Current Course Offerings

Click here to see the course timetables.

Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2017-18 (PDF)
Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2016-17 (PDF)
Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2015-16 (PDF)

Below are the current course offerings in 2017/2018.

HEBREW

AP/HEB 1000 6.0 Elementary Modern Hebrew, Level I
This course is designed only for students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew. It introduces students to the Hebrew alphabet, basic vocabulary, grammar and syntax of Modern Hebrew. The course is structured to build students' ability to comprehend and speak Modern Hebrew. Classes are communicative and activities involve listening, speaking, reading and writing.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Ahouva Shulman

AP/HEB 1020 6.0 Elementary Biblical Hebrew I & II
This course introduces students to the basic vocabulary, grammar and syntax of "Biblical" Hebrew as represented in the Bible and in ancient Hebrew inscriptions. Students are introduced to the Hebrew writing system, basic vocabulary, grammar and syntax. The focus of the grammar is on the Hebrew noun and verb, their various forms and uses. In this introductory course an attempt will be made to introduce students to the reading of biblical Hebrew through small selected units of text. As students' skills improve, the ability to read "original" documents increases and class by class, students will read longer and more sophisticated examples of ancient Hebrew prose.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Ahouva Shulman

AP HEB 3630 6.0 Israeli Cinema
This course introduces students to Israeli cinema as it evolved from the 1930s to the present. By studying feature films and documentaries, this course looks at film as a vehicle through which to explore questions of history, identity, conflict and reconciliation, war and peace, gender, ethnicity, the holocaust, and the tensions between individual and collective values.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Sara Horowitz

AP HEB 3710 3.0 Modern Jewish Women's Literature
What is "Jewish" and "modern" about modern Jewish women's literature, and how does it reflect the experiences and perceptions of women? Examining a variety of literary genres, the course compares Israeli women's literature in translation with contemporary writing by other Jewish women. 

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

AP/HEB 4000 6.0 Advanced Modern Hebrew, Level II
An intensive course designed to acquaint students with advanced aspects of Hebrew grammar, to improve their reading skills and their ability to express themselves fluently in conversation and in written form. Not open to native speakers who have completed Grade 9 in Israel.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Ahouva Shulman

HUMANITIES

AP/HUMA 1870 6.0A The Bible and the Arts
This course looks at selected passages from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and their interpretative reflection in the western artistic tradition, including pictorial/representational art, music, literature, and cinema. 

COURSE DIRECTOR: Cristina Conti

AP/HUMA 1880 6.0A Jewish Experience: Symbiosis & Rejection (Replaces AP/HUMA 2850 9.0A)
Note: Successful completion of this course fulfills General Education requirements in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. This does not apply, however, to students majoring in Jewish Studies.

That Jews are distinct from non-Jews is a basic axiom of Jewish thought and literature and a seemingly obvious lesson of Jewish history. But is the basis of this distinction biological, religious, psychological, sociological, or some combination of the above? And in what ways have Jewish beliefs, teachings, and practices interacted with ideas, rituals or habits of daily life associated with diverse non-Jewish environments? This course seeks answers to these and related questions by exploring the relationship of Jews and their neighbours from biblical through contemporary times; that is, it investigates the ongoing interactions and mutual transformation of Jewish teachings and the Jewish people in their diversity with the peoples and cultures among whom Jews have lived. In so doing, the course exemplifies general processes of religious, cultural, and social interchange and the types of creative influences or mutual frictions and rivalries (sometimes culminating in violence) that such processes can yield. In short, we study the Jewish experience to gain insight into the human experience. (Note that this course is not about Judaism or Jewish history per se; that is, we do not speak systematically about Jewish thought, rituals, and so forth.)
As a first-year general education course, this course seeks to develop skills in the areas of critical thinking, reading and writing. Beyond familiarity with the outline of events and ideas, the course aims to cultivate a variety of such skills—especially the drawing of conclusions from diverse historical and literary sources. It achieves this end through its emphasis on analysis of original historical, intellectual and literary documents (and, occasionally, images). In the course of writing essays, students apply techniques of interpretation learned in the course while enhancing their ability to present ideas clearly, coherently and persuasively in accordance with the rules of grammar and good English usage. If necessary, we will, at points in the course, work formally on improving our ability to write correctly (i.e., in accordance with rules of grammar, punctuation, and so forth) and well!

