Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Jewish Studies


Cecile E. Kuznitz (coordinator), Alan Avery-Peck, Mario J. A. Bick, Leon Botstein, Bruce Chilton, Yuval Elmelech, Elizabeth Frank, Norman Manea, David Nelson, Jacob Neusner, Joel Perlmann, Justus Rosenberg


The 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


Moderation 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; History 181, Jews in the Modern World; 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.

Elementary Hebrew
Hebrew 101-102
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 an active and passive lexicon as well as grammatical structures.

Intermediate Hebrew I, II
Hebrew 201, 202 
These courses concentrate on developing a significant level of linguistic and communicative competence in Hebrew. An 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.

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.

Beginning Yiddish
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.

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.

Introduction to Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture
Jewish Studies 315 
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.