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Course Offerings

As always, check BUonline for the latest updates and the Harpur Bulletin for course descriptions and details.
Download the JUST Academic Planning Chart here (pdf, 320KB)

Undergraduate Director

Professor Karp

Office Hours: Weds 1-2:30pm, LT 1309


Professor Friedman

Office Hours: Weds 9am-noon, LT 1312

Fall 2018

Mini Courses (2cr)

A Fast Track to Basic Yiddish - YIDD 100
Time: Second half of semester - W/F 1:10-2:40 
Instructor: Gina Glasman
A mini course that provides a rapid‐fire immersion in the basics of conversational Yiddish through "shmoozing" and song.

Video Art in Israel - ISRL 281A
Time: First half of semester - R 2:50-5:50 
Instructor: Tamar Lazman
In the last two decades, Video Art has become one of the most dominant art fields in Israel, producing some of the most internationally successful Israeli artists. This workshop will examine Israeli Video Art as an important prism through which Israeli realities can be understood and experienced. These realities include, for example, Zionism, myth, memory, trauma and testimony. Through screenings, readings and discussion, we will locate Israeli Video Art in relation to its national and international context. In addition, participants will be given an opportunity to engage in a studio assignment. Participants will therefore gain a deeper familiarity with the contemporary Israeli art and the realities to which it reacts. Tamar Latzman is a working Israeli visual artist, whose work has been featured in New York, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Austria, and Lithuania. More information about Ms. Latzman.


Intro to Judaic Studies - JUST 101
T/R 1:15-2:40
Gen Ed: H, W

Instructor: Randy Friedman

This survey course, appropriate for first and second year students, will examine the course of Jewish history, philosophy, culture and religion through over three millennia. The course will include key sections of the Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic writings, medieval and early modern philosophy, as well as 19th and 20th century political works, art, and literature. No background is required.

Religions of the World - RELG 101
Cross listed: JUST 180B / AFST180E / ANTH 180C
Time: T/R 11:40-1:05
Gen Ed: G, H
Instructor: Doug Jones
What does it mean to study various religions from an academic perspective? How do we, as outsiders at a public university, discuss different traditions responsibly? Answering questions like these and developing our skills as scholars of religion is of no small importance in an increasingly global society. This class will take a thematic approach to a number of traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Prominent themes include the history of Religious Studies as a discipline, religion and popular culture, religion and violence, the history of utopian thought, and the status of new and controversial movements across the globe. ​

Jewish History Ancient to 1500 - JUST 201
Cross listed: 
Time: M/W 9:40-11:05
Gen Ed: G, N

Instructor: Jonathan Karp
This survey course examines the history, culture, philosophy, religion, and political experiences of Jews from the Biblical period through the second temple period, to the medieval period. Themes include the relationship between Jews, Christians and Muslims, Jews under foreign political rule (Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans), and the social and economic history of Jews in Europe through the middle ages. No background is required. 

Jewish Non-Profit Organizations - JUST 259

Cross listed: HDEV 259
T/R 10:05-11:30
Gen Ed: J

Instructor:  Barbara Goldman-Wartell
The Jewish Non-Profit Organizations course will look at the organizations and systems that make up the Jewish community in the United States. The goal of the course is to deconstruct the concept of “community” and to understand how institutions fulfill the purposes of community. We will introduce the course by learning about the history of the Jewish community and Jewish communal institutions in the U.S. and how they came to create the landscape of organizations that exist today. We will also use different tools for analyzing organizations and how they function. The main part of the course will explore the rich, diverse and complex landscape of Jewish communal organizations that exist today. We will cover many types of organizations, some emerging organizations and how they fit into the landscape of the Jewish Non-Profit world.

