Jewish Studies (previous page)
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Center for Jewish Studies
Professors Bernard-Donals, Bernstein, Brenner, Card, Gamoran, Kaplan, Kornblatt, Louden, Nadler, Pekarsky, Potter, Rosenberg, Rosenmeyer, Suri, Swack; Associate Professors Casid, Goldberg, Guyer, Michels, Rosenberg, Schweber; Assistant Professors Alatout, Hollander, Rosenblum, Shelef
Associate Director: Laurie Silverberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayrent Institute Director: Henry Sapoznik, email@example.com
Undergraduate advisor: Nadav Shelef, 108 Ingraham Hall, 608-265-4763, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Jewish Studies was founded in 1991 to coordinate and promote an interdisciplinary program in Jewish studies. The subject matter is by definition diverse, encompassing religion, culture, society and politics as well as relationships with numerous cultures and societies in many periods and in many parts of the world. The center now offers a broad selection of courses at all levels which are crosslisted with other departments (including anthropology, curriculum and instruction, educational policy studies, English, German, Hebrew and Semitic studies, history, music, philosophy, political science, religious studies, Slavic languages, sociology, theatre and drama, women's studies and the Law School).
The Jewish studies major offers students the opportunity to study in depth the 3,500 years of the Jewish experience. The program is designed to enable students to gain a broadly based, quality liberal education in Jewish studies, to focus on a particular aspect of Jewish studies and show its interdisciplinary relationship to other areas of learning and experience, to think critically about and discuss clearly and informatively subjects of Jewish interest, and to establish the intellectual habits useful for lifelong learning.
Students are required to have a proficiency in the Hebrew language to enable them to deal with Hebrew texts in the classroom and for research purposes. The credits are divided among several clusters that focus on literature, history, and other disciplinary areas that support the acquisition of an integrated and coherent body of knowledge. The Jewish studies major requires a minimum of 30 credits, including a required capstone course.
The major has an education track that includes course work in the School of Education. It requires a total of 33 credits—24 in Jewish studies and 9 in education (curriculum & instruction and educational policy studies). This track provides a series of courses that define the role that education has played in Jewish civilization; Jewish ideas concerning the nature and aims of education; and philosophical, curricular, and pedagogical issues relating to education in Jewish studies in a pluralistic, democratic society. In this track, the capstone course is replaced with a required seminar. This track does not lead to teacher certification. For specific course requirements, students should contact the Jewish studies office.
A certificate in Jewish studies is also available. Its aim is to acquaint students with a number of significant aspects of the Jewish experience and to introduce them to tools required for its study; it requires 21 credits.
Major in L&S: minimum of 30 credits in Jewish studies. Students are responsible for reaching the level of fourth semester proficiency in Hebrew necessary for the required courses in Hebrew texts.
Language requirement: fourth-level proficiency in Hebrew is necessary. Credits will not count toward 30 required for major. Fourth-level of Hebrew language or higher. Biblical Hebrew includes 103, 104, 323, 324. Hebrew 101-202 do not count toward the 30 credits required in the major.
1. Introduction to Judaism, 3 credits
2. Hebrew Texts, 6 credits
Two courses in Hebrew texts at the level above 202 in Modern Hebrew (Hebrew 301, 302, 401, 402, 533, 534) or above 324 in Biblical Hebrew (Hebrew 448, 513, 514, 641, 642, 651, 652, 653, 654)*
3. Literature, 6 credits
Two courses in Jewish literature, at least one of which should be literature of the diaspora written in a language other than Hebrew—e.g., English, French, German, Russian. (Courses taken to satisfy the requirement in Hebrew texts cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.)
