Courses

 

The 2024-2025 course offerings applicable to a Specialist, Major, or Minor degree in Jewish Studies will be posted on the webpage below! Visit the Faculty of Arts and Science Course Timetable to see all course offerings for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

The ATCJS will be releasing the 2024-25 Undergraduate Course Handbook the week of June 17, 2024. Please check back here for updates!  

Course offerings vary each year, especially for Special Topics Courses. Visit the course archives to see previous editions of the Undergraduate Handbook and to get a better idea of what has been offered in the past, and how you might build your program. 

See more details regarding enrolment instructions

CJS Courses for 2024/25

 

CJS200H1 F: “Introduction to Jewish Thought”

Fall Semester, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Instructors: Sol Goldberg and Michael Rosenthal

It is hard to be a Jew, but the difficulties make for interesting questions. Does God exist? How is God revealed to Moses at Sinai and to the prophets? Are there such things as miracles? Are we free to follow what God commands? What is the nature of faith? If God is good, then why do bad things happen to innocent people? Is faith possible after the Holocaust? What is the role of Israel in modern Jewish life? Who belongs to the Jewish community? How do Jews address inequality and discrimination? How do Jews understand a good and meaningful life? Professors Goldberg and Rosenthal invite students to join them in debating the answers to these questions and others.

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2) 


CJS201H1 S: “Introduction to Jewish Cultures”

Spring Semester, Fridays 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Instructors: Team taught by ATCJS Instructors (led by Yigal Nizri)

General introduction to history, literatures and cultures of Jewish people from antiquity to contemporary. A balanced presentation of multi-disciplinary approaches and multi-methodological approaches to Jewish studies, with a special emphasis on Jewish cultural studies and Jewish secularity.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


CJS290H1 S: Topics in Jewish Studies 

Spring Semester, Mondays 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 

Instructor: TBA

Description: TBA.


CJS330H1 F: Who's a Jew? Myth, Theory, and Practice

Fall Semester, Day/time: TBA

Instructor: TBA

Description: TBA.


CJS383H1 S: Jews and Power (cross-listed with POL378H1-S)

Spring Semester, Tuesdays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Instructor: Olga Talal

The rich human fabric comprising contemporary Israeli society is divided along multiple identity-based lines. It is divided nationally (between Jews and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel), religiously (between religious and secular Jews, Muslims and Christians), and ethnically (between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews). Other salient identity markers separate new immigrants from the older ones and city dwellers from residents of peripheral areas - within state borders and outside them, located in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. In this course, students will learn about the complex web of cross-cutting identities within Israeli society and how these identities are (re)shaped by power. We will pay special attention to the interrelations of political power, identity politics, and public policy in Israel.
Prerequisite: POL101Y1 or CJS200H1 or CJS201H1
Exclusion: POL383H1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)


CJS390H1 F: “Religion and Religiosity in Israel/Palestine” (cross-listed with RLG338H1)

Fall Semester, Thursdays 5:00pm - 7:00 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Focusing on present-day Israel/Palestine, this interdisciplinary course is intended for students interested in exploring a wide range of theoretical questions and examining their applicability to the study of sites, texts, rituals, and politics in the region. We will address the history of the land's consecration from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives. Students will analyze specific sites associated with religious congregations and ritual practices, and study them within their local and regional contexts. Looking at the complex relationships between religious-political movements and institutions within Jewish and Muslim societies, we will delve into various attempts to secularize (and theologize) Jewish and Palestinian communities and their discontents. Rather than providing the typical emphasis on conflict, the course is a journey into the history and present of the land and its diverse communities.

Prerequisite: Completion of at least 4.0 credits.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


CJS391H1F: Special Topics in Jewish Studies "Soviet Jewish History, Culture, and Diaspora"

Fall Semester, Thursdays 1:00pm - 3:00 pm

Instructor: Anna Shternshis

The course examines history, culture and diaspora of Russian-speaking Jews in the 20th and 21st century. We will discuss how Jews experienced Russian Revolutions of 1917, Stalinism, Soviet Great Terror of 1937, World War II and the Holocaust, post-war challenges, the “Thaw” of the 1960s, “Stagnation of the 1980s”, Dissident movement, Perestroika, collapse of the Soviet Union and the development of post-Soviet diasporas. We will read works by both Soviet Jewish authors, including Vassily Grossman, Shira Gorshman, Isaac Babel, Rivka Levin and post-Soviet ones, such as David Bezmozgis, Lara Vapnyar and Boris Fishman, study artifacts of anti-religious propaganda such as Red Passover Celebration scripts, discuss oral histories of Soviet Jews, read scripts of Yiddish theater performances (in English translation), and scrutinize (and maybe even try) recipes of Soviet Jewish food. No prior knowledge is required, but if you took a course on European history or Jewish history, it will be an asset.