Jewish Resistance in Antiquity - JUST 287A
Cross listed: RELG 280D / HIST 285D
Time: M 4:40-7:40
Gen Ed: C, H
Instructor: Michael Kelly
The ancient world was full of passive and violent resistance. In this class, we will examine the diverse range of rioting and rebellion that occurred in antiquity (c. 200 bc – ad 600), with an emphasis on those events, discourses, texts and representations pertaining to Jewish struggles, both personal and communal. We will also, when possible, compare ancient representations of resistance to readings from today, in order to reflect on changing attitudes - about protest, violence, equality and justice - and how those shape our understanding of Jewish history.

Holocaust Literature - JUST 341

Cross listed:  COLI 380B / ENG 380M
M 4:40-7:40
Gen Ed: C, H

Instructor: Paul-William Burch
Students in this course read literature of the Holocaust, the Churban, or the Shoah—including diaries, journals, memoirs, fiction, poetry, and works of popular culture, informed by the belief that literary responses to the Holocaust are, as the poet Paul Celan has written, in themselves "material evidence of that which-occurred." The course includes works by First Generation writers, victims and survivors of the Shoah who bear direct witness to the horror, as well as pieces by Second Generation writers—that is, children and “offspring” of Holocaust survivors who bear witness to the witnesses and to events that they did not live through but that shaped their lives.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Cross-listed with English and Comparative Literature. THIS COURSE IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS.

Jewish New York - JUST 351
Cross listed: HIST 380B
Time: T/R 4:25-5:50
Gen Ed: H, P, W
Instructor: Gina Glasman
From Pogroms to the Promised City - An exploration of why Eastern European Jews came to New York in the era of mass migration and what they made of city life once they arrived. Jewish New York is a study in both urban and immigrant history, examining how a newly arrived society responded to America’s signature metropolis in an urban moment of extraordinary dynamism.

German Jews - JUST 368
Cross listed: ISRL 385Z / HIST 385P / GERM 380D
T/R 1:15-2:40
Gen Ed:

Instructor: Allan Arkush
This course will examine the lives of representative German Jews from the middle of the 18th century to the beginning of the Nazi era. It will focus on these individuals’ relationship to Judaism and Jewish life and the changing German world in which they lived. Among the figures studied will be philosophers (Moses Mendelssohn), politicians (Gabriel Riesser and Walter Rathenau), rabbis (Leo Baeck), and feminists (Bertha Pappenheim). Selected Topics: the fight for Jewish civil rights in the 19th century, the reception of Jews in the German public sphere, responses to anti-Semitism, new philosophies of Judaism.

The Ghetto, the Jews and the City - JUST 371
Cross listed: HIST 385M
Time: T/R 11:40-1:05
Gen Ed: A, C

Instructor:  Gina Glasman
European Jewry has often been a quintessentially urban society and culture, both by way of reputation, and as a matter of fact. Our class will explore this urban personality across time and space, beginning with the mandated pre-modern ghettos of central and southern Europe and ending with the ethnically rooted neighbourhoods of Vienna and Paris, Berlin and London in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Along the way, we will consider related themes, including civic & minority identity, the nature of toleration, and the place of the city within broader society. When possible, we will ground our conversation in contemporary material culture, including urban landmarks, post-cards and various kinds of visual media.

Historic Conversion to and from Judaism - JUST 380C
Cross listed:  RELG 380A  / HIST 385E
Time: W 5:50-8:50
Gen Ed: C, H

Instructor: Allan Arkush
This course will concentrate on the history of conversion to and from Judaism. It will begin with an examination of Jewish and Christian missionary efforts in antiquity and conclude with a study of conversion from Judaism in modern Europe and conversion to Judaism in contemporary Israel. The readings will include the autobiographies of converts both to and from Judaism. Additional notes: H The personal narratives of converts constitute a window into the way in which thoughtful and troubled human beings deal with questions of fundamental importance. Selected Topics: Conversion to Judaism in the Hellenistic world, inauthentic conversions in the era of the Spanish Inquisition, waves of conversion from Judaism in 19th and early 20th century Europe, current controversies over conversion in the State of Israel.

