Courses

Fall 2021 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

JS 350 JEWISH SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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!

  • Marc Dollinger
  • Fully in-person course
  • Mo/We 12:30–1:45 p.m.
  • Course attributes: SF State Studies: Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities Upper-Division
  • Zero cost course materials

JS/HUM 379 JERUSALEM

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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?

  • 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.
  • 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

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.

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

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.

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

Spring 2021 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

JS 301 Introduction to Judaism*

“Now, I know I haven’t been the best Jew, but I have rented Fiddler on the Roof and I will watch it,” says Homer Simpson. What is Judaism? What is Jewishness? Who are Jews? What do they do and what do they believe? This class starts with the Hebrew Bible and keeps going until the present day, asking all the big questions along the way.

  • Gross, Th 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Bichronous
  • Course Attributes: UD-C Arts and/or Humanities; Social Justice
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/HIST 332 Ancient and Medieval Jews Among Pagans, Christians, and Muslims*

Why does no one dress up as a Jew at the Renaissance Fair, when Jews were an integral part of Renaissance Italy? What does it mean to say that there was a Golden Age of the Jews of Medieval Muslim Spain? How did Jews negotiate relationships with the peoples among whom they lived and with whose cultures they participated? This is a course that has it all. Persians, Greeks, Romans, the Caliphate and the Church. Venice and Constantinople, kingdoms and empires. Judah Maccabee, Jesus, Rabbi Akiva and Muhammad. Charlemagne, Maimonides, the mad caliph al-Hakim and Richard the Lionheart. Rabbis, philosophers, Jewish aristocrats in Spain and Jewish courtiers in Egypt.

  • Astren, Tu/Th 5 p.m.–6:15 p.m. Synchronous
  • Mystics, messiahs, and musicians.
  • Course Attributes: Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS 408/CINE 314 Israeli Cinema

This course provides a wide-ranging survey of Israeli cinema. The story of modern Israel is the tale of the conflict between East and West, between Arabs and Jews and between the Jewish past and the Zionist ethos. It is the story of a transformation from a predominantly militaristic society that fought for its independence to a modern, self-doubting and pluralistic nation that openly questions its past and constituting myths.

  • Kaplan, Mo 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Bichronous
  • Course Attributes: UD-C Arts and/or Humanities; Global Perspectives
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/HIST 421 Food Fights: The Politics of American Jewish Consumption

“You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Real Jewish Rye,” the 1960s advertisement said. You don't have to be Jewish to love talking about American Jews and food, either. This course explores issues of religion, power, gender and politics through the ways that American Jews have eaten, drunk and fought about food.

  • Gross, Th 2 p.m.–3:15 p.m. Bichronous
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/HIST 449 American Jewish History*

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?

  • Staff, Th 3:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Bichronous
  • Course Attributes: American Institutions: United States History; American Ethnic & Racial Minorities, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/PHIL/HUM 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are integrally related. They share stories, traditions, values and histories. Yet, Jews, Christians and Muslims often take positions in opposition to each other in order to accentuate their differences. In this course, the fascinating similarities and differences of these religions are examined through three primary perspectives: revelation, scripture, and interpretation. How do Jews, Christians, and Muslims conceive of divine revelation? What is its purpose in these religions? How does the idea of revelation generate scripture? How and why does scripture require interpretation? Special attention will be given to the stories of Adam and Eve and of Abraham in all three traditions. Besides reading about Judaism, Christianity and Islam, we will also read religious literature from the three religions in order to come to grip with religious world views and notions of tradition. We will think about how these world views differ from the ways we look at the world in our secular society. What is required of students and teachers in a public university to learn and teach about religion? Why is a university approach to religion useful but problematic? Don’t miss the opportunity to take one of the most unique courses in the university!

