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Jewish Studies Calendar

Jewish Studies Calendar

Synchronous Webconferencing Courses

Join a line-up of impressive Spertus faculty members and your fellow students to learn together in real time.

These courses fulfill requirements for students enrolled in Spertus Institute's Jewish Studies MA and Doctoral programs. 

Contact Spertus Institute Registrar Victoria Blum at if you have questions relating to your registration.

Fall 2021 Webconferencing Courses
Each course meets online weekly for two-hour sessions held over eight weeks
Register for one or both at the link below.

Medieval illuminated manuscript

Taught by Dr. David Graizbord

Course 3503 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Core

Meets weekly via Zoom | Mondays 6 to 8 pm CT
October 4 to November 22, 2021 (8 Sessions)

Taught by historian Dr. David Graizbord, Associate Director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona, students in this course will explore the history and diasporic cultures of the Jews of the Middle Ages.

You’ll survey cultural and historical continuities, including overarching trends and trans-geographic forces, and then zoom in to look at specific cultural areas through scholarly works that reveal diverse analytical lenses. Understanding the non-Jewish contexts in which medieval Jews created their unique cultures will be key. Special efforts will be devoted to shedding light on the history of ordinary Jews to complement traditional approaches that focus on rabbinic texts and their creators. We will pay special attention to the development and character of unique yet linked Jewish culture areas, including Eretz YIsrael, Bavel, Sepharad, Ashkenaz, and, to a lesser extent, Egypt, the central Maghreb, and Italyah.

Image:15th-Century Darmstadt Haggadah, Spertus Institute collection.

Midrash Building, Congregação Judaica do Brasi

Taught by Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Course 3162 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Second Level Core, MAJS Elective, DSJS/DHL Text Course, DSJS Elective

Meets weekly via Zoom | Tuesdays 12 to 2 pm CT
October 5 to November 23, 2021 (8 Sessions)

In this course, you will examine the concept of Midrash as it relates to the interpretations of the Rabbis of the Biblical canon. Under the skilled direction of Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, you’ll explore the many definitions of Midrash and study both Halakhic (legal) and Aggadic (non-legal) documents to learn how the Rabbis created meaningful interaction with the Biblical texts and set the parameters for Jewish theology, law, ethical living, and interpretative imagination.

The course will include background readings and primary text study. Students will also examine modern examples of Midrash, together investigating whether this mode of interpretation still has a role to play in our lives.

Image: Midrash Building, Congregação Judaica do Brasil, designed by Isay Weinfeld.

Register by September 6, 2021

Considering a graduate degree in Jewish Studies?

Your application and admission materials must be received six weeks prior to a course start date.

Spertus Institute graduate programs in Jewish Studies are offered through a unique blend of distance learning and intensive on-campus instruction (when safe for us to do so). Courses cover Jewish history, thought, and culture, accompanied by study of classical Jewish texts. LEARN MORE>