CJS391H1 S: Special Topics in Jewish Studies “Becoming Israel: War, Peace, and the Politics of Israel's Identity" (cross-listed with POL377H1)

Spring Semester, Mondays 9:00am - 11:00 am 

Instructor: Olga Talal

This course will focus on Israel's balancing act between two competing objectives, one seeking to fulfill the Zionist vision and entrench "Jewishness" within the state and the other seeking to establish democratic institutions and procedures. Since independence, Israel's official ideology, Zionism, has been shaping the state's economic, political, demographic, and security policies, designed to advance the interests of the Jewish population in Israel. The Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel fall outside the sociological boundaries of the Jewish nation and present a challenge to nation-building. At the same time, Israel's commitment to democratic principles and procedures entails guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of Palestinian Arab citizens. In this course, students will explore the most salient manifestations of the tensions between Israel's commitment to democracy and Zionism, familiarize themselves with the debates about Israel's political regime, institutions, and society, and develop their positions on these divisive debates.

Prerequisite: Completion of at least 4.0 credits.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


CJS392H1 F: Special Topics in Jewish Studies: "Women in 20th Century Jewish Philosophy"

Fall Semester, Tuesdays 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Instructor: Caroyln Beard

This class seeks to expand our understanding of the canon of twentieth century Jewish philosophy by studying major movements in the field through the work and writings of women philosophers. In this course, students will read and critically reflect on the writings of twentieth century Jewish women philosophers that address not only issues of gender, but also major questions in twentieth century Jewish thought, including tradition and observance, faith and revelation, and the problem of evil. Students will read thinkers including Emma Goldman, Rosa Luxemburg, Regina Jonas, Edith Stein, Simone Weil, Margarete Susman, Hannah Arendt, and Judith Butler. Students will leave the class with greater familiarity with major thinkers and deeper understanding of major issues in twentieth century Jewish thought.


CJS392H1 S: Special Topics in Jewish Studies: "A Literature is Born: Exploring the Evolution of Modern Yiddish and Hebrew Literature"

Spring Semester, Tuesdays 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Instructor: Miriam Schwartz

Though often studied separately, modern Hebrew and Yiddish literature were "born" at the same time and place. This course will trace their joint development from their emergence (since 1816!) to the present day. Through the course readings we will ask how Yiddish and Hebrew literary circles intersect and engage with each other over time? We will critically explore and challenge fundamental narratives and assumptions about Hebrew and Yiddish literature, examining the nuanced relationships between language, place, and culture. Asking what is the role of languages in shaping one's identity? And what is the role of literature in forming and negotiating national and cultural identities? All reading materials will be provided in English translations.


CJS444H1 S: Topics in the Study of Antisemitism

Spring Semester, Wednesdays 1:00pm - 3:00 pm

Instructor: Ron Levi

This seminar explores in depth one of the many theoretical or methodological issues that confront scholars of antisemitism. Possible topics include: definitions of antisemitism and their purposes; philosemitism and its conceptual and real connection with antisemitism; Jewish self-hatred; contextualist vs eternalist accounts of antisemitism; classic and contemporary theories of antisemitism.

****This course is only open to the following students:
Priority period:
•    Jewish Studies majors, minors, and specialists in their 4th year of study
•    Peace, Conflict, and Justice majors and specialists in their 4th year of study
•    European Affairs majors and minors in their 4th year of study
After priority period:
•    Jewish Studies majors, minors, and specialists in their 3rd year of study
•    Peace, Conflict, and Justice majors and specialists in their 3rd year of study
•    European Affairs majors and minors in their 3rd year of study
To enrol in this course, you must submit THIS FORM once your course enrolment period opens.

 

2023-2024 Courses (2024-2025 Courses will be posted the week of June 17, 2024)

Below are the course offerings for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

 

ANT426H1S Western Views of the Non-West

Spring, Semester, Wednesday 1 pm - 3 pm

Instructor: Ivan Kalmar

The history and present of western concepts and images about the ‘Other’, in anthropological and other scholarship and in popular culture.

Prerequisite: 0.5 credit at the 300-level from Anthropology Group C: Society, Culture, and Language, or Near and Middle Eastern Civilization or Jewish Studies or Diaspora and Transnational Studies or History

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representation(1)

 

DTS200Y1

Full Year, Wednesday 10 am - 12 pm 

Instructor: Anna Shternshis and Andrea Allen

What is the relationship between place and belonging, between territory and memory? How have the experiences of migration and dislocation challenged the modern assumption that the nation-state should be the limit of identification? What effect has the emergence of new media of communication had upon the coherence of cultural and political boundaries? All of these questions and many more form part of the subject matter of Diaspora and Transnational Studies. This introductory course ex-amines the historical and contemporary movements of peoples and the complex issues of identity and experience to which these processes give rise as well as the creative possibilities that flow from movement and being moved. The area of study is comparative and interdisciplinary, drawing from the social sciences, history, the arts and humanities. Accordingly, this course provides the background to the subject area from diverse perspectives and introduces students to a range of key debates in the field, with particular attention to questions of history, globalization, cultural production and the creative imagination.

