Undergraduate Course Descriptions


CJS200H1-F: Introduction to Jewish Thought

Course Description: 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.

Mode of Delivery: Online - Synchronous 

Area of Interest: Jewish Philosophy and Thought 


CJS201H1-F: Introduction to Jewish Culture

Course Description: 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.

Mode of Delivery: Dual Delivery

Area of Interest: Jewish Cultures, Languages, and Literatures; Jewish History and Social Sciences


CJS390H1-F: Ancient Jewish Science

Course Description: An exploration of Jewish science from the Hebrew Bible to the Talmud. The course introduces students to ancient astronomy, medicine and biology, through close reading of primary texts. We will also consider how ancient Jewish science interacts with the contemporaneous scientific traditions of Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Greco-Roman world.

Mode of Delivery: Online - Synchronous

Area of Interest: Jewish History and Social Sciences


CJS390H1-S LEC0101: Jewish Humour and History

Course Description: This course explores the rich universe of Jewish humour. Focusing primarily on Europe and North America, we will trace the evolution of Jewish humour from the Yiddish culture of the nineteenth-century shtetl all the way to twenty-first century literature, stand-up, cinema, television, and new media. Studying Jewish writers whose backgrounds frequently played a role in their comedic products sheds light on a distinctive phenomenon in Jewish culture and how Jewish people have grappled with topics such as acculturation, religion, family, sexuality, and trauma. No prerequisites

Mode of Delivery: Online - Synchronous

Area of Interest: Jewish History and Social Sciences; Jewish Cultures, Languages, and Literatures


CJS391H1-S LEC0101: Three Answers to the Jewish Question: Liberalism, Communism, Zionism

Course Description: The Jewish Question asks how Jews ought to adapt to the modern world. Seeking answers, Jews formulated competing ideologies and joined social and political movements that, they believed, would help them realize their dreams. This course examines the origins, development, implementation, successes, and failures of the three main secular solutions Jews advocated: liberalism, Zionism, and communism.

Mode of Delivery: Online - Synchronous

Area of Interest: Jewish History and Social Sciences


CJS392H1-F LEC0101: Special Topics in Jewish Studies: Applied Statistics and Data Science in Jewish Studies

Course Description: This course offers an introduction to research methodology, with an emphasis on research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, and the digital humanities. The course teaches students how to read, evaluate, and plot data in tables, charts, and graphs, using cutting-edge data analysis and illustration tools. For sample data and in-class exercises, we will draw heavily from datasets of interest within the interdisciplinary field of Jewish Studies, such as the PEW Research Center’s ‘Portrait of Jewish Americans’ (2013), the Anti-Defamation League’s Global 100 Index (2015) on anti-Semitism, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (2018), and the International Tracing Service’s Digital Collection Archive (2015). No prior training in research methods is necessary for this course. Students will complete the course with the skills necessary to recognize bias in data, identify appropriate methods for different research puzzles, and communicate the stories in numbers.

Mode of Delivery: Online - Asynchronous

Area of Interest: Jewish History and Social Sciences


CJS396H1-F: Independent Study

Course Description: A scholarly project on an approved topic supervised by a faculty member affiliated with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. For more information please contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor Adam Cohen, at cjs.undergraduate@utoronto.ca or the Undergraduate Administrator, Ms. Natasha Richichi-Fried, at cjs.events@utoronto.ca.

Mode of Delivery: TBA

Area of Interest: TBA


CJS396H1-S: Independent Study

Course Description: A scholarly project on an approved topic supervised by a faculty member affiliated with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. For more information please contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor Adam Cohen, at cjs.undergraduate@utoronto.ca or the Undergraduate Administrator, Ms. Natasha Richichi-Fried, at cjs.events@utoronto.ca.

Mode of Delivery: TBA

Area of Interest: TBA


CJS498Y1-Y:  Independent Study

Course Description: A scholarly project on an approved topic supervised by a faculty member affiliated with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. For more information please contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor Adam Cohen, at cjs.undergraduate@utoronto.ca or the Undergraduate Administrator, Ms. Natasha Richichi-Fried, at cjs.events@utoronto.ca.

Mode of Delivery: TBA

Area of Interest: TBA


CJS499H1-F: Independent Study

Course Description: A scholarly project on an approved topic supervised by a faculty member affiliated with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. For more information please contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor Adam Cohen, at cjs.undergraduate@utoronto.ca or the Undergraduate Administrator, Ms. Natasha Richichi-Fried, at cjs.events@utoronto.ca.

Mode of Delivery: TBA

Area of Interest: TBA


CJS499H1-S: Independent Study

Course Description: A scholarly project on an approved topic supervised by a faculty member affiliated with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. For more information please contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor Adam Cohen, at cjs.undergraduate@utoronto.ca or the Undergraduate Administrator, Ms. Natasha Richichi-Fried, at cjs.events@utoronto.ca.

Mode of Delivery: TBA

Area of Interest: TBA