Anthropology | MODERN JEWISH SOCIETY AND CULTURE
E371 | 0477 | Bahloul


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
- Cohen S., Horenczyk G., (eds.), 1999, National Variations in Jewish
Identity, S.U.N.Y.Press
- Heilman S., Cohen S., 1989, Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern
Orthodox Jews in America,
Chicago Press.
- Myerhoff, B., 1978, Number Our Days, New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Zenner, W., (ed.), 1988, Persistence and Flexibility: Anthropological
Perspectives on the                 American Jewish Experience, Albany:
State Univ. of New York Press.