Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Faculty

Penny Armstrong, Chair and Eunice M. Schenck 1907 Professor of French and Director of Middle Eastern Languages

Modern Hebrew language instruction is available at Bryn Mawr through the intermediate level; at Swarthmore College biblical Hebrew is offered in a two-semester sequence through the first-year level, and additional reading in Classical Jewish texts is available in directed reading, one-half-credit courses. At Haverford, Judaic Studies courses are offered by the Department of Religion. Bryn Mawr also offers several courses which complement Haverford’s offerings in Judaic Studies. All of these courses are listed in the Tri-Co Course Guide under the heading “Hebrew and Judaic Studies.”

College Foreign Language Requirement

Before the start of the senior year, each student must complete, with a grade of 2.0 or higher, two units of foreign language. Students may fulfill the requirement by completing two sequential semester-long courses in one language, beginning at the level determined by their language placement. A student who is prepared for advanced work may complete the requirement instead with two advanced free-standing semester-long courses in the foreign language(s) in which she is proficient.

COURSES

HEBR B001 Elementary Hebrew
This year-long course prepares students for reading Modern Hebrew literary works as well as classical religious texts. It will provide the students with the knowledge of the Hebrew letters, its diacritical system, grammar and syntax. It aims to equip them with the skills of reading, writing, and conversing in Modern Hebrew as well as increasing their vocabulary. To achieve these goals the course will utilize a variety of means: textbooks, supplementary printed material, Hebrew poems and songs as well as Hebrew video dramatizations.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2014)

HEBR B002 Elementary Hebrew
This yearlong course prepares students for reading Modern Hebrew literary works as well as classical religious texts. It will provide the students with the knowledge of the Hebrew letters, its diacritical system, grammar and syntax. It aims to equip them with the skills of reading, writing, and conversing in Modern Hebrew as well as increasing their vocabulary. To achieve these goals the course will utilize a variety of means: textbooks, supplementary printed material, Hebrew poems and songs as well as Hebrew video dramatizations.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2014, Spring 2015)

HEBR B101 Intermediate Hebrew
The course is designed for students who took the Elementary Hebrew course in Bryn Mawr or its equivalents in other institutions, assuming basic fluency in reading, writing, grammar, syntax, and conversation in Hebrew. It expands the knowledge of the above, while emphasizing reading, writing, and class discussions of modern literary works as well as some classical religious texts. It integrates textbooks’ material with Hebrew videos and films, short stories and songs. Students who feel qualified to take this course, but have not taken Elementary Hebrew at Bryn Mawr, are encouraged to discuss it with the instructor. This is a yearlong course.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

HEBR B102 Intermediate Hebrew
The course is designed for students who took the Elementary Hebrew course in Bryn Mawr or its equivalents in other institutions, assuming basic fluency in reading, writing, grammar, syntax, and conversation in Hebrew. It expands the knowledge of the above, while emphasizing reading, writing, and class discussions of modern literary works as well as some classical religious texts. It integrates textbooks’ material with Hebrew videos and films, short stories and songs. Students who feel qualified to take this course, but have not taken Elementary Hebrew at Bryn Mawr, are encouraged to discuss it with the instructor. This is a yearlong course.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

HEBR B115 Women in Judaism: History, Texts, Practices
This course will investigate the varied experiences of women in Jewish history. Cultural, religious, and theoretical perspectives will be engaged as we seek to illuminate the roles, practices, and texts of Jewish women, from the biblical matriarchs to Hasidic teenagers today. No previous knowledge of Judaism is required.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B115
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

HEBR B211 Primo Levi, the Holocaust and Its Aftermath
A consideration, through analysis and appreciation of his major works, of how the horrific experience of the Holocaust awakened in Primo Levi a growing awareness of his Jewish heritage and led him to become one of the dominant voices of that tragic historical event, as well as one of the most original new literary figures of post-World War II Italy. Always in relation to Levi and his works, attention will also be given to other Italian women writers whose works are also connected with the Holocaust.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Crosslisting(s): ITAL-B211; COML-B211
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

HEBR B271 Topics in Judaic Studies
What happened in Jewish history between antiquity and the modern era, between composing the Talmud and receiving citizenship in European nations? As we try to understand how Jews got from there to here, this seminar will explore the diverse and sometimes astonishing forms of Jewish life in the medieval and early modern periods (approximately 1000-1800), with special focus on the evolution of Jewish relations with the majority culture. Topics will include the golden age of Jewry in Muslim Spain, the development of European anti-Jewish policies and persecutions, Jewish self-government, and cosmopolitanism, as well as many of the philosophers, mystics and would-be messiahs who sparked religious movements and change in the course of these tumultuous centuries.
Counts towards: Middle East Studies
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B273
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

HEBR B283 Introduction to the Politics of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
This course is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the politics of the region, using works of history, political science, political economy, film, and fiction as well as primary sources. The course will concern itself with three broad areas: the legacy of colonialism and the importance of international forces; the role of Islam in politics; and the political and social effects of particular economic conditions, policies, and practices.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Middle East Studies
Crosslisting(s): POLS-B283; HIST-B283
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2015)

HEBR B403 Supervised Work
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2014)