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Graduate Program



Course Offerings


Graduate Spring 2002 Courses


JS 521: Graduate Seminar In Hebrew
JS 540G: Rabbinic Judaism: Prayer and Liturgy
JS 597R: Directed Study
JS 598R: Thesis/Exam Preparation
JS 730: Proseminar - Research and Writing in Jewish Studies
JS 730: Genocide and its Meanings: Rwanda and Nazi Germany
JS 730: Feminist Readings/Rabbinic Texts


JS 521-000: Graduate Seminar In Hebrew
Hary, Thurs. 2:30-5:30, MAX: 15

Content: This course has two major objectives: 1. Reading modern Hebrew articles and books pertaining to Jewish Studies. Students will select readings in their field of study. 2. Readings in Hebrew texts from all periods of the language (Biblical, Rabbinic, Medieval, Pre-Modern and Modern) and comparing major linguistic phenomena. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing linguistic change throughout history.

This course prepares students to later stages of research where they will need to use primary and secondary sources in Hebrew.


  • Course pack consists of selected texts from the different periods.
  • Chaim Rabin, The Principles of the History of the Hebrew Language
  • E.Y. Kutscher, A History of the Hebrew Language

Course Requirements: Students will prepare primary materials for each session as well as secondary materials. Classes will be conducted in both Hebrew and English. Each student will choose, in consultation with the instructor, two or three articles or book chapters in Hebrew in his/her area of specialty for the reading project for the semester. Grades will be based on class participation and preparation, a reading project, several short quizzes, and an exam.

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JS 540G-000: Rabbinic Judaism: Prayer and Liturgy
Blumenthal, Wed. 7:30-10:30 p.m., MAX: 15

Content : 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.

Texts :

  • Bible
  • Siddur
  • Mahzor
  • David R. Blumenthal, God at the Center


  • David R. Blumenthal, Facing the Abusing God: A Theology of Protest
  • David R. Blumenthal, Understanding Jewish Mysticism, 2 vols.
  • Wings of Awe
  • The Book of Blessings
  • Otsar ha-Tefillot
  • Sissur Nashim
  • The Authorized Daily and Sabbath Prayerbook
  • Sedet Rav Amram
  • Seder Avodat Yisrael
  • Kol Haneshama

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-000: Directed Study
Time: TBA

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JS 598R-000: Thesis/Exam Preparation
Faculty, Time: TBA

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JS 730-001: Proseminar - Research and Writing in Jewish Studies
Peskowitz, Mon. 10:00-12:00pm,MAX: 10

Content : The goal of this course is to prepare students for either their MA exams or the successful and timely completion of their MA thesis. To do this, the course will introduce students systematically to the expectations and tools of graduat study. For both thesis and exam tracks, students will clarify their topics of interest, compile bibliographies that represent the necessary scholarship in their specific topic and in the field in which their topic is best located (history, anthropology, literature, etc.). As students read their way through their exam/research lsits, the professor will work with students on the continual clarification of their focus, while maintaining a sense of breath. Synopses, footnote citation, advanced library research and other tools of graduate work will also be discussed and expected.

Texts: TBA

Particulars : Open only to JSMA students.

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JS 730-002: Genocide and its Meanings: Rwanda and Nazi Germany (same as ANT 385S-000, ANT 585-003, AFS 389S-001, MES 375S-000)
Donham/Goldman, TThu 4:00-5:30 p.m, MAX: 36
Content: This course examines genocide in two different historical and cultural contexts. We will consider both social science explanations of geneocide and the literature and art produced in response to it. Issues covered will include: Catastrophe and the formation of identity, the intersection of politics and group memory, and the relationship of art to the tasks of mourning and memorialization.
Texts: Readings include:

  • C. Browning: Ordinary Men
  • M. Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers
  • T. Segev, The Seventh Million

Requirements: Participation in the seminar. A written response to the assigned readings is due on the Tuesday of each week. A research paper of approximately 20 pages due on the last day of class. Tuesday's will be devoted to discussions of the readings. Some Thursday's will include seminar discusstions with invited guests.

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JS 730-000: Feminist Readings/Rabbinic Texts
Peskowitz, Mon. 6:00-9:00pm MAX: 30
Content: This course examines the recent history of feminist interpretation of rabbinic texts. Attention will be given to critical feminist theory and to questions about what is means to engage, reclaim, reread, reject and/or reinterpret ancient Jewish texts. Some attention will be given to traditions of feminist readings of Biblical and other Jewish texts. Authors to be read include Judith Hauptman, Daniel Boyarin, Miriam Peskowitz and Alicia Ostriker.
Texts: TBA

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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: October 7, 2008



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