COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

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 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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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 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

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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 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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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 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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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 MDE

Spring 2018

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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 and religious groupings. The final units will examine ongoing political struggles, 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 in nature but will also include journalism and literature. 3 hrs. lect. AAL MDE SOC

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

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HEBM 0237 - Israel-Palestine Conflict      

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Film
In this course we will examine representations of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a wide range of cinematic works and the ways in which films reflect and construct social, cultural, and political realities. Following an introductory unit on Palestinian and Jewish nationalisms, we will address core issues of the conflict (e.g., refugees, settlements, and Jerusalem), everyday life under occupation, and forms of resistance. By discussing fiction films and documentaries we will critically explore social processes, diverse ideologies, unique point of views, and various Israeli and Palestinian narratives. The course is based on lectures, film screenings, class discussions, and student presentations. 3 hrs. lect. AAL CMP MDE SOC

Fall 2016, Fall 2020

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HEBM 0254 - Rite/Ritual:Israel & Neighbors      

Rites and Rituals: Israel and its Neighbors
In this course we will use theory and case studies, from Israel and its neighbors, to explore a wide range of rituals. We will examine national goals achieved with the assistance of ceremonies, and society’s imprint on its members through life-cycle rituals. We will address similarities and differences in the ways specific rituals are performed, and the diverse meanings they may hold for groups and individuals in geographically proximate yet culturally distinct countries, and in the heterogeneous Israeli society. Our aim is to analyze cultural repertoires and social relations, as are represented, reproduced, and contested in ritualistic activities. 3 hrs. lect CMP SOC

Fall 2018

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HEBM 0258 - Israeli Society Through Film      

Israeli Society Through Films
In this course we will examine Israeli culture, society, and history through Israeli cinema. We will view and discuss fiction films and documentaries that address, present and reflect such themes as national and personal aspects of life in Israel, the centrality of war and the ongoing conflict, the lives of Palestinians, experiences of Holocaust survivors, the changing status of the kibbutz, ethnic minorities, gender relations, LGBT issues, and varied religious communities. By analyzing films, we will trace and explore core values, shared beliefs, diverse ideologies, unique points of view, social processes, and social relations in past and present-day Israel. (formally HEBM 0250) 3 hrs. lect. AAL MDE SOC

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

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HEBM 0261 - Revival of the Hebrew Language      

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 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? This course counts towards the Jewish Studies minor (JWTS). 3 hrs. lect./disc. SOC

Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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HEBM 0263 - Modern Hebrew Literature      

Representation in Modern Hebrew Literature: Nation and Identities
Modern Hebrew literature, in its relatively short history, presents exceptional richness. In this course we will explore the theme of nation and identity in modern Hebrew literature: we will visit the personal lyricism of Bialik and his circle, the encyclopedic prose of Agnon, the troubled stream of consciousness of Gnessin, the stark realism of Brenner, the symbolism of Alterman, and the deliberately thin post-modern prose of Keret. We will meet modern Hebrew literature’s remarkable achievements as well as its points of crisis. We will also explore its deep historical roots which make modern Hebrew literature so unique. All readings in the course will be in English. 3 hrs. lect./disc AAL CMP LIT MDE

Fall 2018

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HEBM 0269 - Rite/Ritual in Israeli Society      

Rites and Rituals in Israeli Society
In this course we will use theory and case studies, from Israel and its neighbors, to explore a wide range of rituals. We will examine national goals achieved with the assistance of ceremonies, and society’s imprint on its members through life-cycle rituals. We will address similarities and differences in the ways specific rituals are performed, and the diverse meanings they may hold for groups and individuals in geographically proximate yet culturally distinct countries, and in the heterogeneous Israeli society. Our aim is to analyze cultural repertoires and social relations, as are represented, reproduced, and contested in ritualistic activities. (formerly HEBM/SOAN 0254) 3 hrs. lect CMP SOC

Fall 2019

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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 MDE

Fall 2016, Fall 2018

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HEBM 0302 - Advanced Hebrew      

Advanced Hebrew
This course is a continuation of HEBM 0301. The course will reinforce and expand students’ speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills at an advanced level. We will focus primarily on contemporary cultural issues, conversational Hebrew, and reading selections from modern literature; including prose and poetry, skits, and newspaper articles. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL LNG MDE

Spring 2017, Spring 2019

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HEBM 0411 - Translating Hebrew      

Translating Hebrew - Theory and Practice
In this course students at the advanced level of Hebrew will learn about the central themes of the theory and practice of translation. Special attention will be given to the particular issues emerging from the translation of Hebrew. Keeping in mind the theoretical background, we will translate Hebrew texts of various genres and periods. We will discuss the linguistic structure of these texts as well as their cultural background. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL LNG MDE

Fall 2017, Fall 2019

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HEBM 0412 - Continuing Advanced Hebrew      

Continuing Advanced Hebrew

Fall 2020

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HEBM 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021

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HEBR 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval required.

Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

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JWST 0160 - The Jewish Tradition      

Jewish Traditions
“Traditions” are not static, but a constant interplay between continuity and creativity. What do classical Jewish texts (Bible, Rabbinic literature) tell us about Judaism’s origins? How have the core concepts and practices of Judaism morphed into a cluster of traditions that has endured over two millennia? With these questions in mind, we will study central ideas in Jewish thought, rituals, and their transformations, culminating in individual projects involving the investigation a contemporary movement, congregation or trend in contemporary Jewish life, e.g. Reform, Reconstructionism, mystical (neo-Kabbalistic) revivals, or “secular” Judaism. 3 hrs. lect./disc. HIS PHL

Fall 2018

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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 2016

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JWST 0237 - Israel-Palestine Culture      

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Film
In this course we will examine representations of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a wide range of cinematic works and the ways in which films reflect and construct social, cultural, and political realities. Following an introductory unit on Palestinian and Jewish nationalisms, we will address core issues of the conflict (e.g., refugees, settlements, and Jerusalem), everyday life under occupation, and forms of resistance. By discussing fiction films and documentaries we will critically explore social processes, diverse ideologies, unique point of views, and various Israeli and Palestinian narratives. The course is based on lectures, film screenings, class discussions, and student presentations. 3 hrs. lect. AAL CMP MDE SOC

Fall 2020

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JWST 0257 - Please Register via HIST 0257A      

The Holocaust
Why did the Holocaust happen? How could the Holocaust happen? In this course we will consider several aspects of the Holocaust, including the long-term conditions and events leading up to it, the measures employed in undertaking it, and the aftermath of the atrocities. Beyond a general survey, this course introduces students to the many varying interpretations and historical arguments scholars of the Holocaust have proposed and invites them to discuss and debate these issues in class. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR HIS

Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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JWST 0261 - Jewish Thought: Modern Era      

What is Jewish Thought? The Modern Era
What’s left of religion once reason is done with it? This is the question posed by the Enlightenment and confronted by the major Jewish thinkers we study in this course. Some become champions of Enlightenment reason; others later react against it. Is Judaism actually a rational religion after all-universal, but endowed with a particular identity by its practices and ceremonies (per Moses Mendelssohn)? Or is it unique because of its ethical monotheism (per Hermann Cohen)? Is it essentially a national identity (per Zionism)? As Jewish thinkers face challenges to received tradition, what exactly is the task of Jewish thought? 3 hrs. lect/disc EUR PHL

Spring 2020

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JWST 0263 - Introduction to the Talmud      

Sex, Money, and Violence – an Introduction to the Talmud
The Talmud is the defining book of Jewish culture. Incredibly rich and varied, it has something to say about almost everything, usually something surprising. It is a book not simply to read, but to engage within dialogue. Due to its idiosyncratic language and unique form, it is not always easily accessible for the beginner. In this course we will learn about the fundamentals of the Talmudic text and then delve into selected passages, discovering together what the Talmud has to say about sex, money, violence, and an array of other topics relevant to modern life. 3 hrs. lect./disc. PHL

Spring 2019

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JWST 0264 - Jews and Christians      

Jews and Christians: Conflict and Identity
“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 (1729-1786) 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 examine the fraught relationship between Christians and Jews from antiquity to the present. Readings include Church Fathers, rabbinic texts, polemics, theologians, as well as the Catholic declarations of Vatican II and modern interfaith dialogue. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR HIS PHL

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 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. (Seniors by waiver) 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. HIS PHL

Spring 2019

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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 MDE PHL

Fall 2016, Spring 2018

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JWST 0362 - Religion and Nationalsim      

Religion and Nationalism – Israel and Palestine
How do Palestinian and Jewish nationalisms compare? Are they “simply” national movements? Are they secular or religious movements? Is Zionism a European colonial enterprise, a manifestation of “Orientalism” and racism, or a Jewish response to these phenomena? We will study the development of Jewish and Palestinian nationalisms, with attention to religion, political ideology, and to competing and contradictory versions of history. Course materials will include readings by major proponents and critics of both Palestinian and Jewish nationalism, debates on historiography, memoir, and film. Will include debate simulations. Fulfils requirements for MES Major and JWST Minor. 3 hrs. sem. AAL HIS MDE PHL

Spring 2019

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JWST 0388 - Job and the Problem with Evil      

The Book of Job and the Problem of Evil
Why do the innocent suffer? The Book of Job asked this question millennia ago, giving not an explicit answer, but at least a response. Framed by a prose tale on the patient Job, the book is mainly a debate in poetry between an impatient Job and his “friends” that has continued to our day, in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought, and in philosophy. We will study the debate on the meaning of Job in philosophy and religion through the works of Maimonides, Kant, Hume, Voltaire, William Blake, Jung, and others. Familiarity with Biblical studies or philosophy of religion is helpful, but not required. 3 hrs. sem. PHL

Spring 2021

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JWST 0408 - Please register via HIST 0408A      

Readings in Modern European History: The Nazis and the Jews
Hitler and his functionaries in the Nazi Party initiated and led a vicious campaign to annihilate the Jews of Europe during the Second World War. This seminar will examine the issues and events that helped shape the National Socialist worldview of individuals and groups during the Nazi Holocaust, and will close with an examination of how modern European cultures have addressed the legacy of the Nazi past, including such topics as Holocaust denial and memorialization. (formerly HIST 0424) 3 hr. sem. EUR HIS

Spring 2018

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JWST 0458 - Merchants of Venice      

Merchants of Venice
In this class we will read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice from different perspectives, including those of race, religion, gender, staging, and form, engaging the play at the level of rhetorical analysis, textual history, character analysis, source analysis, stage and film history, and current performance. We will study contemporaneous dramas resembling The Merchant of Venice (e.g., Three Ladies of London, Jew of Malta, Othello). Throughout, we will consider the multiple attitudes towards Jewishness and Judaism implicit in the play, its performance history and its literary and cultural influence. Finally, we will study the literary legacy of The Merchant of Venice, from the early modern period up to our own times. The class should also give us an opportunity to enhance our skills in rhetorical analysis, writing, speaking, and research. 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Spring 2021

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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 2018

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Program in Jewish Studies

Munroe Hall 
427 College St.
Middlebury College

MiddleburyVT 05753