  • Astren, Tu 12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m. Bichronous
  • Course attributes: UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities; Global Perspectives
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/ENG/WGS 546 20th Century American Jewish Women Writers

This course surveys texts associated with American Jewish women writing in the Modern Period by focusing on the effects and influences of gender, ethnicity, race, historical experience, religion, class and cultural practice. Understanding America to be a broad signifier for regions and countries beyond the United States, we will work with an expanded notion of Jewish American identity that insists on the necessity of other languages besides English as the vehicles for expressing Jewish women's experiences. With that multilingual end in mind, we examine how the need for Jewish tradition intersects with how Jewish women have reimagined the religion, culture and desire, to include previously excluded female experiences. Thus, students will explore a spectrum of Jewish women writing in, from and about the United States to suggest themes and issues pertinent to a global tradition of women’s writing. Although this course emphasizes novels primarily, we will also analyze poetry, essays and plays, when such works enhance the themes of the course.

  • Weiss, Tu 4 p.m.–6:45 p.m. Synchronous
  • Course attributes: Amer Ethnic & Racial Minorities; Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 548/HIST 416 - The Jewish Sixties: A Journey Through the Social Protest Movements of the 1960s

It’s not quite “Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’roll” and the Jews, but it’s close. We’ll study Dylan, Streisand and Koufax. We’ll dive into free speech, Vietnam, feminism and Zionism too. You will get to hear challenging new ways to think about the civil rights movement and the rise of ethnic politics. Missing something? Just let Professor Dollinger know and we could add it to the list! Join us…

  • Dollinger, Mo/We 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Synchronous
  • Course Attributes: American Ethnic & Racial Minorities; Social Justice
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS 560/IR 530 - The Arab-Israeli Conflict

This course offers an examination of the origins and causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict, beginning in the late nineteenth century and during the British Mandate of Palestine (1917-1948). The course examines the Arab-Israeli wars since 1948 and the attempts to end the confrontation since 1967.

  • Kaplan, Mo 3:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Bichronous
  • Course Attributes: UD-D Social Sciences; Global Perspectives
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

*Modern Jewish Studies major core course

Fall 2020 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

JS 280 Introduction to Jewish Studies: Lectures in Jewish Studies*

What does studying Jews and Judaism look like? This online course is an introduction the history, religion, literature, politics, and culture of Jews throughout time and around the world through a series of lectures from faculty members in SF State’s Department of Jewish Studies and from cutting-edge researchers in Jewish Studies from the Bay Area and throughout the country.

  • Gross, T 5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
  • GE C2: Humanities Lower Division
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/HIST 318 The Holocaust and Law: Complicity, Dissent, and Correction

How can genocide occur within a society that prides itself on intellectualism, culture, and logic? In studying the Nazi legal system, this course explains how German intellectuals, leaders, lawyers, and civil servants enacted a legal code that moralized, expedited, and condoned the annihilation of minorities (Jews, homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled, and Roma-Sinti) and marginalization of women and Africans. Genocide, unlike crimes of passion, requires planning and logic. This course explores how a society used reason to enact unprecedented mass murder. Lastly, we will examine how the crimes of the Holocaust were dealt with after World War Two and how such trials informed the prosecution of genocide criminals today.

  • Millet, T/TH 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

JS/HUM 379 Jerusalem

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.

  • Kaplan, T 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 405/CINE 314 Film and the Holocaust

Film and the Holocaust surveys the ways in which the Holocaust has been represented. The course explores a wide range of genres—melodrama, horror, comedy, exploitation, etc. In addition, to these narrative approaches, we also survey an array of documentary modes and experimental films.

  • Kerner, Online

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

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 on the place of the Holocaust; the Arab-Jewish conflict; the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi and secular-religious divide in the development of modern Israel.

  • Kaplan, TH 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-D: Social Sciences

JS/CWL 437/ENGL 533 The Holocaust and Literature*

Spanish writer Jorge Semprun declared that if he was to survive Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp, he would use only literature to represent what had happened to him and all the others taken by the Nazis. French dramatist Charlotte Delbo insisted that to know what happened at Auschwitz, another Nazi concentration camp, one “had to enter the camp,” but that entrance required literature with its special effects on the imagination. Retrace the narratives of Holocaust survivors who conscious of their immediate extermination fashion a “last look” at how to represent their experiences during the Holocaust.

