Minor in Jewish Studies

18 credits

A minor in Jewish Studies offer students the opportunity to study a full array of Judaic courses encompassing Biblical texts and literature, philosophy, law, customs and ethics. This study is beneficial for those pursuing careers in Jewish Education and Jewish communal service and provides values-based study that can enhance any career area.

 

Choose six courses in at least two subject areas from the following:

 

BIB 102          Textual Studies in Bible (3 credits)

Focuses on building Jewish studies text analysis skills. Utilizes the chavrusa method of study, where students work in pairs and use guided study sheets to decode texts and generate questions. Explores the text thematically, using relevant commentaries in search of answers to textual and philosophical difficulties. Discusses an analysis of the text’s relevance to contemporary Jewish life. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (BIB 102A and BIB 102B).

Prerequisite(s): None

 

BIB 325          Living Tehillim in Challenging Times (3 credits)

Discusses the various songs of Tehillim and explores the psychological, theological, and historical elements that are found in each individual psalm/song. Explores how to connect to the diversity of raw emotions portrayed in the text and discover the therapeutic function and tools in the psalm. Discusses the psychological and theological elements of each song and how to integrate them into one’s personal and professional life. Delves into the mystical Hebrew alphabet to see the significance of King David’s alphabetizing the verses of his longest psalm, #119.

Credit given for PSY 225 or BIB 325

Prerequisite(s): None

 

BIB 360          Megillas Shir HaShirim (3 credits)

Explores the literal meaning and the metaphorical interpretations of the Megillah. Focuses largely on the commentary of the Alshich, who views the Megillah as essential to appreciating the relationship between Hashem and the Jewish people. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (BIB 360A and BIB 360B).

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

BIB 375          Megillas Esther (3 credits)

Explores Megillas Esther through the lens of Gemaros, Midrashim, classical meforshim, and contemporary Baalei Mussar. Emphasizes analysis of Megilas Esther as the “Handbook of Galus” for Klal Yisroel. Connects the Halachos of Purim to the text of the Megilla. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (BIB 375A and BIB 375B).

Prerequisite(s): None

 

BIB 395          Women in the Bible I (3 credits)

Focuses on paradigmatic women in the Bible according to Aishes Chayil. Emphasis is on their roles and impact on Jewish thought and life.

Prerequisite(s): None

 

BIB 400          Women in the Bible II (3 credits)

Continues advanced study and textual analysis of significant women in Biblical literature, focusing on their qualities as expressed in Proverbs chapter 31 and their subsequent influence on Jewish thought and society.

Prerequisite(s): None

 

BIB 410          Unique Women in Tanach (3 credits)

Focuses on lesser known women in Tanach. Uses text analysis to explore all the סוגיות in תנ''ך (topics in the Bible) in which these women are found. Analyzes the lives of the women through classical and contemporary מפרשים to gain a deeper understanding of the פנימיות (essence) of these women. Evaluates how theirנסיונות (trials) and achievements impacted their own lives and the future of כלל ישראל (the Jewish people). May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JST 410A and JST 410B.

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

BIB 420          Exile to Redemption: History of the Jews at the End of the First Temple Era (3 credits)

Examines chapters in Sefer Yechezkel pre-Churban and post-Churban. Investigates numerous sources in Tanach, Torah Sh'baal Peh, Rishonim, and Achronim to illuminate the historical and social context of each nevuah. Emphasizes relevance to contemporary life. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (BIB 420A and BIB 420B).

Credit given for BIB 420 or HIS 420

Prerequisite(s): None

ETH 325         Tomer Devora: Pathways to Ethical Living (3 credits)                            

Explores the development of compassion as exemplified by G-d’s compassionate acts towards the Jewish People. Delves into the Tomer Devora by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, which examines G-d’s thirteen attributes of rachamim. Explores ways of emulating G-d’s attributes to improve one’s character, live ethically, and enhance interpersonal relationships. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (ETH 325A and ETH 325B).

Prerequisite(s): None

ETH 337         Business Ethics and Jewish Law (3 credits)                                  

Studies Jewish law as it relates to the world of commerce and business and its application to modern situations. Focuses on classical halachic literature, including Talmud and related commentaries. Explores the ethical principles that govern conduct in the world of commerce. Emphasis is placed on common ethical questions and the practical application of Jewish moral principles to the business world. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (ETH 337A and ETH 337B).

Formerly RAB 337 (Jewish Law: Economics and Business Ethics)

Credit given for ETH 337 or JLW 337

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

ETH 390         Ethical Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)

Studies the Jewish laws of interpersonal communication. Emphasizes the laws of speech, drawing from the Chofetz Chaim, Gemara, Medrashim, Rambam, Rabeinu Yona, and other Rishonim and Acharonim.

Formerly JST 390 (Ethical Interpersonal Communication)

Credit given for ETH 390 or JLW 390

Prerequisite(s): None

 

ETH 466         Medical Ethics and Jewish Law (3 credits)                                   

Discusses the structure and development of Jewish ethics and halacha (law) connected to the fields of health and medicine. Explores the development of medical ethics and the evolution of halacha related to medicine. Covers the Jewish approach to health and healing and major ethical issues and debates that arise in the field of medicine. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (ETH 466A and ETH 466B).