Exclusion: DTS201H1, DTS202H1

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1) + Society and its Institutions (3)


DTS300H1S Qualitative and Quantitative Reasoning

Spring Semester, Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm 

Instructor: A. González Jiménez

Focuses on research design and training in methods from history, geography, anthropology, literary and cultural studies, and other disciplines appropriate to Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Prepares students to undertake primary research required in senior seminars.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: The Physical and Mathematical Universes (5)

 

EUR300H1S Special Topics in European Affairs

Wednesdays 10 am -12 pm

Instructor: Anna Shternshis

This course offers students the opportunity to explore key issues in European Affairs. Topics vary from year to year, depending on the instructor. See Department website for current offerings. Course may not be repeated under the same subtitle.

Prerequisite: EUR200Y1 and 4.0 additional credits

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

 

There are no Jewish Studies courses offered by the Department for English in 2024-25. 

 

GER260Y1Y Elementary Yiddish

Full Year, Monday 10 am - 12 pm and Wednesday 10 am - 11 am 

Instructor: TBA

This course introduces Yiddish language, literature, music, theatre, and cinema through interactive multi-media seminars, designed to build proficiency in reading, writing and comprehending. No prior knowledge of Yiddish is required.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


GER275H1F Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

Fall Semester, Wednesday 3 pm - 5 pm  

Instructor: TBA

This is an introductory course to the thought of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud and their pioneering contributions to the understanding of the individual and society in modernity. Readings include selections from writings of the early Marx, the Communist Manifesto, and Capital, Nietzsche's critique of culture, academe, and nationalism, and Freud's theory of culture, his views on the psychopathology of everyday life, on the meaning of dreams, symptoms, the return of the repressed, and what it might mean to live in a free society. 

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


GER360H1F Intermediate Yiddish

Fall Semester, Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm and Thursday 10 am - 11 am 

Instructor: TBA

The course conducted in Yiddish offers a review of basic grammar, stylistics, study of short literary texts.

Exclusion: GER463Y1

Prerequisite: GER260Y1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


GER361H1F Yiddish Literature in Translation (E)

Fall Semester, Thursday 10 am - 12 pm  

Instructor: TBA

An overview of the major figures and tendencies in modern Yiddish literature and culture from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. Readings (in English) of modern Yiddish prose, poetry, drama and cinema. 

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


GER460H1S - Advanced Yiddish

Spring Semester, Tuesday 2 pm - 5 pm

Instructor: TBA

This course conducted entirely in Yiddish focuses on advanced reading, writing, vocabulary and conversation, the study of poetry, short fiction, and memoir literature by leading authors. Selected advanced grammatical topics are presented in conjunction with the study of texts.

Exclusion: GER462H1

Prerequisite: GER360H1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

 

HIS196H1S Religion and Violence

Spring Semester, Tuesday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: Doris Bergen

This seminar explores the roles of religion in extreme violence. Working backward from the 1990s (Rwanda, Yugoslavia), we will consider cases including Guatemala, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Holocaust, Armenians, German Southwest Africa, and genocide of Indigenous peoples in North America. Students will produce a final project based on original research. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. 

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS208Y1Y History of the Jewish People

Full Year, Wednesday 1 - 3 pm

Instructor: Alan Verskin

An introduction to the history of the Jews throughout the world over the past two thousand years.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS242H1F Europe in the 20th Century

Fall Semester, Tuesday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: TBA

The evolution of European politics, culture, and society from 1914: the two world wars, Fascism and Nazism, the post-1945 reconstruction and the movement towards European integration.

Exclusion: EUR200Y1/EUR200Y5/FGI200Y5/HIS242H5/HISB94H3

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS247H1S The Second World War: A Global History

Spring Semester, Monday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: Timothy Sayle

This course offers an introduction to the global history of the Second World War. It aims to expose students to historiographical debates regarding the war, the use of primary sources, and the scholarly and intellectual challenges that come with studying an event of this magnitude and horror. In general, students will examine the origins and causes of the conflict, survey the factors that shaped the course of the war, and consider how and why the fighting came to an end when it did. These broad approaches will be supplemented with consideration of specific examples from around the world.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS317H1S 20th Century Germany

Spring Semester, Thursday 1-4 pm

Instructor: Jennifer Jenkins

A survey of modern German history in the twentieth century. Topics include World War I and the postwar settlement, the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist dictatorship, the Holocaust, the division of Germany, the Cold War, German reunification, Germany and the European Union, nationalism, political culture, war and revolution, religious and ethnic minorities and questions of history and memory.

