Spring 2023 Courses

Instructor: Dan Arbell
Monday/Thursday, 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

**This course is a core course for the Israel Studies Minor**

A survey of Arab-Israeli relations from their origins to the present. Includes an account of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, the history of the British mandate, the Arab-Israeli wars, the involvement of external powers, and the quest for peace. The emphasis is on conflict resolution. Usually Offered: spring. Grading: A-F only. Prerequisite: SISU-206 and SISU-210. 

Instructor: Morad El Sana
Wednesday 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the Israeli-Arab community in Israel through analysis of its economic, educational, historical, and political structure and experience. The course begins with an overview of their cultural heritage, ethnic, religious, national identity, and traditional customs then examines some of these subjects more deeply, such as Israeli-Arab cultural and religious practices, family conflict resolution practices and mediation, marital structure (including polygamy), child-rearing practices, women's education and power, family honor, social-economic status, and the traditional justice system. Finally, it addresses how today's Israeli-Arab community interacts with Israeli law, with the Israel-Jewish community including local and national elections, urbanization processes and, of course, the important issue of land claims and the impact of the larger Israeli-Arab political conflict on this community. Case examples are an integral part of the course. Crosslist: ANTH-350-002 AWST-350-002.

Instructor: Lauren Strauss
Wednesday 2:30-5:20 p.m.
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

This course examines the century-long relationship between America’s Jews and the State of Israel – from the decades leading up to the State’s founding to the present day. We go beyond wars and diplomacy to explore Israel’s multifaceted relationship with American Jewry, from political rhetoric to philanthropy, from pop music to hummus, from folk dance, summer camps and tourism to war heroes and Wonder Woman.  Is this a love affair, or a “family feud”? 

Instructor: Lauren Strauss
M/Th 9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: TBA
Credits: 3

This survey course covers a broad range of Jewish political, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual history from the early modern period (approximately sixteenth to early seventeenth centuries) to the mid-twentieth century. Students encounter groups of Jews as diverse as the ultra-orthodox Hasidim, the founders of the Jewish enlightenment and Reform movements, bourgeois European women, and radical revolutionaries. Geographically and culturally, Jews have spanned the globe, reflecting the modes of dress, cooking, architecture, etc. of many countries and speaking over 30 specifically Jewish languages (which combine Hebrew with others) as well as the dominant languages of their home countries. The modern Jewish experience has encompassed both euphoria and despair, as in the mid-twentieth century with the Shoah (Holocaust) and the establishment of the State of Israel. This diversity is reflected in both classroom discussions and assignments. Through reading of primary documents from each time and place, students understand history in "real time," and critically analyze the social and political structures that exercised power over the lives of Jews and others in various communities. These lessons are reinforced with a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. AU Core Integrative Requirement: Diversity and Equity. Usually Offered: spring. Grading: A-F only.

Instructor: Guy Ziv
Wednesday, 11:20 a.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

This course provides students with a deeper understanding of the problems that have confounded the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, in particular the "final status" issues: borders, Jerusalem, refugees, and security. Students focus on the contested narratives; the relevant political actors; and the key international, regional, and internal events that have shaped the dispute. Previous rounds of negotiations are also reviewed in order to analyze what went wrong. Students then partake in a simulation in which they attempt to constructively address the final status issues as well as other sticking points, such as settlements and terrorism, in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Instructor: Lauren Strauss
Mondays/Thursdays, 12:55 - 2:10 p.m.
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

**This course is a core course for the Israel Studies Minor**

Explores a variety of literary works analyzing the historical experience of modern Jewish communities in Europe, as well as the United States and Israel, emphasizing how migration, racism, industrialization, and political change affected these Jews and their Judaism. AU Core Habits of Mind: Creative-Aesthetic Inquiry. Usually Offered: spring.

Instructor: Sarit Lisogorsky
Monday and Thursday, 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

Continuation of HEBR-116.
Usually Offered: spring.
Prerequisite: HEBR-116.

Instructor: TBA
Monday 6:15-7:30 p.m., Thursday 5:30-6:45 p.m.
Location:TBA
Credits: 3

Continuation of HEBR-216.
Usually Offered: spring.
Prerequisite: HEBR-216.

Fall 2022 Courses

Confirm date, time, and other details at AU EagleService Course Listings.

Instructor: Dan Arbell
Crosslist: ISR 396 and GOVT 317
T/F 11:20 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.

This course provides an overview of the geopolitical history of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict from the pre-state era until the present as well as an analysis of the principles that guide Israel's political system and the cleavages in Israeli society which greatly affect developments and trends in politics and policy. It is mostly conducted as a lecture/discussion course, but also includes reading academic articles, watching films, listening to guest lectures, holding class debates, and discussing current news and developments. 

Instructor: Michael Brenner
Crosslist: HIST 643 and ISR 443
Monday/Thursday 11:20 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.

History of Israel (3) Traces the development of modern political Zionism in nineteenth-century Europe; the historical background leading to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; and the history of Israel since then, including patterns of Jewish immigration and its relationship to the Arab world. Crosslist: HIST-643 and ISR-443.

Instructor:  Guy Ziv
Monday/Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.

US-Israel Relations (3) This course explores the evolution of U.S. relations with Israel, from pre-1948 American Zionism to President Truman's decision to recognize the Jewish state in 1948 to America's role as Israel's greatest supporter in the world today. Along the way, it examines key milestones in US-Israel relations, including the wartime American airlift in 1973; the U.S. role in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy to the two Camp David summits and beyond; and American military, economic, and diplomatic aid to the Jewish state. The course analyzes how a combination of sentimental, domestic political, and strategic factors have led to the formation of a wholly unique bilateral relationship characterized at once by both tight bonds and inherent tensions.

Instructor: Gershon Greenberg
Crosslist: ISR-400-001 JWST-496-001 JWST-696-001 RELG-686-001.
Tuesday 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Religions of Israel (3) This course explores the practices and beliefs of the branches of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Jewish state as well as the conflicts with each other, within themselves, and with the Israeli government.

Instructor: Sarit Lisogorsky
Monday/Thursday 9:45-11:00 a.m.

Hebrew, Elementary Modern I (3) Focuses on the acquisition of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures in culturally authentic contexts through speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. Designed for students with no prior experience with Hebrew. Usually Offered: fall.

Instructor: Sarit Lisogorsky
Monday/Thursday 11:20 a.m.-12:35 p.m.
Prerequisite: HEBR-117

Hebrew, Intermediate Modern I (3) Refinement of basic language skills in a cultural context. Expansion of vocabulary and grammatical structures and development of communicative skills. Usually Offered: fall.

About the Minor

Please see complete requirements below.

AU's undergraduate minor in Israel Studies is one of the premier programs of its kind in the United States. Courses are offered in numerous areas including sociology, Jewish studies, history, and the School of International Service. Another feature of the minor is its seamless connection with study abroad in Israel. AU students are encouraged to study in Israel and receive credits toward the Israel Studies minor.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Michael Brenner, Abensohn Chair of Israel Studies, 202-885-2752, mbrenner@american.edu; or Laura Cutler, Managing Director, 202-885-3780, cutler@american.edu.

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