2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Modern Jewish Studies, BA

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Zachary J. Braiterman, Director
509 Hall of Languages


Zachary J. Braiterman, Erella Brown, Miriam Fendius Elman, Ken Frieden, Shira Schwartz, Yuksel Sezin, Stephanie Shirilan, Harvey Teres, Robert Terrell, Karina Von Tippelskirch, James W. Watts

This interdisciplinary major explores Modern Jewish culture and religion. Faculty research and teaching focus on the Hebrew and Yiddish fiction, European and American literature, Jews and Judaism in modern Europe and America, the arts, thought and culture, Israel, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The major provides broad, interdisciplinary knowledge of Jewish experience both historical and contemporary, and is meant to prepare students for further pursuits in Jewish culture, history, and religion upon graduation, either academically or in private life. The Jewish Studies Program offers courses and advising to students, and a range of events (lectures, films, musical performances, etc.) for students, faculty, and the larger community. Graduate students are eligible to apply for the Benjamin Fellowship, and all students may submit Holocaust-related papers to the undergraduate and graduate Kalina Prize competition.

For all Arts and Sciences|Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences|Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Be able to define, describe, and classify information (ideas, concepts, texts, arguments) based on key terms basic to the students’ course of study. Students should be expected to identify a text, idea, concept, genre, and/or argument in relation to its geographical place and historical time

2. Produce formal written work, and to be able to write critically. Critical writing demands that students know how to and be able to advance arguments about any given topic (a text or argument) relevant to the course material, and to know how and to be able to marshal evidence from that material

3. Examine texts and arguments by comparing and contrasting them with other texts and arguments, and to criticize these texts and arguments on the basis of criteria defined by the faculty instructor

4. Judge and justify arguments and texts in order to appraise the value or cogency or coherence of said argument or text

5. Submit an informal essay reflecting back on their course of study heretofore as minor and majors in the JSP. They can be expected to develop a corrigible set of reflections that represent their understanding of Jewish culture (literature, religion, politics, and/or history).  Students should be able to identify what they mean by “Judaism” or “Jewish culture,” isolating component features and tensions based on their program of study

Major Requirements

The major requires 24 credits of appropriate work. Because of the interdisciplinary character of Jewish Studies courses, it is crucial that the following clusters be delineated and approved in consultation with the Director.

Students take:

– 6 lower level division credits (any combination of 100-200 level JSP courses)

–15 upper division credits (300 level JSP or 300 level HEB courses) chosen in consultation with the director of the program.

–The 3 credit Jewish Studies Seminar (JSP 439) (typically in the student’s senior year)

–In addition, majors are required to demonstrate competency equivalent to HEB 102 or a related Jewish language such as Yiddish, Ladino, or Judeo-Arabic to the director of the program.

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