Prerequisite: HIS103Y1/HIS109Y1/(HIS241H1, HIS242H1)/EUR200Y1

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS338H1F The Holocaust, to 1942

Fall Semester, Friday 10 am - 12 pm 

Instructor: Doris Bergen

German state policy towards the Jews in the context of racist ideology, bureaucratic structures, and varying conditions in German-occupied Europe. Second Term considers responses of Jews, European populations and governments, the Allies, churches, and political movements.

Exclusion: HIS388Y1/HIS398Y1/HIS338H5

Prerequisite: Completion of 6.0 FCE.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS351H1S The Soviet Union and After

Spring Semester, Tuesday 5 -7 pm

Instructor: TBA

A survey of the history of Twentieth-Century Russia, from the collapse of the Russian Empire and the establishment of the Soviet Union through to the end of the Cold War and the establishment of a new Russian Federation. The social, economic, and political developments of the era are emphasized.

Exclusion: HIS351Y1/ HIS351H5

Prerequisite: HIS250Y1

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS354H1 Jews of Arab Lands: From the Prophet Muhammad to European Colonialism 

Fall Semester, Tuesday 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 

Instructor: Verskin, Alan 

This course introduces the Jewish communities of Arab lands by examining their social, cultural, and political experiences from the Arab conquests to European colonialism. We will examine the sometimes “symbiotic” relationship that existed between Jews and Muslims as well as the factors that threatened it by considering both the history of everyday life and of high culture. Many of Judaism’s formative institutions and literary works were developed in the Middle East and we will explore how they developed in dialogue with Islamic culture. Finally, we will study the impact of Western colonialism and nineteenth-century encounters between “Western” and “Eastern” Jews. 

Pre-requisites: 4.0 credits 

Breadth Requirement: Society and Its Institutions (3) 


HIS361H1S The Holocaust, from 1942

Spring Semester, Friday 10 am - 12 pm  

Instructor: Doris Bergen

Follows on HIS338H1. Themes include: resistance by Jews and non-Jews; local collaboration; the roles of European governments, the Allies, the churches, and other international organizations; the varieties of Jewish responses. We will also focus on postwar repercussions of the Holocaust in areas such as justice, memory and memorialization, popular culture and politics.

Exclusion: HIS338Y1/HIS361H5

Prerequisite: Completion of 6.0 credits and HIS338H1

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS364H1F From Revolution to Revolution: Hungary Since 1848

Fall Semester, Wednesday 9 - 11 am 

Instructor: Robert Austin

This course offers a chronological survey of the history of Hungary from the 1848 revolution until the present. It is ideal for students with little or no knowledge of Hungarian history but who possess an understanding of the main trends of European history in the 19th and 20th centuries. The focus is on the revolutions of 1848-1849, 1918-1919, the 1956 Revolution against Soviet rule and the collapse of communism in 1989. The story has not been invariably heroic, violent and tragic.

Prerequisite: A 100 level HIS course

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


HIS402H1S Sephardim: The Jews of Spain and their Diasporas

Spring Semester, Tuesday 1 pm - 3 pm 

Instructor: Alan Verskin

This course follows the journey of Sephardic Jews from their beginnings in Iberia to their diasporas in the Ottoman Empire and the New World. We begin by studying Jewish life and culture in Iberia itself. We then study the expulsion from Spain and Portugal and how Sephardic Jews managed to reconstruct their communities and maintain their identity in new lands until the Nineteenth Century. Themes discussed include mysticism and messianism, conversos and heresy, and trade and exploration. We will conclude by looking at how Sephardic Jews shaped ideas of modernity that were distinct from those of their Ashkenazi coreligionists. 

Prerequisite: 9.0 credits including 1.0 HIS/ JHA/ JHM/ JHN/ JIH/ JSH credit HIS317H1/HIS330H1 or permission of the instructor

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

 

NMC104H1F The Biblical World

Fall Semester, Wednesday 3 pm - 4 pm 

Instructor: Robert Holmstedt

Examine the history, lands, peoples, religions, literatures and cultures that produced the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Topics to be covered include an overview of the geography and history of Ancient Israel and Judea, the role of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages, the literary genres reflected in biblical and some contemporary non-biblical texts, and the scholarly methods by which the Bible is studied.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


NMC252H1S Hebrew Bible

Spring Semester, Wednesday 3 - 5 pm (ONLINE)

Instructor: Robert Holmstedt

An introduction to the critical study of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the related literature of ancient Jewish communities (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls). English translations used; no knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


NMC278H1F Introduction to the Modern Middle East

Fall Semester, Thursday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instrucrtor: Adrien Zakar

The emergence of modern states in the Middle East, against a background of empire, world wars, and national and religious movements. Students will learn why the modern map looks the way it does, and how Middle Eastern peoples' self-identifications have changed over the past 200 years.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


NMC284H1F Judaism and Feminism: Legal Issues from Menstruation to Ordination

Fall Semester, Thursday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: TBA

Agitation for change exists in religious practice worldwide in areas of access, status, inclusion, and egalitarianism. Traditional religion is often in conflict with egalitarian modernity. This sometimes results in difficulties with religious identification. This course will explore the interaction between feminism and Judaism. We will examine how Jewish law (halakhah) sometimes conflicts with ideas of egalitarianism particularly in legal disabilities for women such as divorce, lack of access to high-level Torah study, and discrimination in public religious roles. The traditional exemption of women from the obligation of Torah study had great impact on women’s religious responsibility and status. Various movements within Judaism competed in efforts to resolve these difficulties. In this course we will consider to what extent inclusion and egalitarianism have become complementary to traditional Judaism.