  • Millet, T 4 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS/HIST 449 American Jewish History*

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?

  • Gross, TH 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
  • American Institutions: United States History; SF State Studies: American Ethnic & Racial Minorities, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS 485 Modern Israeli Literature

Survey of the works of modern Israeli writers of fiction, poetry, and drama; conceptual underpinnings of modern Israeli aesthetic projects in literature; how Israel’s multilingual heritage marks the modern writer. Modern Israeli literature reflects the real and sometimes surreal essence of life in Israel, which means it is always filled with fiction, poetry, and drama. Lots of drama. Come see how and where your drama converges with one of the world’s most complicated places.

  • Weiss, M/W 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS/HUM/PHIL 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are integrally related. They share stories, traditions, values, and histories. Yet, Jews, Christians, and Muslims often take positions in opposition to each other in order to accentuate their differences. In this course the fascinating similarities and differences of these religions are examined through three primary perspectives: revelation, scripture, and interpretation. How do Jews, Christians, and Muslims conceive of divine revelation? What is its purpose in these religions? How does the idea of revelation generate scripture? How and why does scripture require interpretation? Special attention will be given to the stories of Adam and Eve and of Abraham in all three traditions. Besides reading about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we will also read religious literature from the three religions in order to comes to grip with religious worldviews and notions of tradition. We will think about how these worldviews differ from the ways we look at the world in our secular society. What is required of students and teachers in a public university to learn and teach about religion? Why is a university approach to religion useful but problematic? Don’t miss the opportunity to take one of the most unique courses in the university!

  • Astren, M 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS 540 Antisemitism

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.

  • Dollinger, M/W 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

*Modern Jewish Studies major core course

Spring 2020 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

HEBR 102 - Second Semester Modern Hebrew*

Second semester Hebrew is an amazing opportunity to develop the basic language skills you developed during the first semester. You’ll be able to hold a conversation and increase your overall comfort with dialogue by focusing on past and future tenses and further enriching your vocabulary. Remember, learning a language is like opening a window to another culture. Your adventure awaits…

  • Rosenwald, M/W/F, Noon–12:50 p.m.
  • Course Attributes: C2 Humanities; Global Perspectives

JS 301 - Introduction to Judaism*

"We're going to hit him where it hurts," says Lisa Simpson. "Right in the Judaica!" What is Judaica? (It's Jewish stuff or Jewish literature.) What is Judaism? What is Jewishness? Who are Jews? What do they do and what do they believe? This class starts with the Hebrew Bible and keeps going until the present day, asking all the big questions along the way.

  • Gross, T/TH, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
  • Course Attributes: UD-C Arts and/or Humanities; Social Justice

JS/HIST 317 - The Holocaust and Genocide

Study the process and conditions that led to the harassment, expulsion, and extermination of the Jews during World War II, including new information about the concentration camp system.

  • Herr, M/W 9:30–10:45 a.m.

JS 408/CINE 314 - Israeli Cinema

Survey of Israeli cinema with critical readings.

  • Kaplan, T, 4–6:45 p.m.
  • Course Attributes: UD-C Arts and/or Humanities; Global Perspectives

JS/HIST/HUM 441 - American Jews and Popular Culture

"Tradition!" Tevye declares in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. "Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as ... as a fiddler on the roof!" The tradition Tevye is talking about might be the outsize role of Jews in American popular culture. This class explores how Jews have been depicted on film and television in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as how Jews engaged with other forms of popular culture, including literature, radio, sports, food, and shopping. You'll never hear a Jewish mother joke the same way again.

  • Gross, T/TH 2–3:15 p.m.
  • Course Attributes: Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

JS 497 - Topics in Israel Studies: Love and Eroticism in Hebrew Literature

The Hebrew Bible famously says, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine.” (Song of Songs). But is love really better than wine? While there will be neither wine nor kisses in classes, come enjoy an informed discussion about love and eroticism in Hebrew literature and modern Israeli culture.
Love and eroticism have been significant themes in Hebrew poetry, literature and culture from the bible, through the modern ages and into the present day. This course will examine these themes in a variety of literary forms such as poems, stories, films, and novels. We will explore different historical periods, paying attention to recurring motifs as well as external influences. This course will consider erotic, devotional, affectionate, romantic and sexual; including heterosexual and homosexual representations, as well as love of God and Israel.

