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Undergraduate Program





Course Offerings


Graduate Spring 2007 Courses

JS 521: Readings in Modern Academic Hebrew
JS 540G: Rabbinic Judaism: Prayer and Liturgy
JS 597R: Directed Study

JS 598R: Thesis/Exam Preparation
JS 730: The Palestine Mandate
JS 730: The Apocalyptic Imagination
JS 730: Franz Kafka


JS 521: Readings in Modern Academic Hebrew
Hary, Time: W 6:30-9:30, MAX: 5

Course description: This course trains students to read academic specialized texts in Modern Hebrew. Students select articles and book chapters in their area of specialization and are trained to read them rapidly with maximum comprehension.  


  • Edna Amir-Coffin and Shmuel Bolozky, A Reference Grammar of Modern Hebrew

Particulars: Requirements include regular meetings during the semester, translations assignments, several quizzes and a final exam.

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JS 540G: Rabbinic Judaism: Prayer and Liturgy (same as REL 372)
Blumenthal , M 2:00-5:00 pm, MAX: 13 (10 JS, 3 REL)

Course description: Prayer is one of the main forms of Jewish spiritual and religious identity. Liturgy is the textual form that prayer takes. This course will begin by studying prayer and liturgy in the Bible. Then, substantial time will be devoted to the traditional prayerbook. This will be followed by some time in medieval Hebrew religious liturgical poetry. Finally, we will look closely at modern forms of Jewish prayer and liturgy.


  • Bible
  • Siddur
  • Mahzor
  • Blumenthal, God at the Center

Prerequisites: Ability to read and understand Hebrew. This is a course for graduate students and qualified undergraduates.

Requirements: Active class participation. Quizzes and final exam. Possible paper.

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JS 597R: Directed Study
, Time: TBA

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JS 598R: Thesis/Exam Preparation

Faculty , Time: TBA

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JS 730: The Palestine Mandate (same as HIST 585)
Stein , Time: W 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., MAX: 6 (JS 3, HIST 3)

Course description: This colloquium will review the thirty-year history prior to the creation of Israel in 1948. We shall try to answer the question: why and how did the Zionists succeed in building a national home? And what factors made the Palestinian Arabs become mostly refugees? Using primary and secondary sources we shall review social, economic, and political issues which influenced the development of Zionism, affected the creation of Israel, saw the emergence of Palestinian national identity, and the layering of the cold war over the Arab-Israeli conflict. Students will concentrate on understanding the internal workings of Arab, British, and Zionist communities and their relationships with one another. Students will use a variety of historical sources, including unpublished dissertations, period newspapers, memoirs, monographs, biographies, and novels of the era.


  • Laurence J. Silberstein (ed.), New Perspectives on Israeli History: The Early Years of the State
  • Kenneth W. Stein, The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939
  • two books to be borrowed from the instructor
  • an extensive core of required articles and books available on reserve

Particulars: Permission of instructor required. Students will write two papers and be responsible for two oral presentations. Using secondary source materials, the ten page short papers (25%) will be written about a personality or institution of the period. The research paper (50%) will be 25 pages, or 35 pages for graduate students. Students will use the Colonial Office 733 (Palestine Mandate) microfilm series and other primary sources. Oral participation constitutes the remaining quarter of the grade.

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JS 730: The Apocalyptic Imagination (Same as OT 626)
Newsom , TTh 9:30-10:50, MAX: 25 (5 JS, 20 OT)

Course description: Examination of the origins and development of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic traditions. The last quarter of the course will examine contemporary manifestations of apocalypticism in Judaism and Christianity.


  • Focus will be on the following texts: 1 Enoch, Daniel, Dead Sea Scrolls, 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, selected letters of Paul, and Revelation.

Particulars: May include take home exams and research or exegetical papers. Permission required for undergraduates.

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JS 730: Franz Kafka (Same as GER 550 and CPLT 721)
Waniek , M 3:00-6:00 p.m., MAX: 10 (JS 3, GER 4, CPLIT 3)

Course description: "Kafkaesque" has entered the language, and Kafka's work is a touchstone of 20th-century literature and thought. Iconic as it has become it is almost buried by interpretations and appropriations. Narrated psychoanalysis, a one-way street to hell, a reluctant theologian, trauma as life - these are some of the (sub-)titles of works on Kafka, and indeed, this author, with his love of parable, invites easy labeling and generalizing speculation, but it is with him perhaps more so than with most writers, at the very sentence and word level that he is richest and most rewarding. In an exercise of both narrow focus and wide horizon the course will try to read his texts as freshly as possible by paying attention to his linguistic and aesthetic means and strategies (e.g., repetition and revision; metamorphosis and the fantastic), while acknowledging the broader topics (e.g., notions of guilt and justice; Bible and Jewish identity; relation to his father; portrayal of women; the act of writing, etc.) and placing him in the literary tradition between precursors such as Kleist, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Gogol, and Robert Walser, and successors such as Borges, Beckett and Bernhard (...and Sebald).


  • Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories
  • one of his novels
  • excerpts from his letters and diaries
  • selected secondary literature

Particulars: Class facilitations; one short paper; one final paper. This course will be conducted in English.

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View undergraduate offerings

For information on the M.A. in Jewish Studies, go to: Graduate Programs in Jewish Studies


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Last updated: February 19, 2008



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