History | Jewish Cultures-Israel and America
B400 | 2763 | Troen

Above section meets first 8 weeks only
A portion of the above section reserved for Jewish Studies majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

The seminar examines key issues in the shaping of the identities of
European Jews who emigrated to the United States and to Eretz
Israel.  The course posits the continuity of common bonds amidst
growing divergence.  It places Jewish emigration within the context
of a worldwide movement of peoples with particular attention to the
difference that distinctive social and political ecologies make in
shaping culture.

The course begins with an examination of ideas European Jews
formulated by the end of the 19th century in Europe on the eve of the
great migrations to the United States and the beginnings of Zionist
settlement.  Attention will be given to the significance of the
political and social ecology of American culture as opposed to the
societies encountered by immigrants to Ottoman Palestine, the British
Mandate and a sovereign and independent Jewish state.  We shall
discuss such topics as how Judaism and Jewish secularism adapted to
the new circumstances, the significance of language choices, how
emigrants and their descendants reconstructed the European experience
from the shetl through the Holocaust and the Eichmann trial, the
meaning of Jewish “pioneers” and how Jewish history has been imagined
in both settings, and the political cultures the emigrants
developed.  Finally, attention will be given to how Israeli and
American Jews have viewed one another.
EVALUATION: Two short papers on particular topics and a research
paper on a topic approved by the instructor.  One of the short papers
may be used as an exploratory exercise for the larger paper.
REQUIRED READINGS:    Deborah Dash-Moore and S. Ilan Troen, Divergent
Jewish Centers; America and Israel (Yale University Press,
forthcoming in October 2001) and a course pack of selected articles
and readings.  (I may add another book.)