Oct 31, 2013

Center for Jewish Studies 2014 Winter Intersession & Spring Courses!!

Center for Jewish Studies 2014 Winter Intersession & Spring Courses!!

For more information on these courses please contact CJS at (510)649-2482 or cjs@gtu.edu



Winter Intersession January 6-16, 2014     

Reading Classical Jewish Sources

Rutie Adler, UC Berkeley

Course ID: BSHR 3440                     Monday-Friday, 10:00AM - 2:30PM           Location: Hedco at GTU

This course is designed for intermediate Hebrew students to improve their ability to read post-biblical Hebrew texts from the Mishna through the Middle Ages, to modern Hebrew journalistic and literary texts. Students are expected to have at least one year of college Hebrew. Please note, if we do not have more than 5 students, the course will be cancelled. To register: GTU students need to register on WebAdvisor by December 15, 2013.

Community auditors are welcome. $150 fee payable to CJS


Spring 2014


Ancient-Medieval Jewish Civilization

Deena Aranoff, Graduate Theological Union

Course ID: HSST-2022                     Mondays, 9:40AM-12:30PM                        Location: Hedco at GTU

This course will examine Jewish civilization from its beginnings in ancient Israel through its development in medieval times. We will examine features of Jewish communal life, as well as the intellectual and religious currents among Jews in the ancient and medieval periods. This course will provide an understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in Jewish history and the overall process of cultural change in Judaism. This course is required for all M.A. and Certificate students at CJS. Weekly response papers/Final Exam.


Gender and Talmud

Charlotte Fonrobert, Stanford University, Visiting Professor of Rabbinics at CJS

Course ID: HRBS-4351                    Wednesdays, 9:40AM-12:30PM                                Location: CDSP-113

This course will explore the construction of gender in the Talmud through close readings of significant legal passages in the treatment of women, marriage & gender. We will supplement this analysis of primary sources by reading in gender theory, both within & outside the field of rabbinics. Hebrew/Aramaic reading ability required


Hellenism, Judaism, and Empire

Ashley Bacchi, Graduate Theological Union

Course ID: HS-3735                          Thursdays, 2:10PM-5:00PM                         Location: CDSP-116

This course will explore questions of Jewish identity before and after the Maccabean Revolt.

Students will be introduced to primary sources and recent scholarship concerning the interaction between Judaism and Hellenism in order to evaluate how both acceptance and rejection fostered transformation. Seminar: class presentation; final research paper. Basic knowledge of Hebrew Bible required in order to appreciate what is being imitated as well as created. This course is taught by PhD student Ashley Bacchi with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Dr. Deena Aranoff.


Love & Sex in Modern Jewish Literature

Naomi Seidman, Koret Professor of Jewish Culture, Graduate Theological Union

Course ID: RA-2217                         Thursdays, 9:40AM-12:30PM                      Location: MUDD-204 

The emergence of modern Jewish literature in the nineteenth century was accompanied by the secularization and Westernization of traditional Jewish marital structures, erotic practices, and gender roles. Modern Jewish literature both reflected and shaped these transformations, serving as a site for the negotiation of traditional and modern values around love and sex. We will trace this journey from the Haskalah to contemporary Jewish American and Israeli narrative prose; readings include Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, S.Y. Agnon, and Grace Paley. All literature will be provided in the original and English translation. Seminar/final paper required, no prerequisites                                                                      

Politics of Biblical Translation

Naomi Seidman, Koret Professor of Jewish Culture, Graduate Theological Union

Course ID: BSHR-4530                    Mondays, 2:10PM-5:00PM                          Location: Hedco at GTU

This course will follow the career of Bible translation from the composition of the Septuagint to contemporary missionary translations. We will study translations narratives using post-colonialist theories to analyze the politics of cross-cultural transmission. Jewish, Christian and Islamic approaches to translation will be contrasted. All texts will be available in English translation. Seminar/ final paper.


The Power of Narrative and Metaphor as a Platform for Teaching, Writing, and Personal Development               

Dr. Stephen S. Pearce, Visiting Professor at CJS

Course ID: TBD                                  Tuesdays, 9:40AM-12:30PM                        Location: TBD

This course focuses on the transformative and redemptive capacity of narrative and metaphor: charter myths, folk traditions, religious legends and sacred texts, mythology, drama, poetry, saga, paradox and humor.  When properly understood, narrative in all its forms enriches cultural and religious understanding and the transfer of knowledge from one context to another, while circumventing resistance to old and new ideas.  Drawing on Jewish, non-Jewish and secular sources, students will employ a close reading of texts for an expansive understanding of the life cycle, ritual and holiday occasions, worship and the ever-changing landscape of American religious life, and will thus learn to incorporate the oldest, deeply-embedded ways of understanding human consciousness and motives into academic, congregational and personal work. 


Additional Jewish Studies Courses at the GTU


Jewish Art and Politics

Rene'e Powell, Center for Arts and Religion

Course ID: RA- 1145        Thursdays, 2:40PM-5:00PM                         Location: MUDD 102

How many ways has art been used to shape our perceptions? This course will examine how visual images have been used as a vehicle to influence our views of social and political ideology. We will analyze both visual and literary interpretations of the art work with the intention of finding new insights about the rich cultural history of Judaism. The course will also examine how the fascist regime systematically used modern art to build Hitler's political campaign which attacked race and culture.


Jews, Christians and Muslims: Conflicts & Interactions 1400-1600

Dr. Christopher Ocker, Professor of Church History, San Francisco Theological Seminary

Course ID: HSHR-4801/HSHR-5801   Tuesdays, 2:10PM – 5PM    Location: GTU (Room TBD)

The seminar will examine interactions across the frontiers (both cultural and geographical) that

distinguished Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the early modern period. This will include

interactions within Europe, including Iberia, and between Europe and the Ottoman Empire during the

"Renaissance" and "Reformation." Particular attention to travel literature, polemical literature, and implicit intellectual exchanges. Sources in English translation. Term paper. Students taking the seminar at the 5000 level will be expected to do some work on primary sources in original languages. [PIN code required; 10 max enrollment]


For more information on these courses please contact CJS at (510)649-2482 or cjs@gtu.edu


Courses can also be viewed online: http://www.gtu.edu/centersandaffiliates/jewishstudies/courses


Daniella Bensimon

Office Manager/Program Coordinator

Center for Jewish Studies- Graduate Theological Union

2465 Le Conte Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

Phone: 510.649.2482

Fax: 510.649.1730

Email: dbensimon@gtu.edu