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Jewish Studies Course Calendar 2022-2023

Jewish Studies Course Calendar 2022-2023

Join a line-up of impressive Spertus faculty members and your fellow students to learn together in real time.

These courses fulfill requirements for students enrolled in Spertus Institute's Jewish Studies MA and Doctoral programs. 

If you’d like to discuss which courses might best fit your schedule and outstanding requirements, please make an appointment with Director of Jewish Studies Dr. David Gottlieb. Make an appointment >


Onsite Summer Seminar
Sunday-Thursday, June 4-8, 2023
You may register for one morning and one afternoon course.

Register below. 

Morning Course Group
These two courses meet Sunday, June 4 from 2 to 5 pm and Monday-Wednesday, June 5-7 from 9 am to 1 pm. The final session is Thursday, June 8 from 8 am to 12 pm CT. 

Taught by Dr. Brett Ashley Kaplan 

Course 3506 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS Core and DSJS Elective

Explore Jewish-American literature through the words of three writers who depict contemporary Jewish experiences across historical eras and geographical spaces: Nicole Krauss, Philip Roth, and Nathan Englander. How does Jewish-American literature represent and grapple with Jewish experiences? How do the worlds they construct differ from or resonate with Jewish landscapes and experiences familiar to you? We will read closely for novel structures, tonalities and shifts in writing styles, rhythms, tropes, and larger meanings embedded in the texts. With each new time and place we'll investigate the historical context and grapple with how the past informs the present.

Taught by Rabbi Dr. Scott Aaron

Course 3228 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS 2nd-Level Core, MAJS Elective, DSJS Elective, and DHL Elective

Trace the evolution of Judaism in America from a religion of exile to a community of affiliation. The American pillars of democracy, individuality, and capitalism changed Jewry and Jewishness in America through their core theological, cultural, and institutional structures. Using historical documents, artifacts from the Spertus collection, and insights from the social sciences, students will examine the impact of events in American history on Jewish life. We will also examine how America’s emergence and dominance of the world stage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries extended American Judaism’s influence on Jewish communities worldwide, including the modern State of Israel.

Afternoon Course Group
These two courses meet Sunday, June 4 from 6 to 9 pm and Monday-Wednesday, June 5-7 from 2 to 6 pm. The final session is Thursday, June 8 from 1 to 5 pm. 

Taught by Dr. David Shyovitz

Course 3227 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS Elective, DSJS Elective, DSJS Text, and DHL Text

Discover how messianic beliefs, movements, and figures have shaped the course of Jewish social, cultural, and political life—from antiquity to today. In this course, we will analyze messianic phenomena within the broader surroundings of the Christian and Islamic world. Through primary sources in translation, we will explore sociological, literary, anthropological, and theological approaches. We’ll cover topics including the origins of Christianity, medieval Mahdism, apocalypticism and Armilus (the Jewish Antichrist), mathematical calculations of the millennium, Shabbetai Zvi and Sabbatianism, the modern secularization of messianism and the State of Israel, and the Lubavitch movement.

Taught by Dr. Leonard Greenspoon

Course 3229 | 3 quarter-hour credits
MAJS Elective, DSJS Core (Jewish Living), and DSJS Elective

Learn about the distinctive role of celebrations and commemorations in Jewish communities, from the Hebrew Bible to today. In this course, we will analyze relevant biblical material and follow a largely chronological approach through Second Temple Judaism, the rabbinic period, and the Enlightenment, up to the present day. We will base our discussions on primary written and visual material. We will seek to uncover continuities as well as innovations. Further, we will attempt to replicate and explicate the experience of those observing selected holidays within the context of different cultural, religious, and historical movements.

Register by March 15, 2023