This course will present a broad overview of Jewish history and culture, and will use the notion of identity as a window through which to view those processes. We will trace continuity and change in Jewish identity from ancient to modern times and across different regions, and will see that Jewish identity has varied tremendously over time and place. We will explore diverse Jewish experiences and how they have shaped a variety of Jewish identities. In addition, we will consider the many ways that identities mold everyday social interactions, affecting lives for both better and worse.
This course introduces the lands, cities, and peoples associated with the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Using methodologies from historical geography, archaeology, ancient history, epigraphy, and anthropology, you will learn about the Fertile Crescent, from the Nile Valley, through the Levant and its Jordan River valley, to Mesopotamia--the river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, studying the cities and states of the cultures along these rivers in the Bronze and Iron Ages.
This course will focus on better understanding the people of the State of Israel. We will look at what is important to them, how they see and organize themselves, and how they understand and experience the world around them. This course will focus on society and cultures in the State of Israel (the nation-state established in 1948); it will look at the cultural worldviews to be found there and at the social relations among its people.