a. Diaspora Literature
225 The Jew In Russian Literature [in Translation] (with Literature in Translation)
279 Yiddish Literature in the United States [in Translation] (with Literature in Translation)
355 Representations of Women in 20th Century Jewish Literature (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
490 New Voices in Jewish American Fiction; Jewish Fictions from 19th C NY, Jewish American Literature in the 1940s, Post-Holocaust Literature and Theory: The Survivor
519 Englishness and Jewishness (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies, and Medieval Studies)
591 Jewish Fictions from 19th-Century London to Early 20th-Century New York
593 American Autobiography: Jewish Identity and the "Melting Pot" (with English)
b. Hebrew Literature
227 Intro to Biblical Literature (in English) (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
228 Survey (in English) of Hebrew Literature: Medieval to Modern Periods (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
237 Biblical Poetry in Translation (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
301/302 Introduction to Hebrew Literature (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
328 Classical Rabbinic Literature in Translation (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
332 Prophets of the Bible (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
346 Jewish Literature of the Greco-Roman Period (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
367 Israeli Fiction [in Translation] (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
401/402 Survey of Modern Hebrew Literature (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
417 History-telling of the Bible (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies, and Religious Studies)
446 Holy Places and Sacred Times in Rabbinic Literature (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
448 Classical Rabbinic Texts (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies and Religious Studies)
460 Medieval Hebrew Biblical Commentaries (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
513/514 Biblical Texts, Poetry (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
533/514 Readings in Contemporary Hebrew Literature (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
3. History, 6 credits
Two courses in Jewish history to include one course in American Jewish History**
202 Topics in Jewish StudiesóAmerican Jewish History (with History)
219 The American Jewish Experience: From Shtetl to Suburb (with History)
220 Introduction to Modern Jewish History (with History)
371 Topics in Jewish Civilization: Jews of Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Century, Eastern European Jewish Immigrant Experience, 1800s-1920s (with Anthropology)
373 Modern Political History of the Jews, Part I (with History)
374 Modern Political History of the Jews, Part II (with History)
377 Jewish Cultural History (in English) (with History)
416 Eastern European Jews in the United States, 1800s-1930s (with History)
473 Jewish Civilization in Medieval Spain (in English) (with Hebrew & Medieval)
490 Topics in Jewish Studies: American Jewish History (with History), Eastern European Jewry: 1648-1945; Jews and Economy in Modern Times; Hasidism: Origins to Mass Movement; Historical Thinking in Collective Memory
515 Holocaust: History, Memory and Education (with Curriculum and Instruction, and History)
518 Anti-Semitism in European Culture (with German and History)
529 Intellectual and Religious History of European Jewry—1648-1870 (with History)
4. Disciplinary Perspectives, 6 credits
Two courses chosen from any of the following:
202 Yiddish Music: Folk Songs, Film and Theater
229 Representation of the Jew in Eastern European Culture (with Literature in Translation)
236 **Bascom Courses
241 Introduction to Biblical Archaeology (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
258 The Jews, States, and Citizenship: A Sociological Perspective (with Sociology)
356 Zionism in Thought, Culture, and Literature: From the Inception to the State (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
371 Topics in Jewish Civilization: Modern Jewish Thought, Dead Sea Scrolls and Hellenistic Literature (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
372 Jews of Central and Eastern Europe (with Anthropology)
376 Ancient Jewish Psychology and Ethics (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
410 Holocaust Theme in Western Drama (with Theatre and Drama)
420 Anti-Semitism: History, Literature, and the Arts
421 Introduction to Jewish Studies
435 Jewish Philosophy from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century (with Philosophy)
442 Moral Philosophy and the Holocaust (with Philosophy)
450 Undergraduate Seminar in Judaism and the Arts
451 Biblical Archaeology (with Hebrew and Semitic Studies)
475 Education and Jewish Civilization (with Educational Policy Studies)
490 Topics in Jewish Studies: Studying American Jews Through Film and Television (with Anthropology); Modern Jewish Thought and Education (with Education); Education and Jewish Civilization (with Education); The Holocaust: History, Memory and Education (with Curriculum and Instruction); and Seminar in Education and Jewish Studies (with Curriculum and Instruction); Yiddish Language and Culture (with German); Jewish Politics 19th & 20th Century Europe (with Political Science), Eastern European Jewry: 1648-1945 (with History), Rhetoric and Pedagogy of the Holocaust, Law, Theology and the State (with Law); Theory of the Holocaust: Writing and Teaching; Teaching Jewish Studies; Literature of the Holocaust; Jewish Pop Music in America: Berlin to Kravitz; Law, Theology and the State; Yiddish, Language and Culture; Jewish Politics in the 19th and 20th Century Europe; Out of Europe: Post 1945 Literature and Film; Writing, Rhetoric and Ethics After Auschwitz
515 Holocaust: History, Memory and Education (with Curriculum and Instruction, and History)
518 Anti-Semitism in European Culture (with German and History)
613 Jewish Law and Ethics in Comparative Perspective (with Law)
625 The Holocaust: Facts, Trials, Verdicts, Post Verdicts (with Law)
665 Israeli Politics & Society (with Political Science)
5. Capstone Course, 3 credits
The capstone course is intended for students nearing the end of their course work. It will be designated as the capstone course or by Directed Study, which will require prior consent of the undergraduate advisor in Jewish studies and the relevant instructor. Students may then be allowed to use one directed study course to satisfy a requirement for the major.
Honors Option: 681/2 Senior Thesis; 691/2 Senior Honors Thesis
*In the future, an Introduction to Classical Hebrew Texts course may be used to satisfy this portion of the major.
**Bascom Courses are small (20 students or fewer) and generally focus on one particular topic, that would generate substantial in-depth papers throughout the semester. Current topics: Jewish Composers: Early Modern to Modern (with Music); Modern American Jewish Fiction (with English); and Writing (and) the Holocaust (with English)
Note on Directed Study: With prior consent of the undergraduate advisor in Jewish studies and the relevant instructor, students may use one Directed Study course to satisfy a requirement for the major.
