Jewish Studies
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Course Offerings

2016-2017 COURSES


Summer 2017

HMR 130     

Genocide and Film                                                                                

Amila Becirbegovic


Fall 2017

GER 127

Major Writers in German—Franz Kafka (in English)

Sven-Erik Rose

HEB 001 

Elementary Hebrew I

Galia Franco

HEB 010 

Intro to Biblical Hebrew

Galia Franco

HEB 021

Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Galia Franco

HIS 011

Introduction to Jewish History

David Biale

HIS 112B

Topics in Modern Jewish History

David Biale

HIS 112C

Jews Among Muslims

Susan Miller

POL 136

Arab-Israeli Conflict

Zeev Maoz

RST 122

Studies in Biblical Texts

Seth Sanders

RST 130

Doom: The End of the World and Afterward (Topics Course)

Seth Sanders

RST 150

Religious Ethics

Meaghan O'Keefe

Winter 2018

HEB 002

Elementary Hebrew II

Galia Franco

HEB 011

Intro to Biblical Hebrew

Galia Franco

HEB 022

Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Galia Franco

HIS 142B

Memory of the Holocaust

David Biale

HMR 131


Keith Watenpaugh

POL 135

International Politics of the Middle East

Zeev Maoz

RST 021

Bible and Its Interpreters 

Eva Mroczek

RST 132

Sex and Gender in the Bible

Eva Mroczek

SOC 195 H  

Farm to Fork: Food, Culture, and Society

Rafi Grosglik

Spring 2018

HEB 003

Elementary Hebrew III

Galia Franco

HEB 010

Intro to Biblical Hebrew

Galia Franco

HEB 023

Intermediate Modern Hebrew III

Galia Franco

MSA 180

Between History and Fiction: Palestinian and Israeli Literature 

Noha Radwan

RST 012

Emergence of Judaism, Christianity, Islam

Eva Mroczek

RST 40

New Testament

Wendy Terry

RST 141C

New Testament--Paul

Wendy Terry

SOC 195

Farm to Fork: Comparative Perspectives on Food, Agriculture and Society 

in Israel, Palestine, and California    

Rafi Grosglik




Course Title





GE Credits



GER 127: Major Writers in German—Franz Kafka (in English)

Sven-Erik Rose



1038 Wickson

AH or AH, WC, WE



HEB 001: Elementary Hebrew III

Galia Franco



1116 Hart





HEB 010: Intro to Biblical Hebrew III

Kengo Akiyama



148 Physics





HEB 021: Intermediate Modern Hebrew III

Galia Franco



1116 Hart



HIS 011: Introduction to Jewish History

David Biale



194 Young

AH or AH, DD, VL, WC, WE



HIS 112C: Jews Among Muslims

Susan Miller



107 Cruess


SS or SS, WC, WE


POL 136: Arab-Israel Conflict

Zeev Maoz



26 Wellman

SS, W or SS, WE



RST 122: Studies in Bible Texts

Seth Sanders



148 Physics

AH or AH, WE



RST 130: Doom: The End of the World and Afterward (Topics Course)

Seth Sanders



290 Hickey Gym




RST 150: Religious Ethics

Meaghan O’Keefe



290 Hickey Gym

AH, D, W or AH, WC, WE

New General Education (GE) Credit: AH=Arts and Humanities; SS=Social Sciences; ACGH=American Cultures; DD=Domestic Diversity; OL=Oral Skills; VL=Visual; WC=World Cultures; WE=Writing Experience


GER 127 Major Writers in German: Franz KafkaS. Rose

In this course we will explore one of the 20th century’s most brilliant and enigmatic prose writers, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), in the literary and historical context of early 20th-century Central Europe. Kafka wrote most of his works between 1912 and 1924 (though few were published during his lifetime), and we will be able to read most of them: his three novels, and his most important short fiction and parables. In order to gain perspective on Kafka’s originality, we will also read texts by two of Kafka's modernist contemporaries, Thomas Mann (1875-1955) and Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931). 

Our exploration of Kafka will be organized by major themes, such as Kafka's treatment of family relations; the nature of art and the role of the artist; the cultural and socio-political situation of European Jews; and the individual in modern bureaucratic society. Throughout, we will pay special attention to Kafka’s fascinating treatment—and derangement—of place and space, of which examples include: a mysterious court that has no official address but can appear seemingly anywhere; an unapproachable castle; and an America in which the Brooklyn Bridge stretches from New York City to Boston.

