Bard College Catalogue 2012-13
Cecile E. Kuznitz (coordinator), Mario J. A. Bick*, Leon Botstein, Bruce Chilton, Yuval Elmelech, Elizabeth Frank**, Norman Manea, David Nelson, Jacob Neusner, Joel Perlmann, Justus Rosenberg, Kim Yaffe
* on sabbatical, fall 2012
** leave of absence, spring 2013
OverviewThe Jewish Studies concentration explores the many facets of the Jewish experience, with course offerings ranging across several millennia and continents. Students concentrating in Jewish studies also moderate into a divisional program. Students may focus, for example, on the classic texts of rabbinic Judaism, the modern Jewish experience in Europe, or the dynamics of contemporary Jewish life in Israel or the United States.
RequirementsModeration follows the procedure for the primary program. The board consists of the student’s adviser, who is a member of the Jewish Studies concentration, and two faculty members from the divisional program. The Moderation should demonstrate progress in both Jewish studies and the student’s divisional program. Senior Projects are directed by a member of the Jewish studies faculty. The Senior Project board should include at least one member of the divisional program into which the student moderated.
Students are required to take a minimum of five courses in the concentration, including: a core course in Jewish studies, consisting of either Jewish Studies 101, Introduction to Jewish Studies, or one approved course from history and one from religion, such as Religion 175, Classics of Judaism; and at least 4 credits of instruction in a Jewish language, typically Hebrew.
When choosing Jewish studies electives, at least one course must be outside the division of the student’s primary program; one course must be an Upper College conference or seminar; two Jewish studies courses should be taken prior to Moderation; and two semesters of Hebrew at the 200 level will count as one elective.
This two-semester course introduces students to modern Hebrew as it is spoken and written in Israel today. Beginning with script and pronunciation, the course also covers a wide range of texts and topics that build active and passive lexicon as well as grammatical structures. Differences between standard and colloquial Hebrew and significant aspects of Israeli culture are highlighted.
This course concentrates on developing a significant level of linguistic and communicative competence in Hebrew. Active and passive lexicon is expanded and advanced grammatical structures are introduced through exposure to different kinds of texts. Aspects of Israeli culture and differences between the standard language and the spoken language are highlighted.
Intermediate Hebrew II
Students continue to improve their Hebrew skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Stress is put on syntactical and structural elements of Hebrew texts, grammar, and active use of communication. A mix of practical and literary texts is used, relating to Israeli culture, social issues, and politics.
Introduction to Jewish Studies
Jewish Studies 101
cross-listed: historical studies, religion
The primary focus of this course is the history of the Jewish people and Judaism as a religion, but students also examine topics in Jewish literature, society, and politics.
Jewish Studies 112
An introduction to reading, writing, and speaking Yiddish. Students also learn about aspects of the East European Jewish culture in which Yiddish developed.
Introduction to Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture
Jewish Studies 115 / History 115
Yiddish was the primary language of European Jewry and its emigrant communities for nearly one thousand years. The class explores the role of Yiddish in Jewish life and the rich culture produced in the language.
Jewishness beyond Religion: Defining Secular Jewish Culture
Jewish Studies 120
This course explores the intellectual, social, and political movements that led to new secular definitions of Jewish culture and identity in the modern period. Examples are drawn from Western and Eastern Europe, as well as American and Israeli societies.
Jewish Rebels and Radicals
Jewish Studies 216
In the modern period, radical ideas have repeatedly challenged traditional Jewish norms of belief and practice. Some have even posited that as an “outsider” minority, Jews have a particular affinity for revolutionary ideologies such as socialism and communism. This course looks at individuals and movements that rebelled against mainstream Jewish society, from Baruch Spinoza to the contemporary American Jewish “Heebster” movement.