Jewish Studies

David Starr
Thursdays, April 22 - May 13|3:30-5 p.m. ET

Are Jews a religion or a people? Some Jews (and non-Jews) believed that Judaism was a modern religion like Protestantism; others thought Judaism was political and national. This course considers this argument as it played out against the momentous changes in political and social life in the past three hundred years.

Donna Rumenik
Tuesdays, May 4 - 25|10 a.m. - noon ET

Millions of men, women, and children were put into forced labor to benefit industry and agriculture in Hitler’s Germany and the occupied territories. From recruitment to roundups, this course will cover the brutal living and working conditions of those who were forced laborers.

Steve Klein
Wednesdays, May 12 - June 2 (please note date changes) |1:30-3 p.m. ET

Mainstream Jewry has encountered communities spanning Asia, Africa and the Americas claiming to belong to the Jewish people or to be descendants of lost Israelite tribes for centuries.

Anthony Wexler
Thursdays, May 13 - June 3|1:30-3 p.m. ET

Telling stories has been an integral part of Jewish life, from the tales that make up the Hebrew Bible to those about contemporary Jewish experiences. Jews have long used the short story to organize and understand the world and their place within it. In this short seminar, we’ll focus on stories written by Jewish-American authors since 1945.

Sarah Sager
Tuesdays, May 18 - June 8|1:30-3 p.m. ET

Join Sarah Sager as she leads a brief look at some of the cultural icons who have shaped American music, stage and film including Leonard Bernstein, Neil Simon, Steven Spielberg, and Steven Sondheim among others.

Bruce Ogron
Thursdays, June 3 - 24 |7-8:30 p.m. ET

The Merchant of Venice, Oliver Twist and Trilby are English literary classics, which have stood the test of time. Each work’s lasting relevance is due, in large part, to the influence of its leading Jewish character.

Larry Josefovitz
Wednesdays, June 9 - 30|1-3 p.m. ET

A survey of the outstanding classical singers who flourished from the dawn of the recording era to the birth of the LP. Prior to the era of the Three Tenors, which made big money from few artists, there was a proliferation of great singing in every voice category.

Gregg Drinkwater
Wednesdays, June 9-23|7-8:30 p.m. ET

Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, becoming the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States. He had not even served a full year in office when he was shot by a homophobic fellow supervisor.

Daniel Sherman
Thursdays, June 10 - July 1|1:30 - 3:00 p.m. ET

This course will explore Israel’s relations with the region’s Arab states and the Palestinians as set within an increasingly charged and dynamic geopolitical landscape.

Jennifer Caplan
Mondays, June 21 - July 19 |10 - 11:30 a.m. ET

The Marx Brothers, Nichols and May, Gilda Radner, Seinfeld, and more. In this class, we will have fun with these, and other, important figures in American Jewish humor. Each week we will look at performances from a different time period, starting in the 1930s and continuing into the 2020s.

Bill Plevan
Wednesdays, July 7 - 28 |1:30-3 p.m. ET

This accessible new biography explores key moments in the life of the twentieth-century philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965), one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of our time.

Gila Silverman
Wednesdays, August 4-18|1:30-3 p.m. ET

Born in the Land of Israel around the year 50 C.E., Rabbi Akiva was raised in poverty and began to learn the Torah only as an adult. In the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 C.E., he helped shape a new direction for Judaism.