Graduate Courses in Judaic Studies at Towson University

Spring 2010

 

Jdst 608I Kings:  Reflections Of A Golden Age

Dr. Barry M. Gittlen

Monday, 7:00-9:40 pm

This course provides students with an understanding of I Kings, the intricately composed Biblical book that narrates the tortuous political, social and theological life of the ancient Israelite state.  From the death of King David to that of King Ahab, upheaval followed upheaval through the construction of Solomon’s Temple, the division of the kingdom, the warring rival monarchies, the advent of Elijah and the conflicts with Aram and Assyria.  Bringing a variety of perspectives to bear on the textual and archaeological evidence for this 100 year era in the life of Israel, we examine the meanings and implications of the text and artifacts and develop a deeper understanding of the social, political and religious history of Israel in the Golden Age of Solomon and its aftermath.

 

Jdst 545: Biblical Hebrew II

Dr. Susanna Garfein

Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-4:45

This course is the continuation of JDST 544, the introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew language. This course serves as the foundation for continued studies of the classical Hebrew contained in the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic texts as well as the Hebrew of the contemporary idiom. During the course of the semester selections from the Hebrew Bible, varying in time period and genre will be read. After the completion of JDST 545, the student will be prepared to read simple Classical texts with the aid of a lexicon.

 

JDST 666: Introduction to Jewish Thought

Dr. Shimon Shokek

Tuesday,  7:00-9:40 p.m.

This course examines the religious ideas and the historical developments of Jewish thought over the last two thousand years. The course will focus on selected works of prominent Jewish philosophers, mystics, and ethical writers who shaped Jewish thought and created focal ideological changes in Jewish theology. The survey will introduce religious predicaments that are central to Jewish life, such as: exile and redemption, religious practices and beliefs, mysticism and intellectuality, Jewish law, Jewish mythology and symbolism, moral responsibility and divine authority. An exploration of the basic terminology that is used in the literary research of the history of ideas will be included in the survey.

 

JDST 641: Classical Hebrew Language and Literature: 2 Samuel

Dr. Susanna Garfein

Wednesday, 4:20-7:00 pm

This advanced Hebrew course aims to increase a student’s proficiency in classical Hebrew by reading the book of 2 Samuel. Emphasis is placed on accurate translation; more advanced grammar, intensive study of Biblical vocabulary and the reading of the prose portions of the Hebrew Bible.   This course will introduce various methods of critical interpretation, including textual criticism, needed for the academic study of the Hebrew Bible. Students will interact with various aspects of interpretation for the book of 2 Samuel (e.g., philological, literary, historical, philosophical and theological questions). This course is designed for students who have completed twelve credits of Biblical Hebrew or possess equivalent knowledge.

 

JDST 510: Diaspora Jewish Communities

Dr. Valerie Thaler

Wednesday, 7:00-9:40 pm

A survey of the Jewish world following World War II, with attention to Jewish communities in Israel, North America, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa and Australia. Topics include Jewish life and identity in each region; the diverse challenges to maintaining Jewish distinctiveness; Diaspora Jewish communities’ changing relationship to Israel and Zionism, and the shifting role of Israeli Jewry and American Jewry on the world stage in the late-20th and early-21st centuries.

 

JDST 784: The History of Jewish Biblical Exegesis

Dr. Barry Freundel

Thursday 4:30-7:00 pm

This course will explore the history of different approaches to understanding the Biblical text used by Jewish scholars from the 8th Century to contemporary times. We will associate these approaches with the scholars who used them and place them within their historical context. In sum, we will explore the different ways in which the Bible has been read and interpreted throughout the last twelve centuries of Jewish intellectual History.

 

JDST 680: Introduction to Rabbinic Literature and History

Dr. Barry Freundel

Thursday 7:00 – 9:40 p.m.

The Rabbinic period (c. 516 BCE-c.634 CE.), is the foundational era for all contemporary expressions of Judaism. In this course we will explore the history, literature and major personalities of that period from the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile until the Arab conquest of Palestine. For anyone interested in understanding contemporary Judaism in its various expressions this is an important and essential pre-requisite to that understanding; while for those interested in ancient Jewish history or Rabbinic law and literature this study is absolutely essential.

 

JDST 719: MAJS Seminar

Dr. Susanna Garfein

Three Selected Dates, 5:00-7:00 pm

This course enables students working on their Master’s in Jewish Studies the opportunity to meet, hear presentations of MA thesis research, and discuss related issues and problems with their peers.

 

JDST 890: PhD Seminar

Dr. Barry M. Gittlen

Three Selected Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm

This course enables students working on their PhD in Jewish Studies the opportunity to meet, hear presentations of PhD dissertation research, and discuss related issues and problems with their peers.

 

Graduate Offerings in Jewish Education

 

EDUC 764: Qualitative Research in Jewish Education

Dr. Rebecca Shargel

Monday, 4:20-6:55

This course introduces qualitative research methods with a focus on prior studies carried out in both secular and Jewish schools. You will explore a topic of personal interest in Jewish education through learning a field-based approach.  

 

EDUC 606: From Vision to Practice in the Jewish School

Dr. Rebecca Shargel

Wednesday, 7:00-9:40 pm

In this course you will study the role of vision in schools and look at competing Jewish educational visions. The course includes critical examinations of local Jewish schools to see the translation of school mission to practice.