Formerly JST 466 (Judaism in Medicine: History, Ethics and Halacha)

Credit given for ETH 466 or JLW 466

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

HIS 315          Jews and Christians in Renaissance Europe          (3 credits)

Explores the lives of Jews and Christians in Renaissance Europe with a focus on arenas of interaction and inclusion, as well as early modern modes of exclusion, isolation, and religious persecution. Studies religious life, economic and cultural change and development, women and family life, and Renaissance education. Introduces sources and methods of historical research, while fostering critical reading, analysis, and writing skills.

Prerequisite(s): None

 

HIS 337          History of the Jewish Community in the Land of Israel (3 credits)

Surveys Jewish history from Gaonic through early modern times and connections to the rise of Zionism and growth of Jewish communities in Israel. Discusses the origins of the modern Zionist movement within the context of ideological movements in 18th-20th century Europe. Covers the Old Yishuv, early Aliyah movements, and differing rabbinic responses to early Zionism. Focuses on the shift from life under the British mandate to the establishment of the State of Israel. Introduces key personalities in Jewish life in Palestine and Israel, forms of Jewish resistance, and early Arab resistance. Explores recent Israeli history and the Arab-Israeli conflict until the present. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (HIS 337A and HIS 337B).

Prerequisite(s): None

 

HIS 340          Women in Jewish History and Culture (3 credits)

Investigates the lives of Jewish women from early modern times until today and examines the influence of gender upon experiences. Focuses on the four major themes of women’s daily lives, women’s participation in the economy and public sphere, women’s religious lives, and women’s family lives. Introduces sources and methods of historical research, while fostering critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.

Prerequisite(s): None

HIS 420          Exile to Redemption: History of the Jews at the End of the First Temple Era (3 credits)

Examines chapters in Sefer Yechezkel pre-Churban and post-Churban. Investigates numerous sources in Tanach, Torah Sh'baal Peh, Rishonim and Achronim to illuminate the historical and social context of each nevuah. Emphasizes relevance to contemporary life. May be offered as separate courses of 1.5 credit hour each (HIS 420A and HIS 420B)

Credit given for HIS 420 or BIB 420

Prerequisite(s): None

JLW 331        Jewish Law: Dietary Law (3 credits)         

Examines the laws of kashrus (dietary laws) using classical and contemporary sources. Explores how technology has impacted kashrus observance. Discusses practical laws relevant to the kosher kitchen. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLW 331A and JLW 331B).

Formerly RAB 331 Jewish Law: Dietary Law

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

JLW 332        Jewish Law: Blessings (3 credits)   

Examines the concepts and different types of brachos (blessings). Covers the laws of brachos and their correct usage based on classical and contemporary sources. Investigates daily brachos, such as those said over food, as well as brachos related to mitzvos and special occasions. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLW 332A and JLW 332B).

Formerly RAB 332 (Jewish Law: Blessings)

Prerequisite(s): None

 

JLW 337        Business Ethics and Jewish Law (3 credits)                                  

Studies Jewish law as it relates to the world of commerce and business and its application to modern situations. Focuses on classical halachic literature, including Talmud and related commentaries. Explores the ethical principles that govern conduct in the world of commerce. Emphasis is placed on common ethical questions and the practical application of Jewish moral principles to the business world. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLW 337A and JLW 337B).

Formerly RAB 337 (Jewish Law: Economics and Business Ethics)

Credit given for JLW 337 or ETH 337

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JLW 390        Ethical Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)

Studies the Jewish laws of interpersonal communication. Emphasizes the laws of speech, drawing from the Chofetz Chaim, Gemara, Medrashim, Rambam, Rabeinu Yona, and other Rishonim and Acharonim.

Formerly JST 390 (Ethical Interpersonal Communication)

Credit given for JLW 390 or ETH 390

Prerequisite(s): None

 

JLW 415        Women in the World (3 credits)

Discusses the areas of Jewish law commonly encountered in the professional world. Examines laws relevant to a Jewish woman in the workplace. Explores the Jewish outlook towards interfacing with the secular world in various circumstances. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLW 415A and JLW 415B). Credit given for JLW 415 or JST 415

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JLW 466        Medical Ethics and Jewish Law (3 credits)                                   

Discusses the structure and development of Jewish ethics and halacha (law) connected to the fields of health and medicine. Explores the development of medical ethics and the evolution of halacha related to medicine. Covers the Jewish approach to health and healing and major ethical issues and debates that arise in the field of medicine. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLW 466A and JLW 466B).