COURSE DIRECTOR: Keith Weiser

AP/HUMA 3831 3.0M W Torah and Tradition: Jewish Religious Expressions from Antiquity to the Present (ONLINE)
This course offers an exploration of Jewish beliefs, institutions, and bodies of literature, emphasizing continuities and changes in religious expression within and across different places, circumstances, and times. Themes covered include God, the Jewish people, Torah and its interpretation, the land of Israel; the commandments (mitzvot) and their legal (halakhic) expressions; the Sabbath; daily and calendrical cycles of holiness; rites of passage, and messianic teachings. Particular attention will be paid to the varieties of Jewish religious denominations in modern times.

The course's learning objectives are multifold. Substantively, the course aims to impart to students a sense of the major periods in the life of Jewish religious expression and illustrate how an essential matrix of elements (God, Torah, Israel) has structured, in a recognizably continuous way, the lives of Jews while also generating new and at times highly distinct visions of God, Jewish doctrine, life cycle events, and the like. Methodologically, it emphasizes study of primary sources in translation (apart from a very few primary sources originally composed in English). In so doing, the course seeks to hone student awareness of the peculiarities of genre, the frequent indeterminacy of evidence, and difficulties involved in formulating careful historical assessments.

In paying attention to the varieties of Judaism that have come to historical expression, the course raises larger questions about the religious dimension in human affairs and about what religion is and does.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Martin Lockshin

AP/HUMA 3850 6.0A The Final Solution: Perspectives on the Holocaust
The attempt of the Nazis to annihilate world Jewry was in many ways unprecedented in human annals. It was a turning-point in history, the way for which was prepared by revolutionary political, social, technological, and philosophical developments. In other ways, however, it was a not unpredictable outgrowth of the past. Although analysis may be difficult and painful, especially for survivors, the Holocaust must be analyzed and understood if those who live on are to learn from it. Such analysis involves the examination of different aspects of life, using the tools of the historian, the theologian, the literary critic, and, to a lesser extent, the social scientist.

The course is divided into several sections, each of which approaches a different aspect of the Holocaust: the historical and philosophical background, the psychological and historical reality, the religious questions that arise in its aftermath.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Michael Brown

AP/HUMA 3858 3.0 Biblical Archaeology
This course surveys the material culture of the land known variously as Canaan, Israel, Judah, Judea, Palestine, and the Holy Land, from the Neolithic or "New Stone" Age (as of ca. 8500 BCE) until the Persian Period (539-330 BCE). 

COURSE DIRECTOR: Carl Ehrlich

AP/HUMA 4803 6.0A/AP/HIST 4225 6.0A Church, Mosque and Synagogue : Jews, Muslims and Christians in Medieval Spain
The Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula in 711 inaugurated a complex trireligious society that was to endure nearly eight hundred years (and more than eight centuries on the Muslim lunar calendar). This development has given rise to Spain's designation as a "land of three religions" and Spain's reputation as premodern western Europe's foremost "pluralist" society. It has also made Spain, as compared with other European lands, a hard country for non-Spaniards to understand.

This course seeks to explore diverse facets of Jewish-Muslim-Christian convivencia ("dwelling together"; coexistence), a topic that continues to be the object of attention for a range of scholars and many beyond the academy who have found it pertinent to an understanding of our own age. The course focusses on religious, intellectual, and cultural contacts and their sociopsychological dynamics, placing these in various historical and at times (very partial) geographic, linguistic, political, economic, and technological contexts. The course centers on written sources but does not wholly neglect iconography, music, and architecture. It stresses diverse perspectives within and across religious boundaries and at times forces us to ponder difficulties faced by scholars seeking to explain religious or religiously-linked phenomena (e.g., what actual human experience lies behind the metaphor of "religious conversion"?).

Methodologically, our enterprise emphasizes study of primary sources as the only way to arrive at a trustworthy model of convivencia. In the course of such study, attention is paid to peculiarities of genre, the frequent indeterminacy of evidence, and difficulties involved in formulating historical assessments.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

AP/HUMA 4809 6.0 A The Hebrew Bible and the Literature of the Ancient Near East
This course examines various biblical literary genres and themes within the context of literature from the ancient Near East.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Carl Ehrlich

AP/HUMA 4821 3.0 A Culture, Society and Values in Israel
This course decodes aspects of culture, society and values in Israel through contemporary Israeli literature—mainly short stories and poems—seasoned lightly with visual art, artifact, film, television and cuisine. Texts will be read and discussed in English.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Yael Braudo-Bahat

AP/HUMA 4823 3.0 Contemporary Israeli Society
This course explores how Israel offers a theoretical and practical model for explorations of questions surrounding national identity, religion and the state, war and society, management of linguistic and religious diversity, and environmental regulation. It focuses on the years since the 1967 War, a crucial dividing line in Israeli history.   

