments are constructed, and how one weighs competing arguments. Through the analysis done largely in class, students will learn the skills involved in doing Jewish ethics, and actively participate in the process. Topics to be discussed are social ethics, such as lying and self-sacrifice, and sexual ethics. A final paper on medical ethics is the student's own attempt at writing Jewish.

   Sourcebooks of primary texts (in translation), available at the department office.

Particulars: Two in-class exams, final paper on a topic approved by the instructor.  One special project done in groups.  Active participation in class is crucial, and is part of the grade.

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Undergraduates may also take graduate courses.


For information on the Jewish Studies Major & Minor, go to: Undergraduate Programs in JS


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Last updated: November 18, 2008



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