All readings will be in English, and no previous background in literary studies, Jewish Studies, or German is expected.

HEB 001: Elementary Hebrew I - G. Franco

Hebrew is an ancient language that was considered dead for 2000 years. It was revived as a modern language some 150 years ago. Since then it continues to evolve with new words added frequently. It is spoken in modern Israel and in some communities around the world. This class is the first quarter of a year-long course on modern Hebrew. By the end of the school year, students will have acquired a good grasp of the essential grammar of modern Hebrew, a significant level of proficiency in conversation and a good skill of reading, writing and listening comprehension. In addition, students will learn the culture and history that was expressed through the Hebrew language from antiquity until today.

HEB 010: Intro to Biblical Hebrew – K. Akiyama

This is the first quarter of a year-long course on Biblical Hebrew, which gradually introduces students to the main elements of Biblical Hebrew grammar. By the end of the year, students will be able to engage in “assisted” reading of a short book or a few major chapters the Hebrew Bible. For the first quarter, we will learn the Hebrew alphabet and then begin with the basics of grammar. We will work through snippets from the Hebrew Bible early in the quarter and will conclude by reading some short, select passages. There are no prerequisites for the course, although a knowledge of a language(s) apart from English and also a good grasp of English grammar would come in handy! Learning Biblical Hebrew gives you first-hand access to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible which has been at the heart of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Contact if you have questions.

HEB 021: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I - G. Franco

This class is the intermediate level of modern Hebrew and a continuation of the first year level.  It is the first of a year-long course. We will continue with grammar, conversation and an advanced level in reading and listening comprehension. In addition, students will be able to discuss, in Hebrew, the culture and history of modern life in Israel.

HIS 11: Jewish History – D. Biale

This course surveys Jewish history from its origins to modern times. Over the last 3000 years, the Jewish people have developed a wide variety of different cultures, both adapting and resisting the cultures of their neighbors. At the same time, they also developed a textual tradition of laws, legends, philosophy and mysticism that has united them over their great geographical dispersion. In this course, we will examine the varieties of Jewish culture and the textual tradition that has held them together. While the focus will be on cultural history, we will situate Jewish culture in terms of political and social developments. Among the cultures we will consider are the biblical, hellenistic, Judeo-Arabic, Sephardic and Ashkenazic and, in modern times, the Jewish cultures of Eastern Europe, North Africa, the State of Israel and the United States. We will read essays by some of the leading contemporary scholars of Jewish Studies and we’ll also study original texts from the Bible, Talmud, and medieval and modern Jewish thought. Every class session will involve study of relevant primary sources and discussion of a different Jewish culture. In the text study sessions, students will experience the characteristically Jewish form of study called hevruta.

HIS 112C: Jews Among Muslims—S. Miller

In this course, we shall reconsider the unfolding relationship between Jews and Muslims in the Muslin world and beyond since the time of the Prophet Muhammad until the present day. How were Jews integrated into Islamic civilization, legally, socially, and politically? What ideas produced a historiography of “symbiosis” and its opposite, a historiography of “difference”? What was the impact of modernity and the rise of a global capitalist economy? How did Jews of Islam respond to intellectual influences coming from Europe in the nineteenth century? How did ideologies such as Zionism, Communism, Fascism, and Arab Nationalism destabilize and reshape long-held understandings? What were the consequences of the Holocaust, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and other mid-twentieth century crises that led to the formation of new Jewish diasporas? How do the Jews of Islamic lands preserve the memory of their distinctive past, how do Muslims remember their former Jewish populations? In order to understand this complex and shared history, we make use of personal memoirs, film, and photography.

RST 150: Religious Ethics—M. O’Keefe

This course examines religious perspectives on ethical dilemmas that arise in pluralistic societies. Because the United States, and particularly California, has become increasingly diverse in terms of religious practice this means that as citizens affected by and interested in public policy we have to figure out how to straddle the line between respecting religious ethics and creating fair and equitable public policy. Part of this process is learning about and understanding religious traditions outside of our own as well as deepening our understanding of those that are more familiar. Guided by these concerns, in this course you will become familiar with various ethical traditions, research their histories, and formulate academic arguments about religious ethics.