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


NMC331H1F Samson: Lover, Liar, lion-slayer

Fall Semester, Friday 1 pm - 3 pm

Instrucrtor: Jeremy Schipper

For many people, King David is one of the most beloved characters in the Bible. But where did our ideas about David come from? Was he a brilliant poet who wrote many of the Psalms, a youthful champion who defeated the giant Goliath or as a ruthless monarch capable of killing his political opponents? This course will explore attempts to reconstruct the historical David from various biblical texts, comparable ancient literature, and what historians know (and don’t know) about the time in which his story is set. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits at the 200-level

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


NMC450H1S Research Seminar on Ancient Jewish Literature

Spring Semester, Wednesday 12 pm - 3 pm

Instrucrtor: Robert Holmstedt

A seminar focusing on the critical analysis of the Hebrew Bible and related ancient Jewish texts. Literary genre and critical topics will vary according to instructor’s research interests. Focus will be given to developing research skills by working with accepted critical methodologies. Not eligible for CR/NCR option 

Pre-requisites: Permission of the instructor 

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representation (1) 


NML155H1F Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Fall Semester, Monday, Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

See MHB155H1 in Religion.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representation(1)


NML156H1S Elementary Modern Hebrew II

Spring Semester, Monday and Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

See MHB156H1 in Religion.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representation(1)


NML250Y1Y Introductory Biblical Hebrew

Full Year, Tuesday and Thursday, 11 am - 1pm

Instructor: Laura Hare

An introduction to biblical Hebrew prose. Grammar and selected texts. For students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew.

Exclusion: Those who have completed Grade 8 Hebrew (or Grade 6 in Israel)

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


NML255H1F Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Fall Semester, Monday and Wednesday 3 pm - 5 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Exclusion: Those who have completed Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel), MHB255H1

Prerequisite: MHB156H1/ NML156H1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representation (1)


NML256H1S Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Spring Semester, Monday and Wednesday 3 pm - 5 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Continued intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Exclusion: Those who have completed Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel), MHB256H1

Prerequisite: NML255H1/ MHB255H1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representation (1)


NML350H1F Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I

Monday, Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: Laura Hare

A continuation of the study of ancient Hebrew grammar and texts. Focus is given to covering a wide variety of genres, e.g., narrative, chronicle, genealogy, oracle, prayer, hymn, and proverb.

Prerequisite: NML250Y1 

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


NML351H1S Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II

Monday, Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: TBA

A continuation of the study of ancient Hebrew grammar and texts. Focus is given to covering a wide variety of genres, e.g., narrative, chronicle, genealogy, oracle, prayer, hymn, and proverb.

Prerequisite: NML350H1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


NML355H1F - Advanced Modern Hebrew I

Monday, Wednesday 6 - 8 pm

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Exclusion: OAC Hebrew, MHB355H1

Prerequisite: MHB256H1/ NML256H1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

 

RLG107H1S “It's the End of the World as We Know It”

Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: Anne-Marie Fowler

Throughout history, many religious movements have envisioned the end of the world. This course will explore the ways in which different religious movements have prepared for and expected an end time, from fears, symbols, and rituals to failed prophecies and social violence. By examining traditions such as Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts through to fears of nuclear apocalypse and zombies, the course seeks to understand the ways in which ancient and modern claims of “the end” reflect the aspirations, anxieties, and religious concerns of communities.

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2)


RLG195H1F Alt-Bible: What Could Have Been

Thursday 11 am - 1 pm

Instrictor: John Marshall

Why does our contemporary Bible not include any daughters for Adam and Eve or any stories of Jesus as a young boy? What if Enoch was more prominent than Moses or Thomas more prominent than Paul? "The Bible" that we have is not a single book or a simple collection, but something that has grown over time, been the object of contention and argument, and has sometimes been a common ground across traditions. We examine side-by-side writings that have become canonical and writings that once held authority but have not found widespread canonical status, and strive to understand the processes by which we ended up with "the Bible" we have today. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/CNR option.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG202H1S Judaism

Tuesday 5-7 pm/ONLINEInstructor: Naomi Seidman

An introduction to the religious tradition of the Jews that explores key themes as they change from ancient times to today. The set of themes will include: the Sabbath, Study, Place, Household, Power. Each year will focus on one theme. We will read holy texts, modern literature, history, ethnography, and philosophy, covering each theme in a range of genres and across the diverse span of Jewish experience.

