Courses - Fall 2021

View all Jewish Studies courses in the SF State Bulletin.

JS 350 Jewish Social Responsibility

Marc Dollinger
Fully in-person course
Mo/We 12:30–1:45 p.m.

Join us as we explore today’s headlines with a semester-long immersion in the most important and vexing social justice questions facing our nation and world. From individual reflection about gossip and repentance to national questions such as healthcare, poverty, and social welfare policy, you will have the opportunity to see what tradition-based and non-traditional Jewish sources say about each of these topics. We will also spend class time studying gender inequality and the ways systemic racism plays out in Jewish spaces. Guided by your fellow students, you will investigate Jewish views about war and the ways one can become a conscientious objector to military conflict. We close the course with an entire unit on Jewish social justice, Zionism and the modern State of Israel. See you in class!

Course attributes: SF State Studies: Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division
Zero cost course materials

JS/HUM 379 Jerusalem

Eran Kaplan
Partial online course
In-person Tu 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Online Th 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

For 3,000 years the city that is holy to all three monotheistic religions has known little peace and tranquility and has been the site of wars, conquests, and division. By drawing on historical, literary, religious, and cinematic sources, this course explores the history of Jerusalem from antiquity to the modern period. It examines its place in the religious imagination of Jews, Muslims, and Christians and traces the political history of a city that continues to be a symbol of peace and unity and also one of the most inflammable places on earth.

Course attributes: SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division

JS 430/I R 430/PLSI 430 Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society

Eran Kaplan
Partial online course
In-person Tu 9:30–10:30 a.m., Online Th 9:30–10:30 a.m.

This course explores the formation and the development of modern Israel. The course follows the transition of modern Israel from a conformist society dominated by Zionist ideology to a society seriously questioning its values, ideals and norms in the age of globalization. By drawing on a variety of sources: political and diplomatic, cultural, literary, cinematic and more, the course examines the ideological origins of Zionist ideology as well as the place of the Holocaust; the Arab-Jewish conflict; the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi and secular-religious divide in the development of modern Israel.

Course attributes: SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-D: Social Sciences Upper-Division
Modern Jewish Studies major core course

JS/CWL 437/ENGL 533 The Holocaust and Literature

Kitty Millet
Fully in-person course
Mo/We 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

This course examines how Holocaust narrative changes the nature of what literature does, how it shifts the reader's attention away from literature's historic—the liberation of the imagination—to an experience that has been neither liberatory nor beautiful. Such narratives impose an obligation on the imagination to reflect on the exhibition of the memory under torture rather than the solitude of the imagination's liberation. In this way, literature compels the imagination to consider the damage inflicted on human beings. Students analyze narratives, poems, and essays written by survivors from across Europe with a view to understanding why these narrators have insisted on literature as the vehicle for their stories.

Course attributes: SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; SF State Studies: Social Justice UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division
Modern Jewish Studies major core course

JS/HIST 449 American Jewish History

Rachel Gross
Section 1: Fully in-person course Tu/Th 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Section 2: Fully in-person course Tu/Th 2–3:15 p.m.

When Jews first arrived in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York) in 1654, one of the very first things they did was try to sue each other. This course examines American Jews agreeing and disagreeing (mostly disagreeing) with each other from the colonial period to the present day. We will move between studies of specific Jewish communities and ideas of national American Jewish communities. What does it mean to be part of a community? What does it mean to be a Jew in the United States?

Course attributes: AI: United States History; SF State Studies: Amer Ethnic & Racial Minorities; SF State Studies: Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division
Modern Jewish Studies major core course
Zero cost course materials

JS/CWL/ENG 451 Jewish Literature of the Americas

Kitty Millet
Fully in-person course
Mo/We 2–3:15 p.m.

A survey of Jewish writers of the Americas, students pay special attention to traditions that understand "Jewish American" literature as a broad category that extends beyond the United States. Students examine novels, short stories, memoirs, plays and poetry, originating in Latin America and Canada in relation to their U.S. counterparts so that they contrast the values underpinning these diverse traditions. In this way, students analyze the concerns, issues, and shape of modern Jewish literary traditions in the Americas.

Course attributes: SF State Studies: Amer Ethnic & Racial Minorities; SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division

JS 540 Antisemitism and Social Justice

Marc Dollinger
Fully in-person course
Mo/We 9:30–10:45 a.m.

News headlines remind us that antisemitism, from both sides of the political aisle, has reached its highest level since the 1930s. Join us for this seminar-style class as we learn about the history of Jew hatred from the ancient times to now. We’ll explore everything from the charge that Jews killed Jesus, to the blood libel where somehow folks thought that Judaism demanded the murder of Christian children, to the Holocaust, and finally to the ways antisemitism plays out in our current politics and mass media. In your education at State and in life, this class, sadly, is a must.

Course attributes: SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; SF State Studies: Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division
Modern Jewish Studies major core course
Zero cost course materials

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