Jewish Studies Program

Associate Professor of History Jonathan Elukin, Director

Jewish studies is a multidisciplinary, College-wide investigation of Jewish civilization in its many historical and geographical manifestations. The scope of the Jewish studies curriculum covers Jewish civilization from its ancient Near Eastern origins through contemporary history and culture in Israel and the diaspora communities. It is a secular, academic program with diverse, cross-cultural emphases. For more details on the program’s faculty, requirements and sources, visit our Web site at: www.trincoll.edu/Academics/MajorsAndMinors/Jewish/.

Participating faculty and staff

Majors are required to complete, with grades of C- or better, 12 course credits in the Jewish Studies Program. Majors are strongly encouraged to pursue a semester or a year of study abroad in Israel.

The award of honors in Jewish studies will be based on excellence in the senior independent project or thesis and a grade point average of A- or better in the courses for the major.

Requirements for the major

Fall Term

206. The Arab/Israeli Conflict— An examination of the dynamics of the Arab/Israeli conflict, especially since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The course will focus on the changing interests and positions of the parties involved: Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab states, and the important international players. It will also highlight contradictions within the major camps. (GLB5) (Enrollment limited) –Kiener

219. Israeli Film and Visual Media— Israeli film from the heroic nationalist sentiments of the 1950s to the conflicted alienation of the 21st century, offers a unique window into the history and society of the modern state. This course uses visual media to promote a wide variety of perspectives on Israeli culture and society, and assumes no previous knowledge about Israel. In addition to commercial movies and TV, assigned readings will address Israeli cinema as well as related historical and social issues. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Ayalon

[230. Jewish Response to the Holocaust]— This class explores Jewish responses to the Holocaust in an interdisciplinary manner through an examination of social, religious, theological, political, cultural, psychological, and literary responses to the Holocaust during and after WWII. Students will examine sources that reflect on the ways Jews sought to maintain religious observance under Nazi occupation, the moral and ethical dilemmas Jews confronted daily during the war, and the many forms of resistance to persecution from armed resistance to spiritual, cultural, psychological, and philosophical forms of resistance to persecution. Class sessions will also study attempts to document the war both under occupation and in its aftermath, memorialization, the nature of psychological responses to trauma and persecution, and theological and religious explanations of the meaning of the Holocaust in its aftermath. (Enrollment limited)

466. Teaching Assistant— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

497. Senior Thesis— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis. (WEB) –Staff

Courses Originating in Other Departments

Hebrew 101. Elementary Modern Hebrew I— View course description in department listing on p. 639. –Ayalon

Hebrew 201. Intermediate Modern Hebrew I— View course description in department listing on p. 640. Prerequisite: C- or better in Hebrew 102 or equivalent. –Ayalon

Hebrew 301. Advanced Modern Hebrew I— View course description in department listing on p. 640. Prerequisite: C- or better in Hebrew 202 or equivalent. –Ayalon

History 213. Modern Jewish History— View course description in department listing on p. 526. –Kassow

History 355. The Bible in History— View course description in department listing on p. 531. –Elukin

Religion 109. Jewish Tradition— View course description in department listing on p. 810. –Kiener

[Religion 209. Religions in the Contemporary Middle East]— View course description in department listing on p. 811.

Religion 307. Jewish Philosophy— View course description in department listing on p. 812. Prerequisite: C- or better in Religion 109. –Kiener

[Religion 308. Jewish Mysticism]— View course description in department listing on p. 812. Prerequisite: C- or better in Religion 109.

Spring Term

[206. The Arab/Israeli Conflict]— An examination of the dynamics of the Arab/Israeli conflict, especially since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The course will focus on the changing interests and positions of the parties involved: Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab states, and the important international players. It will also highlight contradictions within the major camps. (GLB5) (Enrollment limited)

220. Modern Israeli Literature and Jewish Heritage— Artists, and especially writers and poets, are the seismographs and mirrors of society, anticipating and reflecting its many forces and movements. During the past two hundred years Jewish life has been profoundly affected by such forces and movements as emancipation, the Enlightenment, assimilation, Zionism, and the Holocaust. A primary focus of modern Israeli writers is the birth of the State of Israel and its ongoing struggles, internally as well as with its Arab neighbors. One of the main ways Hebrew literature captures these significant changes is through the use of biblical themes, images and archetypes which resonate through the generations.

This course will examine the ways in which modern Hebrew literature enriches and brings deeper understanding of collective Jewish experiences and detects and shapes the reality of modern Israel. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Ayalon

[223. American Jewish Literature Since 1865]— This course begins with a question: How would one characterize or define the tradition of American Jewish literature since 1865 the period following the Civil War that also necessarily accounts for the first and second world wars, the polio and AIDS crises in America, U.S. responses to the Holocaust, and ongoing questions about how to balance assimilation with maintaining one’s ethnic identity in U.S. cities large and small. Through close reading of the works of eight canonical American Jewish writers (two poets, two short story writers, two dramatist, and two novelists), we will consider such questions as: What makes these works Jewish? What makes these works American? What makes these works literary? (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

230. Jewish Response to the Holocaust— This class explores Jewish responses to the Holocaust in an interdisciplinary manner through an examination of social, religious, theological, political, cultural, psychological, and literary responses to the Holocaust during and after WWII. Students will examine sources that reflect on the ways Jews sought to maintain religious observance under Nazi occupation, the moral and ethical dilemmas Jews confronted daily during the war, and the many forms of resistance to persecution from armed resistance to spiritual, cultural, psychological, and philosophical forms of resistance to persecution. Class sessions will also study attempts to document the war both under occupation and in its aftermath, memorialization, the nature of psychological responses to trauma and persecution, and theological and religious explanations of the meaning of the Holocaust in its aftermath. (Enrollment limited) –Staff

240. Jews and Muslims in France— Students will be invited to challenge many commonly held stereotypes, and explore the implications of the often forgotten reality that the Jews and Arab Muslims share a common culture, a history as victims of French colonialism, and many personal and social trials as seen in minority and immigrant narratives in the postcolonial era. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Lichtenstein

Courses Originating in Other Departments

Hebrew 102. Elementary Modern Hebrew II— View course description in department listing on p. 640. Prerequisite: C- or better in Hebrew 101 or equivalent. –Ayalon

Hebrew 202. Intermediate Modern Hebrew II— View course description in department listing on p. 640. Prerequisite: C- or better in Hebrew 201 or equivalent. –Ayalon

[History 206. Bible and History of the Book]— View course description in department listing on p. 535.

[History 213. Modern Jewish History]— View course description in department listing on p. 536.

[Religion 214. Jews in America]— View course description in department listing on p. 814.