Spring 2017 Undergraduate Course List

Ancient Near Eastern Mythology (HBRJD-UA 125) [Biblical]
Instructor: Prof. Daniel Fleming
Day & Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Description: The myths of the ancient Near East represent the earliest literary expressions of human thought. Students in this class read myths from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ugarit, Anatolia, and Israel, studying the myths themselves as literary works as well as exploring the ideas and broader issues that shaped them. These myths, including both extensive literary masterpieces such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and shorter work such as the Flight of Etana to Heaven, offer a window into the religious mentality of the ancient Near East, which in turn laid the foundation for many elements of modern Western culture.

Jews and Muslims: Perceptions and Polemics (HBRJD-UA 145)
[Medieval]
Instructor: Prof. Elisha Russ-Fishbane
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays, 3:30pm – 4:45pm
Description: This course explores the intricate relations between Jews and Muslims from the formative period of Islam in the Middle Ages to the exodus of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities in the twentieth century to the religious and political tensions in contemporary times.

Life in the Tenements: The Public History of the Lower East Side (HBRJD-UA 286)
[Modern]
Instructor: Prof. Hasia Diner
Day & Time: Thursdays, 8:00am – 10:30am
Description: “Life in the Tenements” explores the world of the Lower East side, from the 1830s through the latter part of the twentieth century through the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Students will explore the history of the neighborhood through the lives of the immigrants who settled there, reading primary and secondary documents that treat the family, work, entrepreneurial, and religious experiences of the immigrants. They will also learn how the museum operates and will assist the staff in exploring questions that will expand the material that it presents to the public. As such the students will be partners in the creation of a public history institution.

Living a Good Life: Greek and Jewish Perspectives (HBRJD-UA 422)
[Ancient/Rabbinic, Medieval, Modern]
Instructor: Prof. Michah Gottlieb
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays, 11:00am – 12:15pm
Description: The course will examine Greek and Jewish perspectives on the question: What makes a life well-lived? Central questions to be explored will include: Does living well require acquiring knowledge and wisdom? What is the place of moral responsibility in the good life? Is the good life, a happy life or does it require sacrificing happiness? Does religion lead to living well or does it hinder it?  What is friendship and how does it contribute to the good life? The course will focus on close readings of primary texts by the following thinkers: Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Avot, Maimonides, Spinoza, and Hermann Cohen.

Readings in Talmud (in Hebrew): Sukkah Chapter 3 (HBRJD-UA 784)
Instructor: Prof. Lawrence Schiffman
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Description: Studies a selected section of the Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Babylonian Talmud, utilizing both traditional and academic methods of study.‎ Emphasis is on mastering the themes and concepts while studying the text and its commentaries in depth.

Language Courses


Elementary Hebrew I (HBRJD-UA 1)

Instructor: Prof. Rosalie Kamelhar (001); Prof. Adina Marom (002)
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 11:00am - 12:15pm (001); Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12:30pm - 1:45pm (002)
Description: Active introduction to modern Hebrew as it is spoken and written in Israel today. Presents the essentials of Hebrew grammar, combining the oral-aural approach with formal grammatical concepts. Reinforces learning by reading of graded texts. Emphasizes the acquisition of idiomatic conversational vocabulary and language patterns.

Elementary Hebrew II (HBRJD-UA 2)

Instructor: Prof. Rosalie Kamelhar (001); Danielle Drori (002)
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, 12:30pm - 1:45pm (001, 002)
Description: Continuation of Elementary Hebrew I (HBRJD-UA 1). Open to students who have completed HBRJD-UA 1 or who have been placed at this level through the placement examination.

Intermediate Hebrew I (HBRJD-UA 3)

Instructor: Prof. Ilona Ben-Moshe (001, 002)
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12:30pm - 1:45pm (001); Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 3:30pm - 4:45pm (002)
Open to students who have completed HBRJD-UA 2 or HBRJD-UA 5, or those who have been placed at this level through the placement examination. Builds on skills acquired in Elementary Hebrew I and II and develops a deepening command of all linguistic skills. Modern literary and expository texts are read to expand vocabulary and grammatical knowledge, with conversation and composition exercises built around the texts. Introduces selections from Israeli media. Addresses the relationship between classical and modern Hebrew.

Intermediate Hebrew II (HBRJD-UA 4)

Instructor: Prof. Adina Marom (001); Prof. Ilona Ben-Moshe (002)
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 9:30am - 10:45am (001); Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 11:00am – 12:15pm (002)
Improving all Hebrew Language skills at the High Intermediate level. We will read and discuss Texts on different topics and various genres, practice Composition and writing, and continue the study of The Hebrew verb with an emphasis on Future Tense conjugations.

CORE Courses


Ancient Israel (CORE-UA 514)

Instructor: Prof. Alex Jassen
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:45pm
Description: The culture of the ancient Israelite societies of biblical times, covering the period from about 1200 BCE to the conquests of Alexander the Great, in the fourth century BCE. Topics include the achievements of these societies in the areas of law and social organization, prophetic movements, Israelite religion, and ancient Hebrew literature. The Hebrew Bible preserves much of the creativity of the ancient Israelites, but archaeological excavations in Israel and neighboring lands, as well as the discovery of ancient writings in Hebrew and related languages, have added greatly to our knowledge of life as it was lived in biblical times. The civilizations of Egypt and Syria-Mesopotamia also shed light on Israelite culture. Of particular interest is the early development of Israelite monotheism, which, in time, emerged as ancient Judaism, the mother religion of Christianity and Islam.

Antiquity and the Enlightenment (CORE-UA 403-010)
Instructor: Prof. Jeffrey Rubenstein
Day & Time: Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30am - 10:45am
Description: CORE: Antiquity and the Enlightenment is intended to acquaint students with some of the central ideas bequeathed by antiquity to the modern Western world.  We shall examine how these ideas from antiquity have been received, debated, accepted, rejected, and modified.

Egypt of the Pharaohs I (CORE-UA 545)
Instructor: Prof. Ann Macy Roth
Day & Time: Monday, Wednesday, 2:00pm – 3:15pm
Description: Ancient Egypt during the New Kingdom period, 1550-1069 BCE. During this period of imperial conquest, the ancient Egyptian civilization, already more than sixteen centuries old, increasingly interacted with the peoples and civilizations beyond its borders. We examine the remains of this newly cosmopolitan pharaonic culture, including a variety of primary sources—texts (literature, popular stories, religious writings, letters, and administrative documents), as well as material culture (works of art, architecture, archaeological remains). Students learn how scholars analyze this material to reconstruct New Kingdom cultural life and use these methods themselves to gain insight into the Egyptians' religious beliefs, social forms and organizations, and conventions and achievements of their literature, art, and architecture, as well as to critically evaluate the interpretations and reconstructions in the secondary scholarship