The Coming of the Rabbis - JUST 386M
Cross listed: RELG 380D
Time: W 4:40-7:40
Gen Ed: G, W
Instructor: Michael Kelly
The Coming of the Rabbis: the Emergence of Rabbinical Judaism and its Implications - In this class, we will explore the dramatic rise of rabbis and rabbinical literature in late antiquity (c. 100 bc to ad 600) and analyze together the immediate and lasting effects of this moment on Judaism, as a faith, as an identity, and as a historical phenomenon. In this period, which begins around the occupation of the Land of Israel by the Roman Empire and the destruction of the Temple, Judaism underwent tremendous changes, including the invention of new holidays, the appearance of numerous sects and factions, a regular stream of professed messianic figures, and nearly endless riots and revolts. Perhaps the most significant development was the emergence of the rabbis who found within this historical milieu a space to become the voices of Judaism. This became manifest in writing with the Mishnah, a century or so after the destruction of the Temple, followed by the Gemara and two versions of the Talmud, all of which we will read as part of this class.

Intro to Israeli Literature - ISRL 120
Cross listed: JUST 120 / COLI 180P
Time: T/R 10:05-11:30
Gen Ed: G, H

Instructor:  Lior Libman
This survey course introduces students to texts (poems, short stories, novels) and themes (nation-building, conflict, gender constructions, ethnic and religious tensions) in Israeli literature from 1948 to the present. We will place literary works within their historical, cultural and political contexts and examine them to illustrate the main features of the time. Texts will be read in translation. No previous knowledge is required. The course is a Core Course for the Minor in Israel Studies, a Literature Course for the Major/Minor in Hebrew, and an Area Course in Israel Studies for the Major/Minor in Judaic Studies.

Modern Israel - ISRL 150
Cross listed: JUST 150 / HIST 150
T/R 11:40-1:05
Gen Ed: N

Instructor: Shay Rabineau
This course presents an overview of the history of Israel from its origins in the Zionist movement to the present. Key topics include: political relations and international diplomacy leading to the establishment of the state in 1948; Israel's wars with its neighbors; conflict with the Palestinians; religion and government; internal divisions between Ashkenazic and Sephardi/Mizrachi Jews; and Israeli cultural life. No previous knowledge is assumed or required. 
Students who had taken the course under the original number will not receive credit for re-taking the course with the new number.

Cultures and Society in Israel - ISRL 227
Cross listed: JUST 227 / LING280E / ANTH 280C
M/W/F 9:40-10:40
Gen Ed:
G, N, W
Instructor: Assaf Harel
This course examines the complexity of contemporary Israeli culture and society. To gain an introductory understanding of Israeli experiences today, we will begin with the formation of political Zionism and move on to engage with the increasing diversity of Israeli society and culture. We will explore central themes in Israeli life such as religion and secularism, minority majority relations, military, gender, sexuality, pop culture and globalization. Throughout the course, we will critically discuss the readings, films and clips in order to develop a reflexive awareness of our own analytical and personal positions in relation to the subject matter. In addition, you will pursue individual research projects that will deepen your familiarity and understanding of a sociocultural question pertaining to Israel and thus gain training in research, writing and presentation skills. By the end of this course, you will possess basic knowledge and analytical tools that will enable you to critically examine Israeli culture and society.
Walking the Land - ISRL 321
Cross listed: JUST 321 / HIST 321
Time: T/R 1:15 - 2:40
Gen Ed: H, O

Instructor:  Shay Rabineau
Walking The Land: Hiking and Pilgrimage in Modern Israel/ Palestine/ The Holy Land - This course explores the religious traditions and political movements that have attached significance to the act of walking the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, beginning in the late Ottoman period and continuing to the present day. Students who had taken the course under the original number will not receive credit for re-taking the course with the new number.
The Kibbutz in Israeli Culture - ISRL 324
Cross listed: JUST 380D
Time: T/R 1:15-2:40
Gen Ed: H