  • Weiss, M/W, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS 548/HIST 416 - The Jewish Sixties: A Journey Through the Social Protest Movements of the 1960s

It’s not quite “Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’roll” and the Jews, but it’s close. We’ll study Dylan, Streisand, and Koufax. We’ll dive into Free Speech, Vietnam, Feminism, and Zionism too. You will get to hear challenging new ways to think about the civil rights movement and the rise of ethnic politics. Missing something? Just let Professor Dollinger know and we could add it to the list! Join us…

  • Dollinger, M/W, 2–3:15 p.m.
  • Course Attributes: Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities; Social Justice
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

JS 560/IR 530 - The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Examination of causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict; beginnings in the late nineteenth century; Jewish-Palestinian confrontation during the British Mandate (1917-1948); Arab-Israeli wars since 1948; Israeli-Palestinian confrontation since 1948; attempts to end the confrontation since 1967.

  • Kaplan, T/TH, 12:30–1:45 p.m.
  • Course Attributes: UD-D Social Sciences; Global Perspectives

JS 633/HIST 335 - Jewish History II: 1650 to Present

Sometimes, freedom isn’t what we’d hope it would be. Join us for an adventure through the last 300 years of Jewish history. We will follow Jews as they journeyed throughout Europe, to the United States, to what would become Israel, and beyond. Even though Jews achieved emancipation…and the promise of equality..it often didn’t work out so well. Enroll in JS/HIST 633 and we’ll figure out the costs of freedom.

  • Dollinger, M/W, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
  • Course Attributes: UD-C Arts and/or Humanities; Global Perspectives
  • Zero Cost Course Materials

*Modern Jewish Studies major core course

Fall 2019 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

HEBR 101 First Semester Hebrew*

  • Rosenwald, M/W/F Noon– 12:50 p.m.
  • GE C2: Humanities Lower Division; SF State Studies: Global Perspectives

HEBR 201 Second Semester Hebrew*

  • Rosenwald, M/W/F 1 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
  • GE C2: Humanities Lower Division; SF State Studies: Global Perspectives

JS 280 Introduction to Jewish Studies*

In August 2018, newspapers reported that Paul Ryan, the Republican politician who was then speaker of the House of Representatives, had learned that he was three percent Jewish. This leads to some questions: What does this even mean? Can you be three percent Jewish? What does it mean to be Jewish? What are Jews? This class is an introduction to foundational Jewish beliefs, stories, practices, and the ways understandings of Jews and Judaism have changed over time—including who is a Jew and whether one can, indeed, be three percent Jewish.

  • Gross, T/TH 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • GE C2: Humanities Lower Division

JS/HIST 318 The Holocaust and Law: Complicity, Dissent, and Correction

How can genocide occur within a society that prides itself on intellectualism, culture, and logic? In studying the Nazi legal system, this course explains how German intellectuals, leaders, lawyers, and civil servants enacted a legal code that moralized, expedited, and condoned the annihilation of minorities (Jews, homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled, and Roma-Sinti) and marginalization of women and Africans. Genocide, unlike crimes of passion, requires planning and logic. This course explores how a society used reason to enact unprecedented mass murder. Lastly, we will examine how the crimes of the Holocaust were dealt with after World War Two and how such trials informed the prosecution of genocide criminals today.

  • Herr, T/TH 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

JS/HUM 379 Jerusalem

The dynamics of Jerusalem’s intellectual, artistic and social life with emphasis on the great works that symbolize the contribution of that city to human culture. Jerusalem is where religions and politics converge and sometimes lead to heated debates, yet some of the most passionate arguments in the city tend to focus on where the best hummus place can be found.

