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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)
Sarah Ifft Decker
JSTU-J 252 (5881) / HIST-H 252 (30946)
MW 2:30-3:45 (Teter F102)
GenEd S&H, GenEd WC, CASE S&H, CASE GCC2; credit given for only one of J252 or HIST-H 252

Required course for Jewish Studies majors and certificate students.

How have Jews lived with their non-Jewish neighbors? Where have Jews lived and why have they moved during the early modern and modern eras? How have Jews maintained a distinct identity, while also participating in the culture around them? This course explores how the lives of Jewish individuals and communities have transformed from the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 to the present day. Key historical events include the Spanish Inquisition; Jewish life in early modern Europe and the Ottoman Empire; Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism; the development of Jewish Enlightenment, Hasidism, and Jewish religious reform; Jewish patterns of migration; the creation of American Jewish communities; the Holocaust; and 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 material objects. Although this course can serve as a continuation of JSTU-J251/HIST-H 251, J251/H251 is not a prerequisite for this introductory course.