Jewish Studies 2201

people eating on a table

Introduction to Jewish Culture, Thought, & Practice

Dr. Adena Tanenbaum

Being Jewish means different things to different people. It can mean adhering to a religion and/or belonging to a family, community, or people. There are many different expressions of Jewish identity in the contemporary world, but throughout history there have also been diverse manifestations of Judaism and Jewish culture. Over the centuries, distinctive Jewish practices, customs and traditions developed in different parts of the world—from the Middle East to Europe to the Americas—often colored by the local non-Jewish cultures. This course explores the rich diversity of Jewish tradition as well as the historical background and contemporary significance of identifying oneself as Jewish. We will define key terms and concepts of Judaism, including holidays, practices, life-cycle rituals, texts, and beliefs. Special attention will be devoted to the varieties of Judaism in contemporary America and Israel. No prior familiarity with Judaism is necessary, and students from all backgrounds and fields of study are welcome.

Fall 2021
Class time & Location: 2:20-3:40 MW - Class # 36041 - 
GE Cultures and Ideas, GE Diversity: Global Studies