Exclusion: RLG202H5, RLG202Y1

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1/RLG208Y1

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2)


RLG209H1F Justifying Religious Belief

Friday 11 - 1 pm 

Instructor: Sol Goldberg

Beliefs typically characterized as “religious” concern such things as the existence and nature of the deity, the afterlife, the soul, miracles, and the universe’s meaningfulness, ultimate purpose, or interest in the distribution and realization of justice. Common to these and other religious beliefs is that they lack empirical evidence to support them – at least so say religious skeptics. They insist that rational beliefs require justification and that justification comes from perceptions anyone could have or solid scientific reasoning. Anyone who harbors religious beliefs thus violates a basic epistemic responsibility. How might people who hold – and want to continue to hold – religious beliefs respond to these accusations and doubts? The course examines these basic epistemological and moral challenges to religious belief as well as the various strategies available to religious believers who are confronted with such demands for justifications. By doing so, we will aim to understand better whether religious beliefs of various sorts could count as rational, whether reasonable people might disagree with each other about the very nature of reality and morality, and whether anyone who falls short of common intellectual and social ideals of rationality and reasonableness ought to be tolerated.

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2) 


RLG321H1F Women and the Hebrew Bible

Tuesday 9-11 am 

Instructor: Nyasha Junior

This course provides a critical examination of the Hebrew Bible (sometimes called the Old Testament) with an emphasis on women characters. It examines the historical and literary contexts of Hebrew Bible texts and engages diverse methods of contemporary biblical scholarship with particular attention to issues of gender. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG327H1S Hospitality and Ethics in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Thursday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: Harry Fox

Refugee crises in modern times have raised questions concerning what degree of hospitality is owed the stranger or foreigner whose motivation is a new, safe, and secure home rather than being treated as a guest passing through on a time-limited visa. Jacques Derrida’s ideas of both conditional hospitality (e.g., tourists) and unconditional hospitality (e.g., strangers) need to be explored from the perspective of philosophical and ethical traditions including Jewish, Christian, and Muslim ethics.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG338H1S Religion and Religiosity in Israel/Palestine

Thursday 6-8 pm

Instructors: Yigal Nizri

Focusing on present-day Israel/Palestine, this interdisciplinary course is intended for students interested in exploring a wide range of theoretical questions and examining their applicability to the study of sites, texts, rituals, and politics in the region. We will address the history of the land's consecration from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives. Students will analyze specific sites associated with religious congregations and ritual practices, and study them within their local and regional contexts. Looking at the complex relationships between religious-political movements and institutions within Jewish and Muslim societies, we will delve into various attempts to secularize (and theologize) Jewish and Palestinian communities and their discontents. Rather than providing the typical emphasis on conflict, the course is a journey into the history and present of the land and its diverse communities.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


RLG341H1F Dreaming of Zion: Exile and Return in Jewish Thought

Wednesday 10-12 pm

Instructor: Kenneth Green

An inquiry into the theme of exile and return in Judaism, often called the leading idea of Jewish religious consciousness. Starting from Egyptian slavery and the Babylonian exile, and culminating in the ideas of modern Zionism, the course will examine a cross-section of Jewish thinkers--ancient, medieval, and modern.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG343H1S Kabbala: A History of Mystical Thought in Judaism

Wednesday 10-12 pm

Instructor: Kenneth Green

A historical study of the Kabbala and the mystical tradition in Judaism, with emphasis on the ideas of Jewish mystical thinkers and movements.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG346H1F Time and Place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Thursday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: Harry Fox

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each have their own sets of prayer times, frequency of prayers and their locations such as home, synagogue, temple, church or mosque. They have completely different calendrical systems. Holiness is also connected to geographical locations, which often serve as destinations of pilgrimage. This course will examine linear and cyclical times and the concepts of holiness in time and place by looking at primary sources in translation. We will investigate the persistence of holy places, how their names continue, and how gender issues are part of the jurisdictional politics of disputes over place and time.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG435H1S The Thought of Leo Strauss

Wednesday 2-4 pm

Instructor: Kenneth Green

The philosophic thought of Leo Strauss approached through his writings on modern Judaism. Primarily addressed will be the mutual relations between philosophy, theology, and politics. Among other topics to be dealt with: origins of modern Judaism, Zionism, liberal democracy, and biblical criticism; meaning of Jerusalem and Athens; cognitive value in the Hebrew Bible.

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


MHB155H1F Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Monday, Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Emphasis on the development of oral and writing skills.

Exclusion: Grade 4 Hebrew (or Grade 2 in Israel)/ NML155H1

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


MHB156H1S Elementary Modern Hebrew II

Monday, Wednesday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Continued introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Emphasis on the development of oral and writing skills.

