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Jewish Studies Summer 2023
Jewish Studies Summer 2023
Jewish Studies Spertus Summer Seminar in Chicago
Join a line-up of impressive Spertus faculty members and your fellow students for five days of learning together.
Registration is now open for the four Jewish Studies courses that will be offered at your Summer Seminar! Each of these exciting courses satisfies requirements in at least two of our three graduate Jewish Studies programs. You are invited to select one morning and one afternoon course to expand your learning and fulfill credits for your program.
The preferred registration deadline is Wednesday, March 15, and the final registration deadline is Wednesday, March 29.
See course information and register below.
It will not be possible to register for summer courses after March 29. We greatly appreciate your adherence to these deadlines.
We have held a block of discounted hotel rooms for you. We suggest you book your housing as soon as you confirm your plans. Find the details here >
Contact Spertus Institute Registrar Victoria Blum at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions relating to your registration.
If you’d like to discuss which courses might best fit your schedule and outstanding requirements, please make an appointment with Director of Jewish Studies Dr. David Gottlieb. Make an appointment >
SUMMER 2023 COURSES
Onsite Summer Seminar
Sunday-Thursday, June 4-8, 2023
You may register for one morning and one afternoon course.
Morning Course Group
These two courses meet Sunday, June 4 from 2 to 5 pm and Monday-Wednesday, June 5-7 from 9 am to 1 pm. The final session is Thursday, June 8 from 8 am to 12 pm CT.
CONTEMPORARY JEWISH EXPERIENCES
Taught by Dr. Brett Ashley Kaplan
Course 3506 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS Core and DSJS Elective
Explore Jewish-American literature through the words of three writers who depict contemporary Jewish experiences across historical eras and geographical spaces: Nicole Krauss, Philip Roth, and Nathan Englander. How does Jewish-American literature represent and grapple with Jewish experiences? How do the worlds they construct differ from or resonate with Jewish landscapes and experiences familiar to you? We will read closely for novel structures, tonalities and shifts in writing styles, rhythms, tropes, and larger meanings embedded in the texts. With each new time and place we'll investigate the historical context and grapple with how the past informs the present.
THE AMERICANIZATION OF THE JEWS, 1750-1950
Taught by Rabbi Dr. Scott Aaron
Course 3228 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS 2nd-Level Core, MAJS Elective, DSJS Elective, and DHL Elective
Trace the evolution of Judaism in America from a religion of exile to a community of affiliation. The American pillars of democracy, individuality, and capitalism changed Jewry and Jewishness in America through their core theological, cultural, and institutional structures. Using historical documents, artifacts from the Spertus collection, and insights from the social sciences, students will examine the impact of events in American history on Jewish life. We will also examine how America’s emergence and dominance of the world stage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries extended American Judaism’s influence on Jewish communities worldwide, including the modern State of Israel.
Afternoon Course Group
These two courses meet Sunday, June 4 from 6 to 9 pm and Monday-Wednesday, June 5-7 from 2 to 6 pm. The final session is Thursday, June 8 from 1 to 5 pm.
JEWISH MESSIANIC MOVEMENTS
Taught by Dr. David Shyovitz
Course 3227 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS Elective, DSJS Elective, DSJS Text, and DHL Text
Discover how messianic beliefs, movements, and figures have shaped the course of Jewish social, cultural, and political life—from antiquity to today. In this course, we will analyze messianic phenomena within the broader surroundings of the Christian and Islamic world. Through primary sources in translation, we will explore sociological, literary, anthropological, and theological approaches. We’ll cover topics including the origins of Christianity, medieval Mahdism, apocalypticism and Armilus (the Jewish Antichrist), mathematical calculations of the millennium, Shabbetai Zvi and Sabbatianism, the modern secularization of messianism and the State of Israel, and the Lubavitch movement.
CELEBRATION AND COMMEMORATION IN JEWISH LIFE
Taught by Dr. Leonard Greenspoon
Course 3229 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS Elective, DSJS Core (Jewish Living), and DSJS Elective
Learn about the distinctive role of celebrations and commemorations in Jewish communities, from the Hebrew Bible to today. In this course, we will analyze relevant biblical material and follow a largely chronological approach through Second Temple Judaism, the rabbinic period, and the Enlightenment, up to the present day. We will base our discussions on primary written and visual material. We will seek to uncover continuities as well as innovations. Further, we will attempt to replicate and explicate the experience of those observing selected holidays within the context of different cultural, religious, and historical movements.