  • Weiss, M/W 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 405/CINE 314 Film and the Holocaust

This course surveys the representations of the Holocaust in the cinematic medium. This is not a history course. Rather, we explore the problems of narrativizing the Holocaust—inevitably things get “lost in translation.” We examine how the Holocaust has been treated in various genres—from melodramas to comedies, from documentaries to experimental films.

  • Kerner, online

JS/CWL 437/ENGL 533 The Holocaust and Literature*

Spanish writer Jorge Semprun declared that if he was to survive Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp, he would use only literature to represent what had happened to him and all the others taken by the Nazis. French dramatist Charlotte Delbo insisted that to know what happened at Auschwitz, another Nazi concentration camp, one “had to enter the camp,” but that entrance required literature with its special effects on the imagination. Retrace the narratives of Holocaust survivors who conscious of their immediate extermination fashion a “last look” at how to represent their experiences during the Holocaust.

  • Millet, TH 4 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS/HIST 449 American Jewish History*

“Two Jews, three opinions,” the old saying goes. When members of the first American Jewish community arrived in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York) in 1654, the very first thing 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? How do communities function and how are they maintained?

  • Gross, T/TH 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
  • American Institutions: United States History; SF State Studies: American Ethnic & Racial Minorities, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS/CWL 480 European Jewish Writers*

They were students. They worked in factories. They spent their nights at cafes, arguing for hours. They danced on table tops in Barcelona. They were homeless in Marseille. They made wine in Germany. They painted, wrote, sculpted, sketched, all with a view to defining their Jewish lives in literature. Come and discover a part of the universe of comparative Jewish literatures.

  • Millet, T/TH 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., HUM 115
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 485 Modern Israeli Literature

Survey of the works of modern Israeli writers of fiction, poetry, and drama; conceptual underpinnings of modern Israeli aesthetic projects in literature; how Israel’s multilingual heritage marks the modern writer. Modern Israeli literature reflects the real and sometimes surreal essence of life in Israel, which means it is always filled with fiction, poetry, and drama. Lots of drama. Come see how and where your drama converges with one of the world’s most complicated places.

  • Weiss, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m., HUM 374

JS/HUM/PHIL 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam*

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are integrally related. They share stories, traditions, values, and histories. Yet, Jews, Christians, and Muslims often take positions in opposition to each other in order to accentuate their differences. In this course the fascinating similarities and differences of these religions are examined through three primary perspectives: revelation, scripture, and interpretation. How do Jews, Christians, and Muslims conceive of divine revelation? What is its purpose in these religions? How does the idea of revelation generate scripture? How and why does scripture require interpretation? Special attention will be given to the stories of Adam and Eve and of Abraham in all three traditions. Besides reading about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we will also read religious literature from the three religions in order to comes to grip with religious worldviews and notions of tradition. We will think about how these worldviews differ from the ways we look at the world in our secular society. What is required of students and teachers in a public university to learn and teach about religion? Why is a university approach to religion useful but problematic? Don’t miss the opportunity to take one of the most unique courses in the university!

  • Astren, M/W 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m., HUM 382
  • Fulfills the following GE requirements: UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities; SF State Studies: Global Perspectives UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 540 Antisemitism

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.

  • Dollinger, M/W 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives, Social Justice; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 632/HIST 322 Jewish History 1: Beginnings to 1650*

Why does no one dress up as a Jew at the Renaissance Fair, when Jews were an integral part of Renaissance Italy? What does it mean to say that there was a Golden Age of the Jews of Medieval Muslim Spain? How did Jews negotiate relationships with the peoples among whom they lived and with whose cultures they participated?
This is a course that has it all. Persians, Greeks, Romans, the Caliphate and the Church. Venice and Constantinople, kingdoms and empires. Judah Maccabee, Jesus, Rabbi Akiva, and Muhammad. Charlemagne, Maimonides, the mad caliph al-Hakim, and Richard the Lionheart. Rabbis, philosophers, Jewish aristocrats in Spain, and Jewish courtiers in Egypt. Mystics, messiahs, and musicians.

  • Astren, M/W 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., TH 428
  • SF State Studies: Global Perspectives; UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

*Modern Jewish Studies major core course