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Jewish Studies Courses June 2019 Seminar

Jewish Studies Courses June 2019 Seminar

Shelley Stern Grach, Spertus Institute's January 2019 Seminar

Shelley Stern Grach, Spertus Institute's January 2019 Seminar

 

Attend the June Seminar to:

  • Advance your studies
  • Learn with skilled and accomplished faculty
  • Engage with your fellow students from around the world

Courses fulfill program requirements for students in our Jewish Studies MA and Doctoral programs.

Complete your seminar registration now

Seminar dates: June 2-6, 2019
Registration deadline: May 10, 2019


Course Schedule (see course descriptions below)

MORNING COURSE GROUP
Courses meet Sunday 2:00-5:00 pm and Monday-Thursday 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages
Taught by Dr. David Shyovitz

Reading Biblical Narrative: Translation and Interpretation
Taught by Dr. Anne Knafl

AFTERNOON COURSE GROUP
Courses meet Sunday 6:00-9:00 pm and Monday-Thursday 2:00-6:00 pm

The Binding of Isaac: Obedience and Interpretation
Taught by Dr. David Gottlieb

Antisemitism and Philo-Semitism in American History
Taught by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz

Contemporary Jewish Experiences
Taught by Dr. Ellen LeVee

THREE-DAY INTENSIVE COURSE
Course meets Sunday 2:00-9:00 pm, Monday 9:00 am-6:00 pm,
and Tuesday 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Jewish Arts, Culture, and Identity
Taught by Dr. Marc Michael Epstein

SPERTUS IDEAS FORUM
Monday, June 3 - 6:00-8:00 pm
With students from all Spertus Institute programs and cohorts.

Forum presenter: Dr. Len Saxe, Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, Brandeis University.
His topic: Beyond Welcoming: Responding to Intermarriage in the Jewish Community

Complete your seminar registration now


Faculty

Spertus Institute facultyFrom left, Dr. David Shyovitz, Dr. Anne Knafl, Dr. David Gottlieb

Spertus Institute facultyFrom left, Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz, Dr. Ellen LeVee, Dr. Marc Michael Epstein 


Course Descriptions

Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages 
Taught by Dr. David Shyovitz

Course 3503 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Core Course

The Middle Ages, still known in popular parlance as the "Dark Ages," are often characterized as a period of stagnation, violence, and superstition. But for the Jews of Europe and the Middle East, the medieval period was one of cultural efflorescence, political dynamism, and spiritual vibrancy—in addition to recurrent suffering and persecution. In this course, you will grapple with the complexities of the Jewish Middle Ages. Together we will survey the development of Jewish civilization from roughly 750 (the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad) to 1492 (the expulsion of the Jews of Spain), tracing the development of Jewish culture, thought, and socio-political life. We will seek to situate Jewish experiences against the backdrop of earlier Jewish history and in relation to the contemporary Christian and Islamic cultures in which medieval Jews lived.

Reading Biblical Narrative: Translation and Interpretation
Taught by Dr. Anne Knafl

Course 2240 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Core Course (Biblical Hebrew II)

The Tanakh tells the origin story of the people of Israel. Reading its texts in the original Hebrew provides new insights into their meaning and artistry. Through guided readings of biblical narratives from Genesis-Kings, students in this course will expand their understanding of biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax and learn to use standard reference tools to translate these texts on their own. We will also discuss and analyze scholarly theories of biblical translation and interpretation. This course is designed for students who have an introductory knowledge of biblical Hebrew, equivalent to Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I. It fulfills requirements for Introduction to Biblical Hebrew II.

The Binding of Isaac: Obedience and Interpretation
Taught by Dr. David Gottlieb

Course 4153A | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills DHL Text Course, DSJS Text Course, DSJS Elective, MAJS Second Level Core, and MAJS Elective course requirements.

The Binding of Isaac in Genesis is one of the most riveting narratives in biblical literature. In this course, you will explore how Abraham's interpretations of God's decree helped establish the virtues of interpretive creativity in Jewish thought. Through readings of Torah, rabbinic text, Jewish philosophy, and history, you will deepen your understanding of how The Binding of Isaac influences Jewish views of the tensions between precedent and innovation, and between fate and free will.

Antisemitism and Philo-Semitism in American History
Taught by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz

Course 3522 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills DHL Text Course, DSJS Text Course, DSJS Elective Course, MAJS Second Level Core, and MAJS Elective course requirements.

In this course, you will trace the development of antisemitism and philo-semitism in America—from the first Jewish settlements to the present day. You will investigate sources of these twin phenomena, explore their manifestations, and consider their influence on both Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Through examination of primary source materials (including books and films), you will gain understanding of how they reflect larger trends and challenges in American society.