Exclusion: Grade 4 Hebrew (or Grade 2 in Israel)/ NML156H1

Prerequisites: MHB155H1/ NML155H1 permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


MHB255H1F Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Monday, Wednesday 3 - 5 pm

Instructor: TBA

Intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/ NML255Y1

Prerequisites: MHB156H1/ NML156H1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


MHB256H1S Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Monday, Wednesday 3 - 5 pm

Instructor: TBA

Continued intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/ NML255Y1

Prerequisites: MHB255H1/ NML156H1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


MHB355H1F Advanced Modern Hebrew I

Monday, Wednesday 6 - 8 pm

Instructor: Yigal Nizri

Advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/ NML355Y1

Prerequisites: MHB256H1/ NML255Y1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

 

PHL310H1S The Rationalists

Tuesday, Thursday 12 - 1:30 pm

Instructor: Michael Rosenthal

Central philosophical problems in philosophers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and their contemporaries.

Exclusion: PHLC35H3

Prerequisite: PHL210Y1, 7.5 courses (in any field) with at least 1.5 in philosophy


PHL338H1F Jewish Philosophy

Tuesday, Thursday 12 - 1:30 pm

Instructor: Michael Rosenthal

A selection of texts and issues in Jewish philosophy, for example, Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed, Buber's The Prophetic Faith, prophecy and revelation, Divine Command and morality, creation and eternity, the historical dimension of Jewish thought.

Prerequisite: 7.5 FCE (in any field) with at least 1.5 in philosophy


PHL402H1S Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Wednesday 3 - 6 pm

Instructor: Michael Rosenthal

Advanced discussion of the principal figures and themes in the philosophy of the 17th and/or 18th centuries.

Prerequisite: PHL210Y1, 4.0 credits in philosophy

 

POL377H1F Topics in Comparative Politics I:Becoming Israel: War, Peace, and the Politics of Israel's Identity

Tuesday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: Olga Talal

This course will focus on Israel's balancing act between two competing objectives, one seeking to fulfill the Zionist vision and entrench "Jewishness" within the state and the other seeking to establish democratic institutions and procedures. Since independence, Israel's official ideology, Zionism, has been shaping the state's economic, political, demographic, and security policies, designed to advance the interests of the Jewish population in Israel. The Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel fall outside the sociological boundaries of the Jewish nation and present a challenge to nation-building. At the same time, Israel's commitment to democratic principles and procedures entails guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of Palestinian Arab citizens. In this course, students will explore the most salient manifestations of the tensions between Israel's commitment to democracy and Zionism, familiarize themselves with the debates about Israel's political regime, institutions, and society, and develop their positions on these divisive debates.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


POL377H1S Topics in Comparative Politics I: Israel's Modern Tribes

Tuesday 5 - 7 pm 

Instructor: Oded Oron

In June 2015, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin gave a speech at the annual Herzliya Conference discussing the social and political schisms in modern Israeli society. Rivlin detailed the changes to Israel’s population makeup and how it could harbinger severe economic and social issues that will threaten the future of the Jewish state and bring about a “new Israeli order”. This course reviews and analyzes the characteristics, political, and social transformation experienced by each group and how it fits into the fabric of Israeli society. Over the years winds of change and collective claims stirred the Israeli “melting pot” and created new realities that exposed early societal cleavages. Throughout the course students will gain a deep understanding of these core issues in modern Israel by analyzing the socio-political cleavages as well as opportunities for integration and compromise between the “new tribes” that make up modern Israeli society.

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


POL378H1F Topics in Comparative Politics II: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Tuesday 5 - 7 pm

Instructor: Oded Oron

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most intractable and multifaceted protracted conflicts in modern times with flare-ups of violence between its various actors continuing to claim lives and to threaten wider war. This course will survey the main political junctions in the conflict and will connect them to their reincarnations in contemporary times. We will study all of this, exploring the conflict’s many layers and relating it to broader International Relations and sociological concepts from the emergence of the conflict’s political fault lines during Ottoman times through the establishment of a Jewish state and its continued modern-day development. The course will include cultural products relating to both societies, including movies, clips, songs and forms of art and cultural representations.

Prerequisite: 1.0 credit in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA courses

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


POL378H1S Topics in Comparative Politics II: Jews and Power

Thursday 3 - 5 pm

Instructor: Olga Talal

The rich human fabric comprising contemporary Israeli society is divided along multiple identity-based lines. It is divided nationally (between Jews and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel), religiously (between religious and secular Jews, Muslims and Christians), and ethnically (between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews). Other salient identity markers separate new immigrants from the older ones and city dwellers from residents of peripheral areas - within state borders and outside them, located in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. In this course, students will learn about the complex web of cross-cutting identities within Israeli society and how these identities are (re)shaped by power. We will pay special attention to the interrelations of political power, identity politics, and public policy in Israel.

