Courses for the MInor

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

HEBM 0101 - Introduction Modern Hebrew I      

Introductory Modern Hebrew I
In this course students will become acquainted with the basic grammatical and formal concepts necessary for the comprehension of the Modern Hebrew language. We will focus on the fundamentals of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, with a particular emphasis placed on the acquisition of conversational ability. We will also make use of audiovisual, situational, and cultural exercises, and give attention to the elements of Classical form and style that provided a foundation for Modern Hebrew, which was revived as a vernacular in the late 19th century. No previous knowledge of Hebrew is required. 6 hrs. LNG

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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HEBM 0102 - Intro Modern Hebrew II      

Introductory Modern Hebrew II
This course is an intensive continuation of Modern Hebrew 0101. Students will expand their knowledge of Hebrew grammar and vocabulary, will increase their proficiency in oral communication, and will study selections of both audio and visual media related to modern-day Israel. (HEBM 0101 or equivalent) 10 hrs. lect. LNG WTR

Winter 2013, Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016, Winter 2017

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HEBM 0103 - Intro Modern Hebrew III      

Introductory Modern Hebrew III
This course is a continuation of Modern Hebrew 0102 which will be offered during winter term. Students will further develop their skills in written and oral communication, and will expand their knowledge of the cultures of modern Israel through both audio and visual media. (HEBM 0102 or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect. LNG

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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HEBM 0201 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew I      

Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
This course is a continuation of HEBM 0103. Using authentic audio and visual materials, we will place emphasis on developing the skills required for intermediate-level written and communicative competence. In addition, students will gain a deeper understanding of the forms and style of Classical Hebrew, both of which are necessary for formal composition, interaction, and reading comprehension in Modern Hebrew. (HEBM 0103 or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect/disc LNG

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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HEBM 0202 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew II      

Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
This is the fifth in the sequence of Modern Hebrew courses that focus on the acquisition of reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills. This course will further increase the students' fluency in spoken Hebrew, as well as their facility in reading authentic texts dealing with both secular and religious Jewish cultures, the literature of modern-day Israel, Israeli history, and current events. By the end of the semester, students should attain the level of educated, non-native speakers of Modern Hebrew, in terms of knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, composition, and communicative competence. (HEBM 0201 or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect/disc. AAL LNG

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

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HEBM 0230 - Israeli Authors      

Israeli Authors: Poetics and Politics
In this course we will explore contemporary Israeli literature. Closely reading texts by influential Israeli authors in their cultural, political, and historical contexts, we will devote each week to one author, providing students with solid grasp of the diverse poetic and ideological positions that comprise the Israeli literary map. Reading materials will include novels, short stories, poetry, and drama by authors such as Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, Hanokh Levin, Amalia Kahana Karmon, Yehuda Amichai, Anton Shammas, and Orly Kastel-Bloom. All texts will be read in English translation. 3 hrs lect./disc. AAL LIT

Fall 2014

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HEBM 0234 - Contemporary Israel      

State and Society in Contemporary Israel
In this course we will examine Israeli society and politics in a period of rapid and profound transformation. We will begin with an introductory unit on Zionism, Palestinian nationalism, and the history of the state. Subsequent units will examine the social, cultural, and political characteristics of Israel’s main population sectors (European, Middle Eastern, Russian, and Ethiopian Jews and Palestinian citizens of the state) and religious groupings (Muslims and Jews, including secular, traditional, national-religious, and ultra-Orthodox). The final units will examine ongoing political struggles that will shape the future of the state, including struggles over the role of religion in public life; civil rights and democracy; and West Bank settlements and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Most readings assignments will be social scientific or historical in nature, but will also include some journalism and literature. 3 hrs. lect. AAL SOC

Fall 2014

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HEBM 0236 - Israel from the Margins      

Israel from the Margins: Culture and Politics
How does Israeli culture negotiate the diversity of Israeli society? How does it represent the internal tensions complicating this society? And how do marginal subjects claim their place in Israeli culture? In this course we will explore the literary and cinematic production of Israeli women, LGBT people, Mizrahim, and Palestinians. Course materials (in translation) will range from the provocative poetry of Yona Volach, to the work of Palestinian Hebrew authors Anton Shammas and Sayed Kashua, and Mizrahi authors Ronit Matalon, Amira Hess, and Albert Swissa. We will also watch several Israeli and Palestinian films that foreground question of nationality, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. 3 hrs lect./disc. AAL CMP LIT

Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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HEBM 0237 - Israel-Palestine Conflict      

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Literature and Film
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the subject of diverse cultural productions from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. In this course we will look at the representation of the conflict in Palestinian and Israeli literature and film, exploring the ways in which images, metaphors, and narratives shape and reflect political realities. The course will include the historical evolution of the conflict, and will introduce students to theoretical concepts of use in analyzing political issues through a cultural lens. We will also examine the intersections of the geo-political conflict with gender, sexuality, ethnicity and religion as represented in cinematic and literary works. Class materials will include the films, Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer, The Time that Remains, The Lemon Tree, The Bubble, and Avenge but One of My Two Eyes, as well as works of poetry and prose by authors, Hayim Guri, Natan Aleterman, Dalia Rabikovitch, Amos Oz, Mahmood Darwish, Adania Shibli, Sayed Kashua, and Others. AAL CMP CW LIT

Fall 2016

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HEBM 0250 - Israeli Soc. Through Films      

Israeli Society through Modern Films (In English)
Though Israel is often in the news, most people know little of its vibrant popular culture, or how its cultural products offer the nation an opportunity to represent itself to itself in surprising and thoughtful ways. In this course we will examine Israeli culture, society, and history through contemporary Israeli cinema. The films address such themes as the experiences of Holocaust survivors and new immigrants, relationships among Israeli Jews from different origins, army service, life both in the kibbutz and the city, and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Focus will be on films that have enjoyed both popular and critical success in Israel such as Waltz with Bashir, Beyond the Sea, and Sweat Mud. AAL SOC

Spring 2014

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HEBM 0251 - Israeli Tourism      

Traveling in (and out of) the Holy Land: Israeli Tourism
Tourism is one of the most salient cultural phenomena in the post-World War II era and a main feature of modern life. In this course we will approach tourism from the Israeli perspective. Located at the juncture of Asia, Africa, and Europe and the birthplace of the three monotheistic religions, "The Holy Land", is an important site of pilgrimage and tourism. The diverse landscapes, pleasant weather, varied ethnic mosaic, Middle Eastern cuisine, and vibrant night life further contribute to the country's appeal. Yet Israel is also a hotspot of political disputes and the site of one of the longest standing conflicts of our era, scaring away many tourists, yet attracting others—interested in different kinds of "dark-tourism". Israelis themselves are big travelers, roaming the world individually and on tour-groups, carrying along their cultural traits and behavioral patterns. The lectures and readings for this course will outline the contemporary social theory of tourism and will analyze touristic practices in and of Israel and the Israelis. (Anthropology) AAL SOC WTR

Winter 2016, Winter 2017

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HEBM 0253 - Anthro of Israeli Food      

Hummus, Chips and Salad: The Anthropology of Israeli Food
What is Israeli Food? How do Israelis eat? And what can we learn from these culinary practices about "Israeliness"? In this course we will explore nationalism, ethnicity, religion, gender and class in Israel from the unusual and intimate culinary perspective. While reviewing the theoretical literature on the social and cultural study of food, we will follow the history of dishes such as hummus and falafel, discuss the cultural meanings of religious dietary laws and learn about unique Israeli foodways such as its Independence Day BBQ. We will also deal with the strained culinary relations between Israelis and Palestinians and between Jews and Arabs. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Anthropology) AAL SOC

Spring 2016

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HEBM 0261 - Cultural History of Hebrew      

The Sleeping Beauty: Themes in the Cultural and Linguistic History of the Hebrew Language*
The Hebrew Language has been awakened. In this course we will explore when, where, why, and by whom was this Sleeping Beauty was revived; how both its awakening and hibernation has been connected to linguistic, cultural, and societal transformation over 25 centuries. We will examine poetry, liturgy, Midrash, and other writing by philosophers, poets, linguists, and religious leaders. We will discuss the connection of the revival of the language to the Zionist movement. Throughout the course we will try to answer questions such as: Why do we regard Hebrew as one and the same language after three millennia of constant linguistic change? Was the revival of Hebrew a miracle or a failure? How did Hebrew influence Jewish practices of exegesis? 3 hrs. lect./disc. SOC

Spring 2017

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HEBM 0301 - Advanced Intermediate Hebrew      

Advanced Intermediate Hebrew
This course will reinforce the acquired skills of speaking, listening comprehension,reading, and writing at the intermediate to mid/high level. We will focus primarily on contemporary cultural aspects, conversational Hebrew, reading of selections from Modern Literature: prose and poetry, skits, and newspaper articles. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL LNG

