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Spring 2015

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Professor Victor Asal

This class will start with an overview of theories of conflict and then go into the histories of the Jewish people that led to the creation of Israel and the history of the Palestinian people.  It will then discuss the challenges facing Israel and the Palestinians currently. The class will be built around interactive simulations and exercises to illustrate the causes of the conflict and the challenges in trying to resolve it.  

Holocaust Studies Through Art

Stephanie Fisher

The Holocaust has attracted artistic interpretation, both from within and beyond the Jewish community. To better understand the response to the Holocaust in the visual arts, this class begins by considering the general history of art in the Jewish tradition, Western art traditions in the Inter-War Period, and visual political propaganda. We will then study art by victims and perpetrators to interpret the Holocaust visually by survivors and by generations of artists. Additionally, we will consider various ideas and approaches including Holocaust historiography, Visual Culture and Genocide Studies. This course is a way to look at the Holocaust through a different lens, a way to discuss and process events in history that leave us speechless. 

Famous and Infamous Jews

Arnon Adler

As we know, our Jewish brothers and sisters have historically excelled in the fields of philosophy, business, medicine, the arts and academics, among so many other endeavors. In this class, we will consider the lives and records of heroic, controversial and scandalous Jewish figures chosen from ancient and modern history - from scientists, military heroes, rockers and rappers, and comedians to revolutionaries, spies, freedom fighters and so-called traitors. This class will involve discussions of the dilemmas and decisions made by these important and influential people in both a Jewish and general historic context. Students will be asked to evaluate the issues and choices made by these persons, to understand their actions,consider what the students themselves might have done faced with the same circumstances and whether these individuals have been judged fairly by history. Class prerequisites include an open mind and an interest in wide-ranging discussions in regard to the famous and infamous.

What's Nu

Arnon Adler

A discussion-based review of current events of importance and interest to us as Jewish high school students living in a rapidly changing national and international political, cultural and social environment. Trying to predict exactly what events and situations will arise in the United States, Israel and the world in the next few months that our class will want to review and consider is difficult, to say the least. However, as we approach the start of 2015,  it's likely that a  list of subjects to discuss include the beginnings of the 2016 US Presidential campaign (anyone want to put odds on Bush vs. Clinton Part II?) and its implications for Israel, the upcoming Israeli national elections and current controversy over the proposed Jewish national character bill which is at least partially responsible for the early elections,  a review of Israel's problematic relationship with the United Nations and the international political issues which have ensued in the wake of  recently released Hollywood movies.

Jew U

Stephanie Fisher

Ah college. Freedom, independence, higher education, slip-n-slides in the hallway, with all the incredible wonders college has to offer you jewishness might not be one of them. At JewU you and other coeds will get a sneak peek into college life and discuses how to establish the Jewish identity you want. Where will you be the first few weekends of school when you family is celebrating Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and your roommates are out meeting new people? How are you going to keep your culture and heritage if you are the only Jew on the quad? Be prepared for the best years of your life, enroll in JewU today.

Pirkei Avot

Sandy Johnston and Gabriella Spitzer

Pirkei Avot is a collection of the rabbis's most quotable statements...It is a section of the mishna written around 200 CE, and the notable quotables are pithy, interesting, reflect on the time in which they were written, and are relevant to today's world. In this course, we will examine a different saying or two each class. Sometimes we will focus on the pshat (plain meaning) of the text, and discuss how it is meaningful or challenging for us today. Other sessions will focus on what we can learn about the world of the rabbis—or about the specific rabbis themselves—from their statements almost 2000 years ago. We will also look at various commentaries, modern and earlier, to see how our responses compare to others grappling with the same texts.

A Taste of Israel

Rivi Bahir

Cook and eat your way through Jewish communities around the world. Experience the tastes and smells of Jewish food while studying the how’s and why’s of our varied traditions. Explore Jewish cultures and traditions around the globe through cooking. Develop basic kitchen skills while preparing (AND EATING) a different food each week. 

Israeli Dance Class

Beata Kirzhner

Want to have some fun?? In this Israeli Dance Class, we will learn modern and popular Israeli dances. This class incorporates modern Hebrew music and movement which will immerse you in Israeli culture, expose you to Israeli music, and get you moving! Whether you are an experienced dancer or just enthusiastic about the chance to learn, this class is for you.

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