History | Jews of Eastern Europe
D304 | 24718 | Veidlinger

Above section carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

For centuries, the largest and most influential center of Jewish
civilization was housed in the shtetls of Eastern Europe.  Not only
did the Jewish community of Eastern Europe play a formative role in
the history of the region as a whole, but its influence on Jewish
culture and identity can still be felt today.  Through an examination
of the history, culture and politics of the Jews in the region, we
will see how the "Jews' paradise" of the sixteenth century gradually
became the "prison of nations" in the nineteenth century and was
tragically decimated in the twentieth century.  Some of the topics to
be covered include Jewish communal organization, messianic movements,
the development and spread of Hasidism, daily life in the shtetl,
Yiddish secular culture, Jewish responses to radical politics, and
the Holocaust.

Readings:  Readings range from broad historical interpretations to
primary texts, including memoirs, folklore, and works of literature.

Prerequisites:  There are no prerequisites; all readings are in

Fulfills:  Jewish Studies History & Society course; SHHS requirement

Course requirements:  Students will be graded on the basis of
frequent writing assignments and class participation.