Fall 2014, Fall 2016

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HEBM 0310 - Hebrew Culture in Hebrew      

Hebrew Culture in Hebrew
This course is designed to prepare students to engage academically with Hebrew culture in its original language. Students will watch Israeli films and television, experience Israeli theater by playing selected scenes, and read short literary pieces by prominent Israeli writers. Through class discussions and writing assignments, students will develop their ability to analyze cultural texts, discuss social problems, and differentiate between various linguistic registers in Hebrew. Special attention will be paid to reviewing advanced grammatical issues and to polishing students’ argumentative writing in Hebrew. (HEBM 0301 or equivalent). 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL LNG

Fall 2015

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HEBM 0311 - Hebrew: Ideology and Politics      

Modern Hebrew: Ideology, Politics, and the Miracle of Revival
The focus of this course is to introduce students to the history of Hebrew as a modern language. This will be achieved by reading academic and literary texts and examining other media, such as films and plays. We will focus on the revival of the language, paying close attention to the centrality of language ideology in Israeli society and culture. The conflicting historical narratives of the revival period play a role in Israel's political life up to this day, almost 150 years after the revival of spoken Hebrew. We will examine conflicting interpretations of the historical facts: Was the revival an unparalleled miracle? A unique case of diglossia elimination? Or a natural process of creolization? (HEBM 0301 or equivalent) AAL LNG

Spring 2016

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HEBM 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017

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HEBR 0101 - Beginning Classical Hebrew I      

Beginning Classical Hebrew I
The goal of the Hebrew sequence is to develop students' ability to read the Jewish Bible (Old Testament) and later Hebrew literature. An introduction to classical Hebrew, this course presupposes nothing, begins with mastery of the Hebrew alphabet, and leads students through the noun and the basic structure of the Hebrew verbal system. By the end of the course, students will be reading and translating brief biblical narratives with the use of a lexicon. LNG

Winter 2013, Fall 2014

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HEBR 0102 - Beginning Classical Hebrew II      

Beginning Classical Hebrew II
This course continues the introductory sequence (HEBR 0101) offered in Winter Term and will conclude by reading a single biblical text such as Jonah or Ruth in its entirety. Selections of biblical poetry and narrative will be read throughout the semester. 3 hrs. lect. LNG

Spring 2013

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HEBR 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval required.

Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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JWST 0132 - The Ten Commandments      

The Ten Commandments
After a grounding in the narratives of Genesis and Exodus (and an examination of those books’ understanding of the Law) we will move on to study the two versions of the Commandments—one in Exodus and one in Deuteronomy. We will then proceed to the history of interpretation of the Commandments, both as a unit unto themselves and as part of the general system of biblical law. Special attention will be paid to the differences between Rabbinic Judaism's understanding of the Decalogue (as the commandments are also known) and the various Christian understandings of the Ten Commandments. We will also look at expressions of the Decalogue in Islamic scripture and tradition. 3 hrs. lect. AAL PHL

Fall 2015

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JWST 0160 - The Jewish Tradition      

The Jewish Tradition
How did monotheism emerge in the ancient Middle East? What did God command the Jews to do? (And when God spoke, were they already Jews?) How did they transform this message into a tradition that has endured over two millennia? In this course we will study the tension between preservation and innovation in the Jewish tradition by exploring ritual, practice, classical texts, and their interpretations: Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, medieval philosophy (Maimonides), poetry (Halevi), and mysticism (Zohar and Lurianic Kabbalah). 3 hrs. lect./disc. HIS PHL

Fall 2015

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JWST 0234 - Contemporary Israel      

State and Society in Contemporary Israel
In this course we will examine Israeli society and politics in a period of rapid and profound transformation. We will begin with an introductory unit on Zionism, Palestinian nationalism, and the history of the state. Subsequent units will examine the social, cultural, and political characteristics of Israel’s main population sectors (European, Middle Eastern, Russian, and Ethiopian Jews and Palestinian citizens of the state) and religious groupings (Muslims and Jews, including secular, traditional, national-religious, and ultra-Orthodox). The final units will examine ongoing political struggles that will shape the future of the state, including struggles over the role of religion in public life; civil rights and democracy; and West Bank settlements and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Most readings assignments will be social scientific or historical in nature, but will also include some journalism and literature. 3 hrs. lect. (Sociology) AAL SOC

Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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JWST 0250 - The Jews in Modern Europe      