Formerly JST 466 (Judaism in Medicine: History, Ethics and Halacha)

Credit given for JLW 466 or ETH 466

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JLT 329          Challenging Concepts in Tanach and Midrash (3 credits)

Focuses on creative exploration of Biblical and rabbinic texts and how to develop an overarching thematic ‘’panorama’’ of narratives which is both compelling and inspiring. Discusses the difference between authoritative derash versus speculative homiletics, and how to trace scriptural and midrashic patterns to corroborate the truth of an idea. Explores ways to interact with text that are both academically rigorous and emotionally inspiring, stimulating the heart along with the mind.

Prerequisite(s): None

JLT 385          Nature’s Song: Studies in Perek Shira (3 credits)

Studies the first chapter of Perek Shira. Explores the majesty of nature as expressed in the text of the poem. Examines the timeless messages for personal success and growth encrypted in the poem. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLT 385A and JLT 385B).

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

JLT 480          Jewish Holidays in Biblical and Talmudic Literature (3 credits)

Examines sources in Chumash which discuss Jewish holidays with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of the meaning of the holidays. Analyzes the text of the Chumash and differences in the language used in various locations to discuss holidays. Utilizes traditional and modern commentaries to widen understanding of the messages of the Chumash for observance of the holidays, and how these messages can be used to enhance holiday experiences. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JLT 480A and JLT 480B).

Formerly BIB 480 (Jewish Holidays in Biblical and Talmudic Literature)

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JPH 350          Letters Through the Ages (3 credits)

Examines letters of gedolim from the early Rishonim to the late Achronim with the aim of gaining insight into the lives and teachings of great Jewish leaders. Explores angles and insights not usually exposed through their classic writings. Analyzes philosophical and hashkafic ideas as they relate to the individual and Klal Yisrael’s destiny as a whole, with an emphasis on relevance to daily living. Analyzes the different writing styles of rabbinic and poetic Hebrew. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JPH 350A and JPH 350B).

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

JPH 378          Writings of the Maharal (3 credits)                        

Studies the writings of the Maharal, particularly the Be'er HaGolah. In the Be'er HaGolah the Maharal presents a comprehensive picture of the role of Chazal and of their methodology. Written as a defense of Chazal, it produces an awe-inspiring appreciation of the depth of their teachings

Formerly JST 378 (Writings of the Maharal of Prague)

Prerequisite(s): None

 

JPH 400          Jewish Philosophy: Rambam’s Thirteen Principles I (3 credits)

Discusses the concepts of Rambam’s (Maimonides) Thirteen Principles of Faith from his own writings and as expounded by Rishonim and Acharonim with sources drawn from Gemara and Midrashim. Emphasizes application of the thirteen principles to everyday life. Focuses on the first five of the Thirteen Principles of Faith.

Formerly JST 400 (Jewish Philosophy: Rambam’s Thirteen Principles I)

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JPH 401          Jewish Philosophy: Rambam’s Thirteen Principles II (3 credits)                       

Discusses the concepts of Rambam’s (Maimonides) Thirteen Principles of Faith from his own writings and as expounded by Rishonim and Acharonim with sources drawn from Gemara and Midrashim. Emphasizes application of the thirteen principles to everyday life. Focuses on principles six through thirteen of the Thirteen Principles of Faith.

Formerly JST 401 (Jewish Philosophy: Rambam’s Thirteen Principles II)

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JPH 412          The Life and Works of Ramchal (3 credits)

Examines the life of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto, the Ramchal, and the time period in which he lived. Explores the works of machshava he wrote in his life within their historical context. Studies “Derech Hashem,” which is his great and influential work of Jewish philosophy, theology, and spirituality. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JPH 412A and JPH 412B).

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

JST 411          Topics in Chassidic Thought (3 credits)

Explores the content, substance, and spirit of Chassidic thought and life. Examines the history of the Chassidic movement within the context of modern Jewish history. Studies the lives of Chassidic masters. Engages in in-depth textual study of the seminal writing of Chassidic masters and application of those ideas to contemporary life. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JST 411A and JST 411B).

Prerequisite(s): None

 

JST 415          Women in the World (3 credits)

Discusses the areas of Jewish law commonly encountered in the professional world. Examines laws relevant to a Jewish woman in the workplace. Explores the Jewish outlook towards interfacing with the secular world in various circumstances. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JST 415A and JST 415B).

Credit given for JST 415 or JLW 415

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

JST 420          Avodas HaLev: Fundamentals of Prayer (3 credits)

Explores the nature, power, and art of Jewish prayer and the challenges to effective prayer. Traces the historical development of formal prayer, including its structure. Examines texts of prayer to understand the concepts of prayer and how to make prayer meaningful. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JST 420A and JST 420B).

Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 credits of Jewish studies or permission of the Executive Dean/Menaheles

 

JST 478          Feminism and Jewish Perspectives of Women (3 credits)

Explores the history of feminism. Analyzes the Feminist Movement’s interface with traditional Judaism. Investigates the social position of women in the Bible and throughout history. Examines modesty, love, differences between the sexes, marriage, family purity, motherhood and career, sexuality, divorce and widowhood, mitzvah observance, and women and Jewish law. May be offered as two courses of 1.5 credit hour each (JST 478A and JST 478B).

Prerequisite(s): None

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