Instructor: Lior Libman
The course focuses on representations of the kibbutz, a unique Israeli social formation which aimed at combining Zionism and Socialism, nation-building and the construction of a new, just society. Throughout the past hundred years, the kibbutz has been portrayed in countless literary texts and visual images. In this class, we will analyze and discuss selected literary and cinematic works from different genres and periods to examine the history of the kibbutz-image and the relationship between it and the kibbutz’s history, while also asking, in a broader context, how social and political visions are shaped in, and are shaping, images. Texts will be read in translation. No previous knowledge is required, but for students who took Intro to Israeli Lit. this course will be a continuation of their studies. The course is an Area Course in Literature for the Minor in Israel Studies, a Literature Course for the Major/Minor in Hebrew, and an Area Course in Israel Studies for the Major/Minor in Judaic Studies. 

Religion and Faith in Israel - ISRL 386K
Cross listed: JUST386B / RELG 380G
Time: M/W/F 1:10-2:10
Gen Ed: C, N
Instructor: Assaf Harel
This course examines religion in Israel from an ethnographic perspective. That is, it centers on knowledge that emerges from real-life encounters and experiences. Accordingly, we will engage with ethnographic works as a way of gaining a deeper understanding of the diversity of Israeli religious realities. The course will cover topics such as Religious Zionism, Ultra Orthodoxy, fundamentalism, Christian pilgrimage, Islamic and Jewish revival, New Age and more.



Hebrew I - HEBR 101
Time: M/T/W/R 8:30 – 9:30
Gen Ed: FL1

Instructor:  Orly Shoer
Hebrew 101 is the first semester of Modern Hebrew. The course is designed only for students with very little or no previous experience in the language. It offers a communicative introduction to Modern Hebrew language and its culture. It emphasizes all facets of the language – comprehension, speech, reading, grammar and writing. The focus of instruction is on enabling students to develop basic vocabulary and communicative skills in Modern Hebrew centering on the students' immediate surroundings and simple daily activities.
By the end of the course students will be able to read and write short stories, voice their opinion, converse and use basic grammar.
Prerequisites: None

Hebrew III - HEBR 203
Time: M/W/F 9:40 – 10:40
Gen Ed: FL3

Instructor:  Orly Shoer
Hebrew 203 is the third course in the Modern Hebrew program sequence, and the last course needed to fulfill the Binghamton University’s foreign language requirement. It focuses on increasing students' confidence in using the language in different social settings. This course is designed to advance the Hebrew learner to the intermediate-high level by introducing complex grammatical structure forms and sentences. Grammar teaching covers three of the main verb structures. The course concentrates on improving speaking, writing, as well as, working on text analysis and comprehension skills. 
Prerequisites: HEBR 102 with a grade of C- or better, a placement exam, or permission of the instructor.
Texts and Conversations I - HEBR 311
Time: M/W/F/ 10:50 – 11:50
Gen Ed: FL3

Instructor:  Orly Shoer
Hebrew 311 is an advanced-intermediate Hebrew language and culture course that is intended for students who wish to further develop their vocabulary building and practice all four language skills, with an emphasis on reading comprehension, grammar, syntax, composition, vocabulary building and conversation. Students will advance their Hebrew language skills through reading, discussing and writing about a variety of texts, with some emphasis placed on short articles.
Prerequisites: HEBR 204 with a grade of C- or better, a placement exam, or permission of the instructor.


Yiddish I - YIDD 101
Cross listed: JUST 180A
Time: M/W/F 10:50 – 11:50
Gen Ed: FL1

Instructor: Gina Glasman
Yiddish 101 is the first semester of the Yiddish language course sequence and is intended for beginners. It introduces students to the Yiddish language and its culture.  It emphasizes all facets of the language – comprehension, speech, reading, grammar and writing. The focus of instruction is on enabling students to develop basic skills.

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Last Updated: 8/13/18