The Jews in Modern Europe
In this course we will map the emergence of Jewish minority culture into the modern Western political, economic, and social mainstream. Our course begins with the Jewish Haskalah (with a few short introductions to Jewish medieval and early modern history) and ends with Israel's founding in the early decades of its history. We will trace the following historical trends: the history of Jewish emancipation; assimilation; intellectual movements; Zionism; Jewish marginalization; race and gender as historical categories in Jewish history; urban and diasporic cultures; war and violence; and international politics in post-Holocaust Europe and the world. 3 hrs. lect./disc. CMP EUR HIS

Fall 2015

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JWST 0264 - Jewish-Christian Interactions      

Conflict and Identity: Jewish-Christian Interactions
“Urging a Jew to convert to Christianity is like advising a person to move upstairs while demolishing the ground floor.” This quip by Moses Mendelssohn epitomizes Christianity’s conflicted attitude to its Jewish origin, affirming it while rejecting it. Yet the relationship is not symmetrical, for the very reason that Judaism precedes Christianity. In this course we will examine the troubled history of the relationship between Christians and Jews from antiquity to the present. Readings include Church Fathers, rabbinic texts, medieval polemics, law codes regulating Jewish-Christian interactions (particularly governing food and table fellowship) and modern interfaith dialogue. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR HIS PHL

Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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JWST 0273 - Diasporas and Homelands      

Diasporas and Homelands
War, mass migration, and globalization have spurred development of diaspora communities and heightened scholarly interest in the phenomenon. In contrast to other groups of exiles and immigrants, diaspora communities seek integration within host countries as well as ongoing political, economic, and cultural ties to their homelands. A number of questions arise from these complex and dynamic relationships: How do diaspora communities maintain cultural distinctiveness within host countries? How do they maintain and reproduce cultural ties with homelands and other centers of diaspora life? What influence do diaspora communities have on political relationships between host countries and homelands? What influence do they have on internal homeland politics? Finally, what are the implications of the diaspora phenomenon for the future of the nation state and globalization? Case studies will be drawn from a variety of diaspora communities, including Armenians, Nigerians, Jews, Palestinians, Dominicans, and South Asians. 3 hrs. lect. (Sociology) CMP SOC

Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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JWST 0280 - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament      

Studies in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament WT
Studies in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is an introductory course that focuses on a major religious text in the Western tradition. We will closely read diverse selections from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Writings in English translation; no familiarity with the Bible or background is presumed. Special attention will be paid to matters of genre and methods of modern biblical scholarship, as well as Jewish and Christian traditions of interpretation. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. HIS PHL

Spring 2016

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JWST 0297 - Middle East Political Religion      

Middle Eastern Political Religion
Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the rise of Religious Zionism in Israel, Middle Eastern politics and religion have become inextricably linked. In this course we examine the relationship between politics and religion in the Arab states, Israel, and Iran. Readings include selections from the scriptures of the monotheistic traditions, historical accounts of religious and political change, and theoretical analyses of historical trends. Throughout the term we will follow news accounts of current developments in the Middle East. 3 hrs. lect. AAL PHL

Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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JWST 1001 - Social Movements & Jewish Life      

Social Movements in Modern Jewish Life
Over the last half century, social movements have challenged, shaken up, and transformed American Jewish life. In this course we will consider the influence of civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, the Soviet Jewry campaign, and struggles over Israel. More recent cases will include Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and gender identity movements. Throughout, our focus will be on the reciprocal influence of political and religious movements, and on the changing character of American Jewish life. NOR SOC WTR

Winter 2016, Winter 2017

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JWST 1016 - Hannah Arendt/Politics of Phil      

Hannah Arendt: The Politics of Philosophy
Hannah Arendt was one of the most dynamic and original thinkers of the twentieth century. She once described her philosophy as “thinking without banisters,” which meant engaging the ideas and events of her time without ideological preconditions. Topics of her work included the Holocaust and Israel, race theory and racism in America, nationalism, totalitarianism, and moral responsibility under dictatorship. Controversial but always innovative, her work provides an immediate gateway to the discussion of ethics, politics, and the purpose of philosophy. We will read selections from her Eichmann in Jerusalem, Responsibility and Judgement, Origins of Totalitarianism, and The Jewish Writings. We will also watch interviews and the feature film from director Margarethe von Trotte, Hannah Arendt (2012). PHL WTR

Winter 2016, Winter 2017

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Program in Jewish Studies

Munroe Hall 
427 College St.
Middlebury College

MiddleburyVT 05753