JHIS 1452 - M History of Polish Jewry
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Course Overview: In this course, we will examine the history of East European Jewry from its communal origins in the thirteenth century through 1945. Special emphasis will be placed upon religious, intellectual, cultural, political, and social movements that impacted the Jewish modern experience, even beyond Eastern Europe itself. This course will thus examine large themes of East European Jewry and their discussions by historians. Another aim of the course is to familiarize the students with primary sources from the East European Jewish experience. ___ Topics covered in the class will include: the Golden Age of Polish Jewry, the Chmielnicki Massacres, the rise of Hasidism and Lithuanian Mitnagdism; the Russian Haskalah and its relationship to Tsarist policies toward the Jews; the Mussar Movement and the rise of the Lithuanian yeshivot; the rise of Yiddish and Hebrew literature; the lives of Jewish women and families; the crisis of 1881-1882 and the birth of modern Jewish politics in the forms of Zionism, Bundism, and Diaspora Nationalism; Russian-Jewish and Polish-Jewish relations, the fate of East European Jewry during World War One, and a comparison of interwar Polish and Soviet Jewries. The course will end with a discussion of the destruction of East European Jewry in the Holocaust. ___ Course Learning Outcomes: By the completion of the course, students will be able to: 1. Have knowledge of the basic chronology of events in the East European Jewish experience and, more generally, of modern Jewish history. 2. Understand the similarities and differences between the various religious movements that arose in Eastern Europe and discuss their historical contexts. 3. Understand how the policies of the empires under which East European Jews lived impacted upon the growth of various modern Jewish ideologies. 4. Discuss how the complex interplay between Jewish tradition, governmental policies, and Jewish ideologies impacted the daily lives of Jews.
Karlip, Joshua. (2021, Spring), Syllabus, JHIS 1452 - M History of Polish Jewry, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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