Spring 2024

Spring 2024 Undergraduate Courses

JDS 208 The Holocaust: History, Culture, and Memory
Noam Pines
Tuesday Thursday
Baldy 200G
Class #21845
How did the Holocaust happen? How was the Final Solution developed and executed? How have victims, perpetrators, and bystanders written and re-written the accounts of what happened? And how do we remember this today? This course places the Holocaust in the broad context of Western history, thought, and culture by focusing on a variety of sources that include survivor testimonies, novels, and political theory. We will study classic texts such as Elie Wiesel's Night, Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Art Spiegelman's Maus. We will also view selected films, among them Claude Lanzmann's Shoah, and Alain Resnais' Night and Fog. This course is the same as HIS 294 and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

JDS 216 The Origins of Ethics and Politics 
Sergey Dolgopolski
Tuesday Thursday 
Clemens 103
Class #22842
The meaning of goodness and justice and their relation to the formation and purpose of political community determine the central theoretical-practical questions animating Western philosophers, theologians and political agents from the ancient world to today. What purpose does politics serve?  What role do morality, virtue, justice and law play in the distribution and application of power?  How do we know what is good and evil, right and wrong?  Is there one standard that unites different value systems, and if not are all systems equally valid?  These basic questions will be examined in light of classic texts of political thinking, from the ancient Greek philosophers (Plato and Aristotle) and the Bible, to modernity (Hobbes, Spinoza, Mill) and contemporary thought (Nietzsche, Schmitt, Levinas), to help understand today’s global world of multi-cultural states.   

JDS284: Justice in Bibles, Law, and Philosophy
Sergey Dolgopolski
Tuesday Thursday 
​Baldy 200G
Class #17141
A comparative study of the relationship between justice, law, and society in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Thought. This course is the same as RSP 284 and LAW 284, and course repeat rules will apply.  Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

JDS303: Money & Ethics
Richard Cohen
Mode: Online
TR 11:10-12:25
​Class #23831
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

JDS313: World Religions
Samuel Catlin                                                                       
Monday Wednesday                         
Clemens 119                          
Class #20645                                 
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.

JDS329 Medieval Judaism
Alexander Green
Tuesday Thursday
Bell 337 
Class # 21873

Medieval Judaism is an exploration of Judaism as a minority religion living between the Crescent and Cross, the Islamic and Christian empires between the 9th to 16th centuries. We will explore the dual nature of the medieval period for Jews: part intellectual and cultural flourishing and part persecution and tragedy. Topics to be discussed include: the origins of anti-Semitism, the crusades, philosophy vs. mysticism, the Maimonidean controversy, Jewish-Christian dialogue and polemics, the inquisitions, marranos, responses to tragedy and the Renaissance. This course is the same as HIS 329 and RSP 329, and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

JDS389 American Jewish Experience
Samuel Catlin
Monday Wednesday
Cooke 248 
Class # 21873
This course surveys the history and diversity of American Jewish experience from 1492 to 2024 through engagements with the cultural productions of, and about, American Jews, including but not limited to fiction, poetry, drama, film, and comics. In our lectures and discussions, we will pay special attention to the ways in which Jewishness intersects with and complicates other axes of social identity and difference such as gender, sexuality, race, and class.

Spring 2024 Hebrew Courses

HEB 102 Elementary Modern Hebrew 2
Lilia Dolgopolskaia
Monday Wednesday Friday
Clemens 106
Class #12385
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.

Past Semesters