First Year Program - Jewish Studies Skip Navigation

Jewish Studies (JWST)

Director: A. Nakhimovsky
PROGRAM SITE

The Jewish Studies Program at Colgate encompasses a wide range of studies in Jewish religion, history, politics, and arts. In recognition of the complex interaction between religion and culture in Jewish life, and the diversity of Jewish historical experience, Jewish studies at Colgate is necessarily interdisciplinary. The Jewish studies minor makes use of faculty and course offerings in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and university studies, and encourages students to explore their particular interests, be they religious, literary, or political.

Courses

View all with day/time information
HEBR 121, Elementary Hebrew I
Teach modern Hebrew as spoken in Israel and are designed for students who are interested in developing oral and written Hebrew skills. The course is helpful to those who are interested in deeper knowledge of Jewish culture and wish to improve their knowledge of Hebrew for religious studies. Designed for students with no previous Hebrew background and students who have learned to read phonetically without comprehension.

HEBR 201, Intermediate Hebrew I
Continuing course for students who have completed HEBR 122 and for students with equivalent or advanced knowledge of modern Hebrew. These courses aim at enhancing the students' reading, writing, comprehension, and speaking skills and involve extensive teaching of grammar. Instruction tools include audiovisual materials, popular texts, Israeli newspapers, and exercises in the language laboratory.

JWST 181, The Many Faces of Israel
Introduction to the rich tapestry of cultures and peoples who live in contemporary Israel. Looking at the experiences of immigrant communities-Jews from Poland, Morocco, India, Russia, Ethiopia, etc., this course will discuss ethnicity, acculturation, and mobility in Israel. A consideration of film, literature, and scholarly accounts from a range of disciplines will allow students to explore both those who are at the center and at the periphery of Israeli society.

JWST 251, Faith after the Holocaust
The death of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis in the Second World War represents a radical challenge to faith in Judaism, in Christianity, and in humanism. The course begins with a historical overview of the Holocaust and uses accounts of Holocaust survivors to articulate the challenge of the Holocaust to faith. It then reviews philosophical and theological responses to this challenge by Jewish and Christian authors. The weak as well as the heroic human figures in the Holocaust are studied. Those Jews who survived with their humanity intact and those non-Jews who helped them are the most important witnesses to the resiliency of the human spirit which we now have.

RELG 226, Reason, Religion, & God
Examines the similarities and differences between rational and religious understandings of God. By pursuing close readings of classic texts in the field of philosophy of religion, this course considers how both philosophical and religious ideas are often developed together. Students explore various arguments about the rationality of God as responses to wider intellectual, cultural, and historical contexts in which they are made and to the specific shape and needs of a particular religious tradition (e.g., Catholicism, Protestantism, or Judaism). Students also explore the "rationality" of religious forms such as scripture, symbol, ritual, and prayer. In different semesters, select themes such as revelation, theodicy (the justification of God in the face of human suffering), providence and free will, or the theism/atheism debate are investigated.

RELG 251, Faith after the Holocaust
The death of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis in the Second World War represents a radical challenge to faith in Judaism, in Christianity, and in humanism. The course begins with a historical overview of the Holocaust and uses accounts of Holocaust survivors to articulate the challenge of the Holocaust to faith. It then reviews philosophical and theological responses to this challenge by Jewish and Christian authors. The weak as well as the heroic human figures in the Holocaust are studied. Those Jews who survived with their humanity intact and those non-Jews who helped them are the most important witnesses to the resiliency of the human spirit which we now have.