Topics in Judaica

RN 499 / RN 799
Spring 2012
Nahshon Perez, Ph.D. (Schusterman Visiting Assistant Professor of Israel Studies)

Course Objectives

This class offers an examination of various aspects of Jewish politics in modernity. While our focus will be on Zionism as the national movement of the Jewish people, we shall also examine non Zionist Jewish political movements (Jewish anti politics, the Bund, Diaspora nationalism). We shall also dedicate a portion of our class to Jewish political theory. We shall start by asking if there is something unique in Jewish politics, or whether Jewish politics is merely everyday politics, enacted by Jews, and the same question will be asked regarding Jewish political theory. Our starting point is modernity, i.e. the 18th century, and the changes this dramatic century brought to the lives of Jews. We shall read prominent scholars of Jewish politics such as Daniel Elazar and Shlomo Avineri, important Zionist thinkers such as Herzl and Jabotinsky, and prominent non Zionist thinkers such as George Steiner and Tony Judt.