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Courses - Spring 2021

Jewish Studies and Hebrew Courses



JWSH 107 – Jews, Christians, Muslims
Online - 1/25-3/19, Molly Zahn.
A basic introduction to the major religious traditions of the Near East, Europe, and the Americas, with an emphasis on their development through the modern period and their expressions in contemporary life. Not open to students who have taken JWSH 109 or REL 109. Same as REL 107.

JWSH 124 – Understanding the Bible
Online - 3/22-5/14, Molly Zahn.
An introduction to the literature of the Bible, exploring the relationships among the various types of literature present and the function of each type in the history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Cannot be taken concurrently with REL 311 or JWSH 321 or REL 315. Not open to students who have taken REL 125 or JWSH 125. Same as REL 124.

JWSH 300 – Special Topics in Jewish Studies: Prophets and Profits
Online - TH, 1:00-2:15PM, Sam Brody.
The course will examine what religious traditions have had to say about controversies in economic ethics, focusing on how religious thinkers develop arguments on the basis of methods particular to their traditions. At the same time, it presents these traditions alongside secular approaches to economic ethics. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism will be considered, as will liberalism, Marxism, feminism, and natural law theory. Topics include economic inequality, wealth accumulation, licit and illicit commerce, slavery, and profit. Attention will also be paid to the methodological challenges of the study of the topic, which necessarily brings together political economy, ethics, economic history, and hermeneutics. Students will work with a diverse array of primary sources, from ancient scriptures to modern thinkers. The ultimate goal will be to understand how it is possible for thinkers within the same religious tradition to take differing stances on economic ethics, while considering themselves wholly grounded in tradition, depending on their relationships to the modern secular approaches we discuss.

JWSH 300 – Special Topics in Jewish Studies: Jewish-American Popular Culture
Online - TR, 9:30-10:45AM, Henry Bial.
Interdisciplinary examination of popular culture oriented around a specific genre or theme. Objects of study may include popular forms of live performance such as musicals or vaudeville, as well as media-based performances (radio, television, film, internet). Specific topic to be studied changes as needs and resources develop. May be repeated for credit for different topics.

JWSH 330 – Mystical Traditions in Judaism
TR, 11:00 - 12:15PM, Rabbi Neal Schuster. Kansas Union, Jayhawk Room
Mystical experiences and supernatural encounters in Jewish texts and tradition: Dybbuks and demons, angels and Elijah; from ecstatic enlightenment to succumbing to satan - Jewish texts and tradition are riddled with the arcane, the occult and the mystical. This course will mine the sources for a deep exploration of these aspects of Judaism that are most often obscured by "normative" teachings and practices, yet remain deeply embedded in the customs and beliefs of Jews around the world. (Same as REL 329.)

JWSH 335 – History of Jewish Women
Online, Frances Sternberg.
This course explores the history of Jewish women from antiquity to the twentieth century. It examines the historical constructions of women's gender roles and identities in Jewish law and custom as well as the social and cultural impact of those constructions in the context of the realities of women's lives in both Jewish and non-Jewish society. (Same as HIST 335, WGSS 335.)

JWSH 338 – Languages of the Jews
Online, MW 12:30 - 1:45PM, Dr. Renee Perelmutter.
From the beginning, Jewish history and culture is closely tied to language, from Hebrew and Aramaic to the languages of diaspora such as Yiddish and Ladino. Focusing on issues of language in society, this course will survey the languages spoken by the Jews throughout their long history in diverse communities around the world. We will learn about Hebrew as a spoken and a sacred language, examine how Jewish languages are born and die, and discuss the resurrection of Modern Hebrew in the state of Israel. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of languages or linguistics is required. (Same as LING 338.)

JWSH 343 – The Holocaust in History
Online, Frances Sternberg.
The systematic murder of the Jews of Europe by the Nazis during World War II is one of the most important events of modern history. This course studies the Holocaust by asking about its place in history. It compares other attempted genocides with the Holocaust and examines why most historians argue that it is unique. Other topics covered include the reasons the Holocaust occurred in Europe when it did, the changing role of anti-Semitism, and the effects of the Holocaust on civilization. The course also discusses why some people have sought to deny the Holocaust. The course concludes by discussing the questions people have raised about the Holocaust and such issues as support for democracy, the belief in progress, the role of science, and the search for human values which are common to all societies. (Same as HIST 343.)

JWSH 410 – Israel: From Idea to State
Online, TR 1:00-2:15PM, Rami Zeedan.
The course surveys the emergence of modern Israel, Israeli government, culture, and society. The course is divided into four periods: Hovevei Zion, the Zionist movement, and the first and second Aliyah; the Yishuv during Mandatory Palestine; the First two decades of statehood, 1948-1967; and Israel after the 1967 war.

JWSH 490 - Directed Study in Jewish Studies
Online, by appointment, Renee Perelmutter or Rami Zeedan.
Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision. Course may be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours. Majors and minors in Jewish Studies, not in the University Honors Program, may use this course to satisfy the requirements for departmental honors in Jewish Studies. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

JWSH 601 – Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies
Online, 2:30-5:00PM, Thurs/Fri, Renee Perelmutter or Rami Zeedan.
Investigation of topics related to Jewish studies from an interdisciplinary perspective: Jewish culture, history, and religion. The course focuses on research methods and intensive writing. Prerequisite: Open only to Jewish studies majors. Suggested for students with senior standing.

JWSH 650 – Service Learning Jewish Studies
Online, by appointment, Renee Perelmutter or Rami Zeedan.
This course, to be taken in the junior or senior year, is designed to give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge, concepts, and ideas gained in courses in Jewish studies to real-life situations in appropriate agencies and organizations. Open to students in the Jewish Studies program. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

JWSH 681 – Regimes in the Middle East and North Africa
Online, Rami Zeedan.
Using governmental case-studies in North Africa and the Middle East, this course will examine basic definitions and behavoriors of liberal democracies, dictatorships, and hybrid regimes, the transitions between them, and the strategies they (and their leaders) use to stay in power. Prerequisite: JWSH 440 or permission of instructor.





HEBR 120 – Elementary Israeli Hebrew II
Online, M-F 10:00-10:45AM, Shelley Rissien.
A continuation of HEBR 110. Note Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 110.2

HEBR 220 – Intermediate Israeli Hebrew II
MWF 9:00-9:45AM, Shelley Rissien.
A continuation of HEBR 210. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 210.

HEBR 490 – Independent Study
Online, by appointment, Shelley Rissien.
Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220 or permission of the instructor.

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