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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jews in the Modern World HIST 269: Getting Started

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a profound transformation of Jewish life, culture, and religion. Jews emerged out of their “ghettos” and enjoyed unprecedented economic and professional success throughout the “long” nineteenth cent

Course Topics

  

Jews in the Modern World

Dr. Rhona Seidelman

T/TR 12:00 – 2:50

rds@illinois.edu

 

Description: The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a profound transformation of Jewish life, culture, and religion. Jews emerged out of their “ghettos” and enjoyed unprecedented economic and professional success throughout the “long” nineteenth century. These transformations included changes in every facet of life – from occupations and residence, family life and marriage, as well as religious behavior and social integration. Yet Jewish modernization differed from region to region and was imbued with profound contradictions and tensions.  What did it mean to be a Jew in the modern world? How were Jewish identities redefined in response to the social and political opportunities, as well as the hostilities and hatreds, of the modern age?  How did the Holocaust realign the political and cultural geographies of Jewish life?         
 
 

Reading

Reading Material from the syllabus:  All reading is mandatory.

These are the 4 books you need to have for this class.  All (except for The Arrogant Years) are available for purchase at the Union Bookstore: 

1. Course Packet

2. John Efron, Steven Weitzman, Matthias Lehmann.  The Jews:  A History (Second Edition).  Pearson Education, Inc. 2014.

3.  Lucette Lagnado.  The Arrogant Years:  One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn. New York:  Ecco / HarperCollins, 2011.

4. Hannah Arendt.  Eichmann in Jerusalem:  A Report on the Banality of Evil.  New York:  Penguin Classics, 2010.  

Week 1:

 March 17 (T):   Who is a Jew?  What is Jewish History?  

 March 19 (Th):  Emancipation and Haskala:  Moses, Abraham and Felix Mendelssohn.

 John Efron, Steven Weitzman, Matthias Lehmann.  The Jews:  A History (Second Edition).  Pearson Eduction, Inc. 2014. Chapters 10 and 11

 (Note: sections on Moses and Abraham Mendelssohn pp.263 and 300-307)

 Spring Break -

 Week 2:

March 31 (T):   Political Anti-Semitism:  Captain Alfred  Dreyfus. 

 Efron etc.   Chapter 12.  pp. 325-345

and

‘Dreyfus’ The Story of the Affair.  Online, The National Library of Israel:

http://web.nli.org.il/sites/NLI/English/collections/PersonalWebs/Dreyfus/Pages/default.aspx

 April 2 (Th)   Zionism:  Theodor Herzl

 Efron etc.  Chapter 12. pp. 345-364

and

The writings of Theodor Herzl.   In:  Arthur Hertzberg.  The Zionist IdeaA Historical Analysis and Reader.  Philadelphia:  The Jewish Publication Society, 1997.  In Course Packet.

IN CLASS EXAM #1 (Covers material from March 17- 31)

 Week 3:

 April 7 (T):  The Great Migration:  Sholem Aleichem and Rivka Schiff.

 Michal Dekel.  ‘From the Mouth of the Raped Woman Rivka Schiff.’ Kishniev, 1903.” Women Studies Quarterly.  Volume 36, No. 1/2 (Spring – Summer, 2008) pp. 199 – 207.  Found online through UIUC library.

and

Sholem Aleichem. ‘Lekh Lekho’ from Tevya and His Daughters.  pp. 116 – 131.  In:  Tevye The Dairyman and The Railroad Stories. New York:  Shocken, 1996.  In Course Packet.

and

Gur Alroey.  Bread to Eat and Clothes to Wear:  Letters from Jewish Migrants in the Early Twentieth Century.  Detroit:  Wayne State University Press, 2011. pp. 131-143; 170-172.  In Course Packet.

 April 9 (Th):  In Muslim and Arab Lands:  Lucette Lagnado. 

 Lucette Lagnado.  The Arrogant Years:  One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn. New York:  Ecco / HarperCollins, 2011.  pp. 21-106.

 Week 4:

April 14 (T):   The Great War.

 Efron etc. Chapter 13.

 April 16 (Th):  Scientific Anti-Semitism:  Adolf Hitler

 Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer, Fritz Lenz.  Human Heredity.  New York:  The Macmillan Company, 1931. pp.623-699. In Course Packet.

and

Adolf Hitler excerpts in:  Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz.  The Jew in the Modern World  (3rd Edition).  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2011. pp. 716-719.  In Course Packet.

IN CLASS EXAM #2 (Covers material from April 2 – 14)

 Week 5:

April 21 (T):  The Shoah

 Efron etc. Chapter 14.

 April 23 (Th):  The Jewish State:  Jacqueline Kahanoff and Sayed Kashua. 

 Efron etc. Chapter 15 pp.444-453.

and

Jaqueline Kahanoff.  ‘Letter from Israel.’ The Reconstructionist.  Jan. 23, 1959. In Course Packet.

and

Sayed Kashua.  ‘Passed Over.’ Haaretz, 1.4.10. In Course Packet

and

‘Hatikva’.  From the wesite:  Knesset.gov.il In Course Packet

 Week 6:

April 28 (T):  Holocaust Memory, Survivors:  Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt

Efron etc. p.454 box

and

Hannah Arendt.  Eichmann in Jerusalem:  A Report on the Banality of Evil.  New York:  Penguin Classics, 2010.   

 April 30 (Th):  Postwar Reconstructions

Efron etc. pp. 453-482

IN CLASS EXAM #3 (Covers material from April 16-28)

 Week 7:

May 5 (T):  Into the Present:  Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen

James Diamond. “The Torah as Song and the Rabbinic Sage as Troubador.”  Online at academic.edu.

and

Bob Dylan ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ Online

and

Leonard Cohen.  ‘The Story of Isaac.’ Online.

 

Middle East and North African Studies