JHIS 4935H - C Topics :History of the Jews of NYC
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Course Objectives: American Jewish historians must not only tell comprehensively the story of that immigrant-ethnic and minority group. But to do their job well, they must contextualize that experience within the contours of both American history and modern Jewish history. This course’s initial objective is to examine the history of the Jews of New York from their first meager numbers in the 17th century to, and through, its emergence by the late 19th century as the largest Jewish community in the world. (Recently, it became the largest Diaspora community in the world as there are more Jews in Tel Aviv than in the five boroughs of Gotham.) The collateral objectives are to examine how New York’s Jewish history fits into the larger saga of the metropolis and compares with experiences of Jews elsewhere in America and the world during these three and a half centuries. In each stop along the way, while learning much about the metropolitan Jewish experience, we will examine if and why New York Jewish history was different from that of other Jewish communities while examining fully how events that took place elsewhere impacted upon this “local” Jewish experience. We will also frequently examine how N.Y. Jews lived with, among, and against, other ethnic and racial groups in this diversified city. All told, students will emerge from this course with not only a solid understanding of this immensely important urban Jewish experience but a background in both American and modern Jewish history. The assigned readings for this course will be a combination of primary and secondary sources. For some sessions, to set the scene, a significant amount of background reading will be assigned and often in class, we will ask some challenging historiographical questions about the literature. Other sessions will focus on a particular significant document. On occasion, we will do both—examine a document and review a secondary reading.
Gurock, Jeffrey S. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, JHIS 4935H - C Topics : History of the Jews of NYC, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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