Contemporary Jewish Experiences
Taught by Dr. Ellen LeVee

Course 3506 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Core Course and fulfills requirements for DHL Reading Course (Key Issues in Contemporary Jewry).

With a primary focus on the United States, in this course you will gain an introduction to the religious, social, political, and cultural life of Jews since the creation of the State of Israel. Students will explore the evolving nature of the North American synagogue movements, the changing landscape of Israel-Diaspora relations, and shifts in American Jewish political proclivities, philanthropic trends, and educational and communal structures. Gender and family concerns, environmental issues, and non-denominational cultural developments will also be considered.

Jewish Arts, Culture, and Identity
Taught by Dr. Marc Michael Epstein

Course 4307A | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills DHL Text Course, DJSJ Text Course, DSJS Elective, and MAJS Second Level Core Course and MAJS Elective course requirements

Jewish Studies students will be joined by students from Spertus Institute’s MA in Jewish Professional Studies program for this course.

This course explores and engages with diverse expressions of Jewish society and individual identities, helping students develop a rich and nuanced ability to work with colleagues and constituents through the consideration of a range of questions. Who are the Jews as individuals and as a collective? What is the relationship of Jewish culture to the broader society? What are the multitude of expressions of Jewish arts and culture—how do they reflect and shape Jewish society? What does the development of material culture tell us about communal values, trends, opportunities, and challenges within the community? How has globalization affected the development of Jewish society and individual identities? Through an exploration of these essential questions, this course will equip students to engage with challenges and questions that are prevalent in contemporary Jewish life.

Complete your seminar registration now

Hotel & Housing, June 2019

Due to a major convention, Chicago hotel availability is more limited and more expensive June 1-4, which overlaps the start of our June Seminar.

We strongly urge you to secure your accommodations as early as possible.

Discount Option
We have reserved a select number of shared suites at the University Center, approximately three blocks from Spertus. The rooms are semi-private (two single rooms that share a bathroom) for $115 per night per person (includes taxes and linens). Due to limited availability, we anticipate that this option will fill.

If you are interested, contact Spertus Registrar Shannon Barnes at sbarnes@spertus.edu at your earliest convenience. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Neighborhood hotel option
Best Western Grant Park. This option has the best rates among nearby hotels. Mention Spertus when booking.

Farther afield
Hotels outside of central Chicago have more competitive rates and more availability. Suburban Evanston, home of Northwestern University and easily accessible by public transit (CTA express purple line), offers a couple of Spertus-approved options.

Hilton Orrington Evanston
Holiday Inn Evanston

Letter from the Dean

Dear Students:

We are excited to share with you the upcoming lineup of courses for our June Integrated Summer Seminar, which will take place on campus, Sunday, June 2 through Thursday, June 6, 2019. As always, we are offering a wide range of essential and interesting courses, detailed here, taught by our renowned faculty members.

We are excited once again welcome students from our Jewish Studies Master’s and Doctoral Programs, as well as from our Masters in Jewish Professional Studies Program. As those who were able to attend the January Integrated Seminar can attest, this model offers a truly rich learning experience, with students able to meet and learn with individuals both in and outside of their specific programs. The feeling of a broad Spertus learning community was palpable and vibrant, and the buzz around the Institute was contagious.

In addition, we will continue to host the Spertus Ideas Forum, a cross-cohort gathering where we welcome a major Jewish thinker for communal learning, dinner, and conversation. At the June Seminar, we have the privilege of hosting Len Saxe of Brandeis University, a leading voice on American Jewish life.

I strongly encourage you to participate. The seminar experience provides an important opportunity for you to interact with faculty and fellow students in an atmosphere of vibrant intellectual curiosity. You will return home having made significant progress toward your goals, while at the same time having built a network of colleagues pursuing similar paths.

I look forward to seeing you in June and serving as a resource to you in the coming months and years. As you have any questions or want to discuss course selection, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Until then, all best wishes,

Keren Fraiman

Dr. Keren E. Fraiman
Dean and Chief Academic Officer
Spertus Institute
kfraiman@spertus.edu

New Students

It's not too late!

Considering a graduate degree in Jewish Studies? A seminar is a great way to kick off your learning experience at Spertus. Admission is on a rolling basis. To be eligible to participate in a seminar, your application and admission materials must be received six weeks prior to the seminar start date.

Spertus Institute graduate programs in Jewish Studies are offered through a unique blend of distance learning and intensive on-campus instruction. Students — from half a dozen foreign countries and more than two dozen US states — come to Spertus for week-long academic seminars. Seminars include a range of courses in Jewish history, thought, and culture, accompanied by study of classical Jewish texts. LEARN MORE>