Qualified upperclassmen may receive permission to take courses in Jewish history at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings.


1001; 1002 Survey of Jewish History 3 credits
Political, social, economic, and cultural currents in the history of the Jews from the Second Commonwealth through modern times. First semester: Second Commonwealth, late Roman period, and Jewry in the orbit of Islam; second semester: the Jews in medieval Christendom; the development of modern Jewish history.

1101 Ancient Jewish History 3 credits
History of the Jews to the end of the First Commonwealth, 586 BCE.

1105; 1106 History of the Ancient Near East 3 credits
First semester: third millennium BCE to 1300 BCE; second semester: 1300 BCE to 586 BCE.

1201; 1202 Classical Jewish History 3 credits
History of the Jews from the Second Commonwealth through the Talmudic period (586 BCE to 500 CE).

1231 The Apocrypha 3 credits
Survey of the Apocrypha, with intensive analysis of one or more of those books; historical and literary aspects.

1233 Early Jewish Movements 3 credits
Systematic survey of the Sadducees, Essenes, Dead Sea Sect, Sicarii, Zealots, and other movements during the period of the Second Commonwealth; their relationship to biblical, Apocryphal, and rabbinic Judaism as well as other movements, notably Christianity.

1235 The Dead Sea Scrolls 3 credits
Archaeological, historical, and literary aspects of the scrolls; their place in the development of the Hebrew language and Jewish thought.

1301; 1302 Medieval Jewish History 3 credits
The Jewish people from the Gaonic period (500 CE) to the Expulsion from Spain (1500).

1321 Jews in Medieval Christendom 3 credits
Jewish settlement in Italy and Franco-Germany; Rashi and the Tosafists; law and society; the Crusades and the origins of medieval anti-Semitism; Christian Spain— disputations, conversions, and Expulsion; the Jews in the Renaissance.

1323 Origins of European Jewry 3 credits
Origins of Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewry.

1325 Responsa Literature as a Source of Jewish History 3 credits
Social and economic life of the Jews in Germany, from the 11th to the 14th centuries, as reflected in Responsa.

1327; 1328 The Tosafists 3 credits
The literary and juridical creativity of Ashkenazic scholarship in the 12th and 13th centuries.

1329 History of Halakhah 3 credits
Historical development of post Talmudic legal decision making.

1330 History of Minhagim 3 credits.
Historical development of post-Talmudic customs and practices.

1332 History of Medieval Biblical Exegesis 3 credits
Leading trends and figures in Biblical interpretations during the 12th and 13th centuries.

1335 The Jews of Medieval Spain 3 credits
The Jews in Christian and Moslem Spain; the Golden Age; the Expulsion.

1344 Jewish Christian Polemics 3 credits
The debates between Christians and Jews in the Middle Ages based on differences in philosophy and biblical exegesis; their role in shaping and reflecting social and legal relationships.

1371; 1372 Jews in the Medieval Moslem World 3 credits
Judaism and Islam; the protected minority; Gaonate and Exilarchate; Karaism and false Messianism; Saadiah Gaon and medieval Jewish philosophy; the flowering of Jewish culture in Moslem Spain; the migration to Provence.

1401; 1402 Modern Jewish History I; II 3 credits
Rise and flowering of the Eastern European Jewish communities; Hasidism; the Enlightenment; the Emancipation and development of Western European Jewry; American Jewry; new religious currents; modern anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; Zionism and the founding of the State of Israel. First semester: 1600–1900; second semester: 1900–1948.

1403 Destruction of Polish Jewry 3 credits
Seminar analyzing the destruction of Polish Jewry during World War II.

1415; 1416 History of Zionism 3 credits
Rise and development of modern Jewish nationalism against the backdrop of contemporary Western civilization and the scope of Jewish history; writings of major Zionist ideologues; role of Zionism within the major Diaspora communities; impact of the rise of the Jewish state movement on the world political and diplomatic scene.

1451 The Jews in Eastern Europe I 3 credits
History of the Jewish people in Eastern Europe from the Early Settlement to the Third Partition of Poland (1795).

1452 The Jews in Eastern Europe II 3 credits
History of the Jewish people in Eastern Europe since 1795.

1471; 1472 Jews in the Modern Arab World 3 credits
Communal, economic, and cultural history of the Jews in Moslem lands in modern times. Prerequisite: JHIS 1002.

1485 The Holocaust 3 credits (same as HIST 2141.)
Fate of European Jewry between 1933 and 1945. Topics include the rise of the Jewish question in 19th ¬century Europe; World War I and its consequences; causes of the Weimar Republic’s collapse; Nazi seizure of power; Nazi Jewish policies; ghettoization in Nazi Europe; conception and implementation of the Nazi Final Solution; life in the ghettos; the Judenrat; and Jewish resistance. Under the Eli and Diana Zborowski Professorial Chair in Interdisciplinary Holocaust Studies.

1486 Holocaust and Rescue 3 credits
The nature of Nazi anti-Semitism; the evolution of the Holocaust to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews; Jewish responses and the various rescue attempts, including non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews.

1501; 1505 History of Palestine 3 credits (same as HIST 2303)
History of modern Jewish settlement in Palestine under the Ottoman rule and the British Mandate, until the establishment of the state in 1948. Topics include: encounters and relations of the yishuv with Palestinian Arabs and the ruling powers; the social, economic and ideological factors that shaped the institutions and the national aspirations of the yishuv and of the Palestinian community.

1511; 1512 Modern Israel 3 credits (same as HIST 2304)
Survey of Israeli society, culture and politics from 1948 to the present. Topics: Israel and the Palestinian national movement; global political factors that shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the social, cultural, and political  divisions of Israeli society, and the challenges facing Israel in the twenty-first century. 

1575; 1576; American Jewish History 3 credits
The Jewish community in the United States: its development from earliest times; immigration and settlement; social, economic, and communal development; contribution to American civilization; the modern and contemporary scene. American Jews and the Holocaust, State of Israel, civil rights movement, Russian Jewry, inner-city tensions.

1577 Jewish Religion in America 2-3 credits

1803 Historiography 3 credits
Seminar on the great Jewish historians; their philosophy, method, and works from ancient times to the present.

1811 Messianic Movements in Judaism 3 credits
History of various Messianic movements among the Jewish people from the 1st to the 19th centuries.

1829; 1830; 1831; 1832; 1833;1834 Jewish Intellectual History 3 credits
Sequence of courses focusing on major themes in the intellectual history of the Jews from the Second Commonwealth to the present; readings almost exclusively from primary sources. JHIS 1829; 1830 covers the classical period; 1831; 1832, medieval period; 1833, early modern period; 1834, modern period.

4901, 4902 Independent Study
See Academic Information and Policies section.

4930-4939 Topics 2-3 credits
Selected topics in Jewish history.