Introduction to Jewish Culture 2

Course Code :1103FLWJST
Study domain:Culture
Academic year:2020-2021
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Vivian Liska
Karin Hofmeester

3. Course contents *

Main themes:

  • Jewish identity
  • Basic elements of Jewish religion, important religious texts, traditions, religious movements
  • The history of Jewish culture from a birds' eye view:
    • under Greek and Roman rule
    • under Christianity and Islam
    • the Ashkenazic and Sephardic diaspora in the 16th and 17th century
    • Enlightenment, French Revolution, Haskalah and Jewish Emancipation
    • Shoah and postwar reconstruction, the foundation of the State Israel

The main themes will be illustrated by life stories and texts of influential Jewish scholars, writers and intellectuals as well as by examining daily life in the Jewish communities in various periods and regions.

The course will be supported by powerpoint presentations with texts and illustrations as well as sound and film fragments. The sheets will be published on Blackboard before each lecture.

Active participation of the students is expected during the lectures. Texts to be read before class will be published on Blackboard. During class we will discuss the texts and analyse key elements of Jewish culture.

An optional guided tour through the Jewish neighbourhood, including a visit to the synagogue is part of the course.

Students who take this course are also required to attend five Thursday evening lectures from the lecture series of the Institute of Jewish Studies ( and write a paper of 8 to 10 pages on a subject related to Jewish culture in the broadest sense or a topic related to one of the IJS lectures attended. Prof. Vivian Liska will grade the papers. For questions on topics, please contact prof. Liska via e-mail.