Jewish Studies | Contemporary Israeli Culture
C240 | ALL | Katz, S.

JSTU-C 240 Contemporary Israeli Culture (3 cr.) S. Katz
(15 seats have been set aside for Jewish Studies students in #?:
email if you would like to reserve a space in
this course.)

TR 2:30-3:45 #27330

This course fulfills part of the culture option requirements of the
College of Arts and Sciences. It is a survey of contemporary Israel
for those who are contemplating going there, have been there or
anyone interested in understanding current events, Israel's cultural
variety, and the society and life of modern Israel.

Redressing the often stereotypical and simplistic presentation of
Israel and its complex society, this course will focus on a number
of seminal features that make it seem contradictory: old and new,
Middle-Eastern and Western, religious and secular, idealistic and

Israel is a land of paradoxes and made of a vibrantly diverse number
of cultures, values and lifestyles. Its position in history and the
geography of the Middle East has made Israel a central player in a
number of regional conflicts that should be of concern to people
everywhere. Yet Israel is much more than that. In this course we
will learn of the leading issues that comprise Israelís popular and
high culture, its ideologies and daily practices. Among these we will
examine the history of the land, its diverse ethnic and religious
groups, its democratic institutions and system of government, music,
film, art, and communal lifestyles.

By means of video, music, and a selection of readings, students will
be informed about a number of issues meant to be representative of
this ancient yet modern society. The central topics for the coming
session will include a survey of the recent elections, issues of
geography and borders, ethnic and religious diversity, its
governmental institutions and multi-party system, cities and rural
social systems stemming out of ideological beliefs. Central to these
will be the Israeli kibbutz, or communal society, and other
cooperative communities.

Final grades will depend on unit exams, attendance, participation
and a book summary.

Fulfills: Jewish Studies Language & Literature (old) or Literature &
the Arts (new), History &
Society; A&H; Culture Studies - List A