 

EDUC 655: Teaching The History, Politics And Culture Of Israel (3 Credits)

Dr. Hana Bor 

Thursdays 5:00p.m –7:30p.m. at Hawkins Hall, Room 122

Students in this course will learn core information about Israel’s history, politics and culture including structure of government, the role of religion, socioeconomic and ethnic problems and Israel-Diaspora relations. The course will include analysis of the issues as well as exploration of effective teaching methodologies to communicate these subjects to their students. Modalities that enhance students understanding will include news clips, film, poetry, and music. Each student will prepare and present curricular units applicable to the teaching of Israel. There are no prerequisite required for this course.

 

 

ILPD 797: Supervised Administrative Internship (3 credits)

Dr. Hana Bor

 Students enrolled in the MAJE administrative track are required to complete a minimum of 250 hours supervised administrative internship. The internship is designed to develop educational vision, leadership skills and practices based on students’ individualized interests. The internship will enable students to develop the skills necessary for professional growth in Jewish educational administration.

 

EDUC 797 : Supervised Teaching Internship (3 credits)

Dr. Hana Bor

Students enrolled in the MAJE administrative track are required to complete a minimum of 250 hours

supervised teaching internship. The internship gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world environment. The internship will be individualized, enabling each student to develop the skills necessary for professional growth in a variety of Jewish institutions.

 

EDUC 794: Practicum Seminar for Jewish Education and

JCS 614: Practicum Seminar for Jewish Communal Service

Continue from Fall- Four Times during the Semester 

 

JCS 618: Jewish Communal Service Internship - continues from Fall semester

 

 Undergraduate Offerings in Judaic Studies

Spring 2010

 

RLST 370.004: Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah

Dr. Shimon Shokek

Monday and Wednesday, 2:00-3:15 pm

This course introduces selected themes in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah that have shaped the spiritual life of the Jewish people. The course will explore the emergence of early Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah of Provence and Gerona, the classical Zohar, and the Kabbalah of Safed. Among the subjects to be discussed are Ein Sof the Infinite God, Sefirot and Divine Emanation, the Secret of the Creation of the World, Mystical Experience and Communion with God, and the Esoteric Language of the Bible.

 

Rlst 206: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Dr. Shimon Shokek

Monday and Wednesday, 3:30-4:45 pm

This course introduces major themes in the history, scriptures, doctrines, and practices of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course will explore the theological and philosophical meanings of monotheism, religious authority, worship and ritual, ethics, philosophy, and mysticism in the framework of these three monotheistic religions. Special emphasis will be put on similarities and differences that have shaped the identity of each of these three religions.

 

Rlst 370-002 :The Jew Confronts the Contemporary World: Jewish Law and Ethics

Dr. Barry Freundel

Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:45 p.m.

This course examines cutting edge issues of ethical and legal concern as understood by traditional Jewish legal and ethical sources and by contemporary Jewish thinkers from the different denominations. The basic structure and methodology of Jewish law will be introduced in the first few lectures, and understanding of the system will be refined as the different issues to be discussed are presented.

 

RLST 370.003 Exploring Biblical Archaeology (Honors College)

Dr. Barry M. Gittlen

Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00-3:15 pm

This course gives students insight into the nature of archaeological evidence and the difficulties involved in interpreting and applying this evidence to cultural problems in ancient Israel and its neighboring states.  The ability to critically evaluate and employ archaeological evidence begins with learning the theory, method and principles of archaeology as practiced in Israel.  Based on this learning, the rest of the course will focus on current fundamental issues in the archeology of Israel.  These issues affect the interpretation and construction of the history of Biblical Israel and thus special attention will be paid to correlations between text and artifact as well as to the role of archaeology in the study of ancient Israel and her neighbors in the Biblical period. 

 

Hebr 104: Biblical Hebrew II

Dr. Susanna Garfein

Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30 -4:45

This course teaches the fundamentals of Hebrew language and serves as the foundation for continued studies of the classical Hebrew contained in the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic texts as well as the Hebrew of the contemporary idiom. During the course of the semester selections from the Hebrew Bible -- varying in time period and genre -- will be read. After the completion of HEBR 104, the student will be prepared to read simple Classical texts with the aid of a lexicon.

 

 Hebr 102: Modern Hebrew II

Dr. Eyal Bor

Tuesday and Thursday, 2- 3:15

The course will teach modern Hebrew language through conversation and grammar.  There will be a multi-media component, developed at Stanford University that covers many practical topics such as how to rent an apartment, how to order food from a restaurant menu, and how to plan a party all using correct Hebrew language.   In addition, students will explore Israel: the state, its sites, and history.  We will be utilizing a text that is perfect for those who love both Israel and Hebrew. There will be current event sessions using “Bereshit”, an easy newspaper for beginners.  Classes will be conducted in an interactive manner to enhance the use of Hebrew. 

 

 

Hebr 202: Modern Hebrew IV

Dr. Eyal Bor

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45

The course will be taught entirely in modern Hebrew language.  There will be a thorough emphasis on grammar and will develop an extensive Hebrew vocabulary including modern and current, trendy, timely words, phrases, and slogans.  There will be a multi-media component for students to use that was developed at Stanford University which will assist them if they choose to visit or reside in Israel.  Many practical and useful topics such as how to shop in a supermarket, how to solve computer problems, and how to plan a wedding will be covered. Students will explore and research the uniqueness or important sites in Israel such as Safed, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem.  Students will utilize Israeli daily newspapers like HaAretz and Maariv to discover and discuss main trends and developments in any given week.  Instructor will introduce Hebrew language movies from Israel that will be followed by group discussions in Hebrew.