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Modern Jewish Experiences

Modern Jewish Experiences

Online
Course 3505 | 3 credits

The European Enlightenment dramatically changed the profile of western civilization and had a profound impact on European Jewry. European states began integrating the Jews into the fabric of the state and society and Jewish elites absorbed the ideas of the Enlightenment. These internal and external reforms shaped the processes of Jewish modernization, emancipation, and acculturation, and they diversified and politicized the Jewish community. Although the Holocaust annihilated one-third of the then-world Jewish population, Jews emerged in the mid-twentieth century as a Diaspora nationality. New centers grew in the US and Israel and there emerged a new sense of responsibility for the fate of their brethren elsewhere in the world, from the USSR to Muslim countries. This course covers the period from the French Revolution through the fall of the Berlin Wall. It highlights the plurality of models of Jewish integration and acculturation, the formation of new Jewish identities, and the spread of Jewish political movements.