Prerequisite: 1.0 credit in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA courses

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

 

SLA199H1F Invisible Kingdom, Imaginary Space

Tuesday 1 - 3 pm

Instructor: TBA 

The Central European Region of Galicia gave rise to a remarkable array of literary representations -- Austrian, Jewish, Polish, and Ukrainian -- animating fantastic creatures, powerful myths, deviant pleasures, and sublime stories. Bruno Schulz created shimmering peacocks, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch seized ecstasy through pain, and Ivan Franko investigated the effects of avarice and social decay.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


SLA268H1F Cossacks!

Wednesday 1 - 3 pm

Instructor: TBA 

How are Cossacks depicted in literary and visual works? Were they the agents of a repressive Russian government, the hirelings of Polish kings, the tormentors of Eastern European Jews, the protectors of Europe from the Ottomans, or the liberators of the Ukrainian nation? We read works from the Jewish, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian cultural traditions.

Exclusion: CCR199H1 (First-Year Seminar: The Cossacks), offered in Winter 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, and Fall 2017

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


SLA318H1F City of Saints and Sinners: Kyiv through the Centuries

Thursday 11 am - 1 pm 

Instructor: TBA 

Captivating and elusive: the "new Jerusalem," Yehupets, a "Slavic Pompeii" and frontier city. This course examines Kyiv through works of literature, visual arts, architecture, and popular culture that reveal Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish, and Polish versions of the city. Gogol, Sholem Aleichem, Bulgakov, Vynnychenko, and many others. Taught in English, all readings in English.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

 

CDN280H1F Canadian Jewish History

Thursday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: TBA

This course focuses on initial settlement patterns of Jews in Toronto and elsewhere, community growth including suburbanization, and contemporary challenges such as anti-Semitism and assimilation.


CDN380H1S Socio-Cultural Perspective of the Canadian Jewish Community

Tuesday 11 am - 1 pm

Instructor: TBA

This course examines: the relationship between prominent Canadians who happen to be Jews and those whose works are founded in Jewish identity; the diversity of the community on the basis of religion, language, class, ideology, etc.; contributions to the arts and scholarship; and the role and contribution of Jewish women.

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

 

SOC199H1S: Topics in Jewish Studies “Living together differently in the 21st century: Israel as a case study”

Tuesday 11 - 1 pm 

Instructor: Kineret Sadeh

How can people with different worldviews and dissimilar moral visions live together? Liberal philosophers have grappled with this question offering solutions including tolerance, peace, and multiculturalism. However, many people today, particularly in the West, oppose liberalism as a cultural message and a political goal. Robust evidence can be found in the rise of "populist" backlash movements and the sharp polarization between liberals and conservatives. Can Western democracies overcome this crisis? This seminar explores this question from a sociological perspective with Israel as a case study. We will probe the efforts of Israeli activists and professionals to instill non-liberal peace among Jews and Arabs, to bridge the chasm between liberals and conservatives, and to include LGBTs and people with disabilities as equal members of society while surpassing liberal principles. By analyzing their work, we will broaden our understanding of living together differently in the 21st century.

No prerequisite.


SOC495H1F: Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies “Like Everyone Else but Different: Challenges of Negotiating Diversity for Canadian Jews” 

Wednesday 3 - 5 pm

Instructor: Morton Weinfeld

This course will analyze the condition of the Jewish population of Canada, with reference to the two objectives of Canada as a liberal-democratic and diverse society. The first is equality and maximal inclusion of minorities in Canadian life. The second is providing space and conditions for retention of minority identities, communities, and cultures. The sociological expectation is that these two will be in a zero- sum relation, but in the Jewish case these contradictions are relatively minimal. This course will examine key elements which comprise the life of Jews in Canada, from a social scientific perspective. These include: demography, socio -economic status, antisemitism, families and partnering patterns, the organized community, Jewish education, religion, culture, politics, impact of the Holocaust and Israel/Zionism. The focus of the course is Canada, but it will also include comparisons with American Jewish life.

1.0 SOC credit at the 300+ level

 

Additional Information 

Enrol in courses on ACORN.  The Faculty of Arts & Science offers more detailed instructions regarding how to enrol and on enrolment periods

Sessional dates are available on the Faculty of Arts & Science calendar.

See the Arts and Science timetable for courses with tutorials.  If there is conflicting information, the Arts & Science timetable takes priority. 

 

Course Archives 

The ATCJS Undergraduate Handbook contains all the essential information for the successful and memorable completion of an undergraduate degree with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. In this handbook you will find the contact info for our departmental admin, an outline of the degree programs we offer and their requirements, and all FAS courses being offered that count towards a degree in Jewish Studies in the given academic year.

PDF icon 23-24 ATCJS Undergraduate Course Handbook

PDF iconATCJS Undergraduate Handbook 2021-2022.pdf

PDF iconATCJS Undergraduate Handbook 2020/2021 (pdf)

PDF iconATCJS Undergraduate Handbook 2019-2020.pdf

PDF iconATCJS Undergraduate Handbook 2018-2019.pdf