Please note that room locations and courses are subject to change. Please see the Class Schedules for updates.
JDS 203SEM Money and Ethics: From the Bible to the Age of Billionaires – Alexandra Zirkle
Communication Literacy II
From paying rent to applying for jobs, we are all occupied with the earning and spending of money—but is there an ethics to our economics? Does accumulating wealth require moral compromises? What are our responsibilities toward impoverished members of our communities? And who decides what counts as work? This course explores these questions through the sources of Jewish thought, including biblical passages and philosophical texts, films and sermons, historical documents and literature. This highly interactive course has been designed so that through our critical exploration of the relationships between religion and economics, students also master the fundamentals of academic writing and oral communication.
RSP 213LEC World Religions – Alexandra Zirkle
Communities, Populations and Spaces (List 3)
Cultures, Arts and Imagination (List 3)
Human Nature (List 3)
Class # 19973
In what ways are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam religions—or something else? In this course, we will examine Judaism from Ethiopia to Iraq, Christianity from Nagasaki to Palestine, and Islam from Tehran to Los Angeles. Students will become familiar with the narratives, practices, and beliefs unique to these three religions. We will also explore the status and contributions of women within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and compare Jewish, Christian, and Muslim accounts of the end of times (eschatology). Students will develop a deeper understanding of these movements by delving into a wide range of sources including sacred texts, literature, travel journals, and films.
JDS 235LEC / HIS 235LEC American Jewish Experience: Art, Literature, & Social Justice
Class # 20651 / 22648
During the 19th and 20th Centuries, Jews fled persecution to become an integral part of American culture and society. This experience played a key role in their participation in art, music literature, and social justice movements. This course explores Jewish involvement in countercultural art, music, literature, and comedy in the context of the workers,’ civil rights, and feminist movements.
JDS 237LEC / HIS 237LEC History of Israel & Zionism – Daniel Kotzin
Class # 19121 / 19932
This course will examine the development of the Zionist idea from its ancient and rabbinic origins to its modern political implementation. A particular area of focus will be on the modern Zionist movement, the variety of perspectives on Zionism within the movement, their conflicting visions, and the various ways in which Zionists sought to approach the Arab population. The history of Israeli politics, culture, and society since 1948 will also be a central element of the course.
JDS 267LEC Ancient Western Wisdom – Richard Cohen
Class # 23993
Conflict, Violence & Resolution (List 2)
Cultures, Art & Imagination (List 2)
Equality, Power & Justice (List 2)
Human Nature (List 2)
The ancient Western world was no less than a fateful meeting of Greek science, art and philosophy, Biblical ethics and community, and Roman engineering and empire, strands of material and spiritual life which continue to influence us and the whole world to this day. We will put selected ancient Greek, biblical and Roman ideas and stories in juxtaposition to reawaken the sources of our thinking about myth, religion and truth; success, fashion and beauty; and morality and justice.
JDS 284LEC / LAW 284LEC Justice in Bibles, Law & Philosophy – Alexander Green
Communities, Populations and Spaces (List 2)
Conflict, Violence and Resolution (List 2)
Cultures, Arts and Imagination (List 2)
Economy, Business and Society (List 2)
Equality, Power and Justice (List 2)
Human Nature (List 2)
Class # 23128 / 24019
"A law that is not just is not law" said recently a protester against racial discrimination. This argument exemplifies a problem we will address in this course through reading, discussing, theatrically staging, and critically applying the work of the best writers and thinkers, both ancient and contemporary, who addressed the problem of justice in relationship to equality, law, and freedom. In that way, we will conduct a comparative study of the relationship between justice,law, and society in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Thought.
JDS 366LEC / PHI 366LEC Medieval Philosophy – Alexander Green
Class # 24311 / 24090
This course will look at how Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophers in the Middle Ages reconciled classical Greek philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus) and its conceptions of “nature” with the active God of the Bible, the New Testament and the Quran. Topics to be discussed include: describing and conceiving God; creation vs. eternity of the universe; ethics and happiness; psychology and freedom; divine providence and evil; politics, prophecy and law; and philosophy of history.
JDS 374LEC / ENG 374LEC The Bible as Literature – Kenneth Dauber
Class # 23465 / 21806
This course offers extensive reading in the Bible, one of the most influential and perennially-popular books in the world, and a fundamental pillar in the construction of Western civilization. Part history, part literature, part philosophy, part law-book, it raises still relevant questions concerning ethics, community, knowledge, the place of man in the world, and the very idea of a responsible self. We will read selections from the Bible including Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, several of the prophets, Job, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, some Psalms, and the Gospels of Matthew and John. Students will also consider modern biblical scholarship and explore the more important uses of religious and biblical ideas in various periods of English and American literature.