COURSE DIRECTOR: Yael Braudo-Bahat

HISTORY

AP/HIST 4581 6.0 Worry and Wonder: Jewish Politics, Society and Religion in Canada

This public history seminar explores the origins, development and paradoxes of the Canadian Jewish community from its inception in the 18th century to the present. It pays particular attention to the complexities of immigration, relationships between Jews and non-Jews, inspiration and anxiety about religious change, the Holocaust, Zionism & the State of Israel in public consciousness, and the puzzles and tensions of balancing tradition and modernity. Students will learn to conduct original archival research on topics of their own choosing, and their final papers, podcasts, videos or exhibitions will be published on the Ontario Jewish Archives website.
No prior knowledge of Jewish history or Canadian history required.

COURSE DIRECTOR: David Koffman

MUSIC

FA/MUSI 1045 3.0 Klezmer Ensemble
Practical performance instruction in the Klezmer musical tradition. Some performance ability and knowledge of fiddle, bass, guitar, piano, clarinet, sax, accordion or trumpet is required. (Other instruments are welcomed.)

PREREQUISITE: None for 1045, appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor required for upper level registration. Open to majors and non-majors.
COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 1099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music
Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Sherry Johnson

FA/MUSI 2045 3.0 Klezmer Ensemble
Practical performance instruction in the Klezmer musical tradition. Some performance ability and knowledge of fiddle, bass, guitar, piano, clarinet, sax, accordion or trumpet is required. (Other instruments are welcomed.)

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor required for upper level registration. Open to majors and non-majors.
COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 2099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music

Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor.
COURSE DIRECTOR: Sherry Johnson

FA/MUSI 3045 3.0 Klezmer Ensemble

Practical performance instruction in the Klezmer musical tradition. Some performance ability and knowledge of fiddle, bass, guitar, piano, clarinet, sax, accordion, or trumpet is required. (Other instruments are welcomed.)

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor required for upper level registration. Open to majors and non-majors.
COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 3099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music
Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor.
COURSE DIRECTOR: Sherry Johnson

FA/MUSI 4045 3.0 Klezmer Ensemble

Practical performance instruction in the Klezmer musical tradition. Some performance ability and knowledge of fiddle, bass, guitar, piano, clarinet, sax, accordion, or trumpet is required. (Other instruments are welcomed.)

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor required for upper level registration. Open to majors and non-majors.
COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 4099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music

Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor.
COURSE DIRECTOR: Sherry Johnson

POLITICAL SCIENCE

AP/POLS 3260 6.0 War and Peace in the Middle East
This course examines the causes of conflicts in the Middle East. The history of foreign powers' involvement in the region, religious fundamentalism, authoritarianism, economic development and politics of oil and water provide the background to the conflicts. The second term focuses specifically on Arab-Israeli wars, the peace process, the conflicts in the Persian Gulf including the Iranian revolution and the Gulf Wars.
Themes: Global Politics Law, Social Justice, & Ethics Violence & Security

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

AP/POLS 4561 3.0 Topics in Middle East Politics
This course prepares students to work in Middle Eastern Studies with an emphasis on political debates. We examine the history of state building, regional issues, nationalism, ideological trends, political movements and political parties in the modern Middle East.

COURSE DIRECTOR: David B Dewitt

SOCIAL SCIENCE

AP/SOSC 3917 6.0 Contemporary Jewish Life in North America
This course develops an understanding of contemporary North American Jewry using findings of social science. Social, cultural, political, and religious issues of concern to Jewish communities are analyzed, such as assimilation, intermarriage, Jewish identity, etc. The course focuses on the Canadian Jewish experience and where relevant compares this to the United States. It also offers comparisons between Canadian Jews and other Canadian ethnic groups. The course begins with a historical overview of the major immigration patterns of Jews to North America. Canadian Census data is used to develop a demographic profile of contemporary Canadian Jewry. The course emphasizes the pluralistic nature and diversity of Canadian Jewish communities. Particular attention is paid to less studied Canadian Jewish groups, such as ultra-Orthodox / Hasidic Jews, Israeli Jews, Jewish women, and gay and lesbian Jews.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

AP/SOSC 3918 6.0  Sephardi Jews of Muslim Lands
The meeting between Jews and Arabs in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict is famous. Less familiar is the encounter between Muslims and Jews in Muslim lands. This course explores Jewish life under Islam from the rise of Islam until modern times, with a special focus on Sephardi Jews.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

 

 

Important: Course Substitution and Waivers