Honors in the Major in both Jewish Studies and the separate track, Education and Jewish Studies, is intended for students who are interested in original research and who wish to graduate with the best possible undergraduate training in the discipline. Honors in the Major is especially appropriate for students who are considering graduate work in the area of Jewish studies, or who want an especially rigorous training in research, reasoning, and writing skills useful to a wide range of career choices. Students should consult the department honors coordinator and advisor to determine the best way to fulfill honors requirements and how to make the most of the Honors in the Major experience.
To earn the B.A. or B.S. with Honors in the Major in Jewish Studies or the separate track in Education and Jewish Studies, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major and the following additional requirements:
- Achieve a GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0 in all requirements within the major at the time of graduation.
- Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 in all courses taken at UW-Madison at the time of graduation.
- Complete at least two honors courses in the major while in residence at UW-Madison.
- Complete a two-semester capstone project called a senior honors thesis, a piece of original research composition, in 681 (3 cr) and 682 (3 cr), for a total of 6 credits.
(Degree awarded in College of Letters and Science)
A total of 33 credits—18 in Jewish studies, 9 in education, and 6 in Education and Jewish Studies. Students electing the education track are responsible for reaching the level of fourth-semester proficiency in Hebrew necessary for required courses in Hebrew texts.
A. Jewish Studies Requirements
18 credits in the following four areas in Jewish studies, distributed as follows:
Introduction to Judaism, 3 cr
Jewish literature, 3 cr
Jewish history, 6 cr
Hebrew texts, including both modern and classical texts, 6 cr
B. Education-Related Requirements
1. Developing a philosophical stance, 3 cr
Ed Pol 540 Modern Philosophies of Education or
Ed Pol 545 Philosophical Conceptions of Teaching and Learning or
Ed Pol 550 Philosophy of Moral Education
2. Education in Jewish Studies in a democratic, pluralistic society, 3 cr
Curric/Ed Pol/Relig St 516 Religion and Public Education
3. Pedagogical/curricular issues pertinent to education in Jewish studies, 3 cr
Curric 359 teaching of History and the Other Social Studies or
Curric 431 Young Adult Literature or
Curric/Jewish 515 The Holocaust: History, Memory, and Education
C. Education and Jewish Studies Requirements
A total of 6 credits will satisfy the disciplinary perspectives requirement for the major and as follows:
Seminar in Education and Jewish Studies (Ed Pol/Curric)* and
Ed Pol/Jewish 475 Education and Jewish Civilization
*Formal course proposal under development.
The certificate in Jewish studies provides students with an opportunity for a broadly conceived course of study. The aim of the certificate is to acquaint students with a number of significant aspects of the Jewish experience and to introduce them to some of the tools required for its study. The certificate complements the major in any subject in the College of Letters and Science. It also strengthens the applications of those students who intend to pursue careers or graduate study in a field related to Jewish studies. For more information, please see the Web site.
Although the Jewish experience has ranged widely in time and space, one unifying element has been the Hebrew language. Study of the Hebrew language is integral to a curriculum in Jewish studies. Students are required to take at least one year (two courses) of Hebrew instruction (either Biblical or Modern). Students with a prior knowledge of the language are also required to take one year of instruction at the appropriate level. Students whose prior knowledge is equivalent to four semesters or more of Hebrew language instruction are required to take two courses in Hebrew texts (Bible and/or Modern). The Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies, 1346 Van Hise Hall, administers placement examinations.
Note: Lower-division Hebrew language courses (Hebrew Studies 101, 102, 103, 104, 201, 202) can be used to satisfy the language requirement, but because they are not crosslisted with Jewish studies, they cannot be used to satisfy any other requirements for the certificate. In contrast, Hebrew literature courses (301 and above), since they are crosslisted with Jewish studies, can be used to satisfy other requirements for the certificate.
Certificate students must take one course in each of the two disciplinary clusters indicated below.
Two semesters of Hebrew
Cluster One: Literature, Philosophy and the Arts
Cluster Two: History and Social Science
Cluster Three: Course satisfying requirement of one course prior to the modern period
Two additional elective courses
Jewish studies courses taken at Israeli universities may also satisfy the certificate requirements. Students who have taken such courses should consult with the certificate advisor.
Students should consult with the appropriate faculty member of the Center for Jewish Studies in order to select a coherent group of courses. Students must fill out an application form and receive approval from the director of Jewish studies. Students will be awarded the certificate once they have submitted a transcript showing that they have completed the required courses and fulfilled their requirements for graduation. An independent study course used to satisfy a cluster requirement must be approved in advance by the director of Jewish studies.
For more information on the certificate, please contact the undergraduate advisor, Nadav Shelef, email@example.com or 608-263-2280.