H504 : Modern Judaism
Instructor: Dr. Stan Meyer
Location: Populi (https://mjti.populiweb.com)
Dates: March 13 – May 22, 2022
This course introduces students to the beliefs, practices, and institutions of Modern Judaism from the Haskalah to the 21st century. The class approaches Modern Judaism from an historical perspective, identifying Jewish movements, exploring the historical context out of which these movements emerged, identifying key
thinkers and their writings that inspired the movements, and seeking to understand how these movements contributed to or shaped Modern Judaism. Furthermore, the course will consider the movements through the lens of Messianic Judaism and the ways Messianic Jews may engage their though, practices, and adherents.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE CURRICULUM
This is a Core Course for the Jewish Studies and Rabbinic Studies programs.
The rise of modernity posed enormous challenges to traditional Jewish life and thought and led to a new era of Jewish pluralism – the era in which we now live. The study of modern Judaism and its historical development provides insight into our circumstances and how they differ from our ancestors’. It enables us
to recognize and articulate the distinctive modern presuppositions that we carry into our study of traditional Jewish texts and our observance of traditional Jewish practice. It also sheds light on the rise of the Messianic Jewish movement and its place within the Jewish and Christian worlds.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Computer and internet access.
This is a synchronous course with weekly video Zoom conferencing, asynchronous assignments, and discussion forums.
In this course, students are required to attend eight Zoom sessions, read four assigned textbooks and additional readings assigned throughout the course and assigned readings, respond to five discussion questions related to the reading, present five slide presentations in class, and complete one 3,000-word final
REQUIRED TEXTS (SELECTIONS WILL BE TAKEN FROM EACH TEXT)
- Cohn-Sherbock, Dan. Modern Judaism. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 1996.
- Cooperman, Alan, Becka Alper, and Anna Schiller. “Jewish Americans in 2020.” Washington DC:
Pew Research Center, May 11, 2021. https://www.pewforum.org/2021/05/11/jewish-americans-in-2020/.
- Raphael, Marc Lee. The Synagogue in America: A Short History. New York: NYU Press, 2011.
- Wertheimer, Jack. The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today. Princeton University Press. 2018.