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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

INTRODUCTION TO JEWISH HISTORY: FROM SPANISH EXPULSION TO THE PRESENT (3 cr)          
Charles Bernsen
JSTU-J 252 (6243) / HIST-H 252 (2819)
TR 1-2:15 (GA 1122)
GenEd S&H, GenEd WC, CASE S&H, CASE GCC; credit given for only one of J252 or HIST-H 252; required course for all JS major and certificate students

The course will examine the history of Jews in the modern era, a period that has seen the center of the Jewish world shift dramatically – from Spain in the 15th century to Poland-Lithuania in the 18th century to America and Israel in the 20th century.  We will explore the forces – both internal and external – behind these massive demographic and cultural changes. Topics include the Spanish Inquisition, Jewish life in the Islamic world and in Europe, Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, the Jewish Enlightenment, Hasidism, the emergence of Jewish denominations, patterns of Jewish migration, the Holocaust, Zionism, and the founding of the State of Israel. Students will learn how to approach texts from a historical perspective, how to think analytically about the past, how to formulate historically relevant questions, and how to analyze a variety of primary source materials, including literature, film, images, and objects. Although this course can serve as a continuation of JSTU-J251/HIST-H 251, J251/H251 is not a prerequisite.