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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 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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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 by permission) 10 hrs. lect. LNG WTR

Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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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 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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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 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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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, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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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, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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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 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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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, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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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 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 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 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 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)

Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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HEBR 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval required.

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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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 0201 - Modern American Jewish History      

Modern American Jewish History
What characterizes the modern American Jewish experience? Is it the effort to assimilate into the American mainstream? Is it about the struggle to preserve Jewish distinctiveness? Drawing on historical scholarship and primary sources (films, art, cartoons, newspapers, literature), we will consider the many meanings of American Jewish identity, particularly its religious, racial, ethnic, and national connotations. We will begin in the 1880s, during the largest wave of Jewish immigration to the U.S. Topics will include “Americanization,” labor, political activism, religious reform, World War II and the Holocaust, “Jewish continuity,” gender roles, race relations, urbanization, suburbanization, and the relationship of Jews to white flight, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and philanthropy. 3 hrs. lect. AMR HIS NOR

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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JWST 0261 - Judaism in the Modern Era      

Jewish Thought and Culture: The Modern Era
Contemporary Jewish life poses many questions: why do many Jews say they are “Jewish, but not religious”? What is distinct about Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism? What do the terms “Zionist” and “anti-Zionist Jew” mean? What is the place of the State of Israel in Jewish life? To answer these questions we will study the history of Jewish culture in the modern era: the Enlightenment critique of religion, Jewish-Christian relations, changes in Jewish practice, the revival of Hebrew, concepts of nationalism, assimilation and the problem of “Jewish politics.” Sources will include classical and modern texts, literature and art. 3 hrs. lect. EUR PHL

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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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, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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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

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 2022, Spring 2023

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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 0448 - Black&Jewish Feminist Perspect      

Black and Jewish Feminist Perspectives
Feminism has a rich history in the United States. In this course we will study feminism from the perspectives of two distinct, sometimes intersecting groups: Black Americans and Jewish Americans. We will explore major feminist texts, writers, and collectives, from Angela Davis, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and the Combahee River Collective to Shulamith Firestone, Judith Plaskow, B’Not Esh, and Di Vilde Chayes. Through their work and activism, we will study in this reading-intensive course how race, class, spirituality, and sexuality have shaped and reshaped feminist concerns. 3 hrs. sem. AMR HIS NOR SOC

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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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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JWST 1019 - Philosophy of Fascism      

Philosophy of Fascism in the work of Adorno, Arendt and Benjamin
Was the previous US administration fascist? Was it comparable to 20th century European fascism? Upon finding refuge in America, several German-Jewish philosophers sought to understand the terms fascism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism. They focused on morality, participation and subjectivity rather than the figure of the dictator. They asked if this could happen in America. We will begin with a survey of contemporary debates and then read selections from Adorno/Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality (1950), and Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). We will conclude with Benjamin’s Thesis on the Philosophy of History (1940). PHL WTR

Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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JWST 1043 - Prophets and Politics      

Prophets and Politics
The prophets of ancient Israel cared less about predicting the future than about shaping it. Political pests, radicals, pacifists and protesters, they were diverse, agitating against the abuse of power, against poverty, economic inequality, and war crimes, long before these abuses were the rallying cries of modern political movements. We will read selections from the prophetic books (Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, I-II Samuel), as well as the writings of activists whom the prophets inspired: Martin Luther King, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dorothy Day. Students will be challenged to write on the meaning of prophetic ethics for our own times. HIS PHL WTR

Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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Program in Jewish Studies

Munroe Hall 
427 College St.
Middlebury College

MiddleburyVT 05753