Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.
Dates: October 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1, 8, 15, 22 (Make-up: January 5th)
Cost: $325, generous financial aid is available
Register here. Open to all learners.
For a variety of reasons most American Jews have learned more about the history of modern Israel, but less about the full complexity of cultures that make up contemporary Israeli society. This course will help participants grasp how that history actually gets lived out in the day-to-day life of a sprawling, vibrant, deeply multicultural, and multi-religious society.
Drawing on both popular and more elite media, such as film, short stories, television programs, and popular song videos (all in translation), and also taking advantage of helpful scholarly literature, this course will explore many facets of the contemporary cultural experience in Israel.
A great number of very different identities thrive in contemporary Israeli society. This ten-week course will focus on these identities, their histories and politics, and the relationships between them.
Some of the identities and topics we will be exploring include:
- Religious and secular Jews
- Different Kinds of Jewish culture (Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, Russian, Ethiopian, etc.)
- Israeli Arab Identities (Muslim, Christian, Druze, etc.)
- Palestinian intellectual and cultural perspectives on Palestinian identity
- How Changing Conceptions of Gender Affect Identity, and
- the multiplicity of LGBTQ identities in Israel
We will also be looking at popular culture and, in particular, at the growth of satire and humor as responses to and critiques of Israeli society.
Students will be asked to watch a few films at home, prior to class. This may require access to free and paid streaming services.