Anthropology | Modern Jewish Culture and Society
E600 | 25416 | Bahloul


MODERN JEWISH SOCIETY AND CULTURE

What makes a Jewish population of today a “society”? What social
processes make Jewishness a “culture” and an “identity”? What has
modernity changed in the experience of this identity and culture?
Students will reflect on these important questions by examining the
diverse forms of Jewish cultural expression, community membership and
structure, and the multiple experiences of Judaism as a religion.
Based on the reading and explanation of recent social scientific
research, discussions will investigate the diversity of Jewish
cultures, the ritual practices of contemporary Jews, their family
structures, their collective memory and its interpretation of
immigration, and how they have reacted to dramatic demographic changes
and to secularization. Under the instructor's supervision, they will
carry out a research paper or a fieldwork exercise that should give
them an opportunity to have a personal experience of Jewish ethnography.

There are no prerequisites.

Course Requirements
1. For undergraduate students
- one mid-term and one final examinations (20% and 25%),
- one research paper or a fieldwork exercise  (10 to 15 pages,
35%),
- class attendance and participation (20%).

2. For graduate students
- one mid-term examination (30%),
- one research paper or a fieldwork exercise (15 pages min., 40%),
- two oral presentations (30%).

Readings
-Goldberg H. (ed.), The Life of Judaism,  Univ. of California
Press,  2001
-Heilman S., Cohen S., 1989, Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern
Orthodox Jews in America, U. of Chicago Press.
-Kahn, S., 2000,  Reproducing Jews, Duke Univ. Press.
-Keysar A., Kosmin B., Scheckner J., 2000, The Next Generation:
Jewish Children and Adolescents, State Univ. of New York Press.
-Myerhoff, B., 1978, Number Our Days, New York: Simon & Schuster.