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Judaic Studies Courses FALL 2018

The Judaic Studies Program at Ualbany promotes literacy and scholarly knowledge about Judaism and Jewish history in their diverse cultural expressions from antiquity to the present. We are scholars, teachers, and students aimed at exploring the fundamentals of Judaic studies as an interdisciplinary academic field with a variety of methodologies. The Judaic Studies Program is affiliated with the Department of History.

We offer minors in Judaic Studies and Hebrew.
Come to visit us in SS119 or contact the new director of the program, Dr. Federica Francesconi!!! (

JST 250 (8610) (3crs) The Holocaust in History
Brenner, Arthur (

Tues, Thurs 8:45am-10:05am
HU 132
*Cross-listed with AHIS 250 (8607)

Begins with an overview of European Jewish life on the eve of the attempt at its destruction, examines the cultural, social and intellectual roots of Nazism, and discusses the efforts to isolate and marginalize those marked as “a-socials” in Germany society. Explores the radicalization of the Nazi program and investigates the variety of ways targeted groups responded to the crises. Covers a number of survivor accounts and the memorialization and politicization of the Nazi Holocaust in the United States and Israel.

JST 253 (9595) (3crs) Medieval Jews Among Muslims and Christians
Francesconi, Federica (

Tues, Thurs 1:15pm-2:35pm
*Cross-listed with A HIS 253 (9596)

This class explores Jewish history from the rise of Christianity until the middle of the seventeenth century. We examine the various ways that Jews endeavored to preserve their communal structures and religious obligations in the absence of territorial cohesion. At the center of our investigation is the experience of Jews between and among the major religious and cultural systems under which they lived, Islam and Christianity. The course charts the development of both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewry, noting the important social, religious, cultural, and poli¬tical characteristics of each community, as well as the nature of their interaction with two great world civilizations. It counts also toward the Minor in Hebrew.

JST 244 (7064) (3crs) Zionism, Palestine, and Israel in Historical Perspective
Brenner, Arthur (

Tues, Thurs 11:45am-1:05pm
ES 241
*Cross-listed with AHEB 244 & HIS 244 (7095)

This course will examine the history of the Zionist movement from its inception until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and the history of Israel from 1948 to the present. It covers the development of various Zionist ideologies and organizations as well as their challengers within and outside the Jewish community. It will examine the history of Jewish settlement in Palestine, the founding of the state of Israel, and the country’s subsequent development. The course will also examine some contemporary issues facing the country. This course includes a mixture of lecture and discussion.

HIS 256 (8608) (3crs) Women in European History
Francesconi, Federica (

Tue, Thu 4:15pm-5:35pm
HU 137

Survey of the role and position of women in European society from antiquity to the present, concentrating on social, economic, political, and intellectual aspects of women’s lives and on cultural attitudes and ideologies concerning women. We will discuss the meanings, challenges, successes, struggles and advancements of women from diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds, cultural pursuits, and political interests. Thus, during the course we would also engage in rescuing “her-story,” as until the recent decades, women’s contribution to the making of history was left untold and not analyzed. The course has a specific focus on Jewish Women. It counts toward the Minors in Judaic Studies and Hebrew.

AHEB 101 (4crs) Elementary Hebrew I
Mon, Wed 10:25-11:20 and Tue, Thu 10:15-11:10
HU 1p

Introduction to the fundamentals of modern spoken and written Hebrew. Our approach is rooted in a concept of language as a meaningful system of communication. To communicate effectively, students will be engaged in daily conversations and written assignments connecting the study of the language to contemporary world events, Israel and stories from their own life.

AHEB 201 (3crs) Intermediate Hebrew I
Mon, Wed 9:20-10:15 and Tue, Thu 8:45-11:00
(room and schedule to be confirmed)

Readings, grammar, composition, and conversation.

For information, contact: Dr. Federica Francesconi,