JDS 381LEC / PHI 380 LEC 19th Century Philosophy – Richard Cohen
Class # 23463 / 24333
A radical revolution has swept the earth over the past two centuries: industrial, political, intellectual and spiritual. In the nineteenth century a veritable new world has arisen to challenge and replace the old: the rise of democracy, stirrings of religious tolerance, cosmopolitan culture, and the prospect of general material prosperity. Seeking to grasp the sources and significance of such a radical transformation, we will explore the old and the new in selected writings of such thinkers as Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Feuerbach, Schopenhauer, Mill, T.H. Green, Marx, Dostoyevsky, Darwin, Bergson, Nietzsche and Freud, among others. This course is the same as PHI 380.
JDS 496 Internship
The Jewish Studies Internship Program provides a mechanism for highly motivated students of all levels to earn 3 academic credits by combining internship experience with educational knowledge of the Jewish tradition. The following community organizations are looking for UB students to work as interns in Spring 2020:
Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council
Hillel of Buffalo
Jewish Community Center
Jewish Journal of Western New York
Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western NY
See the additional brochure for more information on the internships. To apply for one or more of these internships, send your CV and a letter of application explaining your interest and qualifications for the internship to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at email@example.com
JDS 497TUT Special Honors Thesis
The Honors Program in Jewish Studies offers students the opportunity to develop a substantial thesis based on primary source research. Students enjoy the reward of finishing a prolonged, independent project mentored by a faculty member. It can be on any subject area within the academic study of Judaism, as long as one of the faculty members agrees to supervise the student’s project. Upon admission to the program, junior or senior honors students are responsible for arranging with a faculty mentor to guide their thesis research and writing, normally completed in the senior year. Honors students may, at the discretion of their mentors and upon approval of the directors of undergraduate and graduate studies, participate in a relevant graduate seminar or seminars.
JDS 497 TUT Special Honors Thesis Richard Cohen Class # 22732
JDS 497 TUT Special Honors Thesis Sergey Dolgopolski Class # 22727
JDS 497 TUT Special Honors Thesis Alexander Green Class # 25007
JDS 497 TUT Special Honors Thesis Noam Pines Class # 22734
JDS 497 TUT Special Honors Thesis Alexandra Zirkle Class # 22733
JDS 499TUT Independent Study
Looking for a topic that is not being offered? Contact one of the faculty members to look into developing your own Independent Study under their supervision.
*Undergraduates can take graduate level courses with special permission from the instructor. Please contact the instructor for more information
JDS 690SEM / COL 718SEM Jewish Identity
Class # 24258 / 24287
Walter Benjamin and the Origin of the German Trauerspiel: The course will explore the various aspects of Benjamin’s thought as they emerge from his celebrated Trauerspiel essay: constellation, melancholy and allegory, natural history, creature and sovereign, and more. We will conduct close readings of Benjamin’s text in conjunction with other thinkers such as Freud, Agamben, Kristeva, Gadamer, Schmitt, Scholem, and Taubes.
HEB 102LEC Elementary Modern Hebrew 2 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia
Class # 12986 MoWeFr 9:00 - 10:25 Clemens 107
Hebrew 102 is the second part of the Elementary Hebrew course at UB. This course aims to further present students with the basis of Modern Israeli Hebrew and to assist them in developing the fundamental linguistic skills of Hebrew aural and reading comprehension, conversation and writing in a communicative approach. To supplement the course packet, enrichment activities, ranging from traditional handouts to the use of new digital technology are incorporated in the course.
HEB 202LEC Intermediate Hebrew 2 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia
Class # 12985 MoWe 11:00 - 12:20 Clemens 708
Hebrew 202 is the second part in the continuation of Intermediate Hebrew at UB. This course aims to offer students further basis of Modern Israeli Hebrew and to facilitate their communicative and linguistic skills in Hebrew aural comprehension, conversation, reading and writing. To supplement the course packet, enrichment activities, ranging from traditional handouts to the use of new digital technology are incorporated in the course.
HEB 499TUT Independent Study - Lilia Dolgopolskaia
Class # 17904
Have you already passed Intermediate Hebrew? Do you want to take your Hebrew language skills to a more advanced level? Contact Lilia to discuss further possibilities.