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Jewish Studies

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The Jewish Diaspora (JS2450)

Catalog Description: Changing Jewish communities, especially outside the United States and Israel, in macro-historical context. Post-communist European Jewish identity. New global diasporas and their relationship to the largest Jewish communities in Israel and the United States

From the Syllabus: Of the world’s 13 million or so Jews, about 80% live the United States and Israel, divided roughly equally between the two countries. Most of the remainder live in Europe, Latin America and Canada.

This course focuses primarily on this 20% of the world’s Jews who live outside of the US and Israel. It seeks to provide an understanding of Jewish diversity by examining the ways that contemporary Jewish communities are being shaped by broader global contexts of the post-Cold War world.

We examine the migrations of Jews from the former Soviet Union, from Africa, and from Israel, considering the nature of diaspora communities—populations whose very dispersion creates symbolic, social and affective connections with multiple places. We examine how the fall of communism and the moves toward European unification have raised new questions about the legacy of the Holocaust and of Jews’ place in European society. We examine the sometimes precarious political and economic situation of Latin American Jews, and the surprising differences that distinguish Canadian Jews from their neighbors to the south. Interspersed throughout are sessions devoted to connections that tie these different Jewish communities to one another.

The course is structured around conversations with local experts. Using web-based video conferencing, we engage with scholars, activists and community leaders from around the world.

Next Offered: AXLE Category: Writing Course: Also Eligible for Credit in: Taught by:
Spring 2017 INT No American Studies Kelner
Religious Studies

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