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JWST 180. Anti-Semitism in America [Goal 7] (Diversity)

Credits: 3
Department: Religious Studies
Description: Anti-Semitism in America will identify Jews and Jewish life within the historical, religious identity, literary, and pop intercultural fabric of the 21st century United States.
Semester Offered: DEMAND
Grading Method: ABCDF
Lab: Lab

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to recognize and explain the religious and cultural differences among American Jews: Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist; Sephardi and Ashkenazi. Discussing the detailed historical classifications since the first Jewish refugees in 1654.
2. Students will analyze and interpret case studies of Jews engaging in examples of religious freedom, religious and social discrimination and intolerance, and institutional persecutiion from the dominant U.S. religion - Christianity. Discussing the distinction between refugee (1654 - Brazilian/Portuguese Inquisition) and immigrant (1880 - 1920 Eastern European Jews).
3. Students will be able to explain how Jews living within a dominant Protestant Christian culture have had to confront the always-present tension/stress of the dynamic continuum of assimilation, isolation, and survival stimulated by the fear of rejection and acceptance. Describe the inequality of actual power, both economic and social, between the dominant Protestant Christians and the always insignificant minority of Jews as illuminated in "Gentlemen's Agreement", "The Plot Against America", as well as very contemporary media representations: Woody Allen, Larry Dave, and Jon Stewart.
4. Students will analyze and interpret classic religious texts in order to identify the polemics that have been socially translated by American Christians until recently to marginalize Jews. Students will judge the historical necessity of interfaith relation in Minnesota, which in 1941 was called the "capitol of anti-Semitism in America".
5. Students will deconstruct and analyze the myths and idioms about Jews and Jewish life. Money - "to jew someone", power - control of the media; Christ killers/blood libel; chosen people; Zionist oppressors
6. Students will evaluate a survey of American Jews' accomplishments and then measure the risks that Jews and the Jewish community face as a public people whose number makes every accomplishment stand out. Students will compare and contrast the impossible tension located between being American Jews and Jewish Americans.
7. Students will demonstrate their critical thinking skills throughout the semester through various individual and collective assessment experiences: in-class and online D2L discussions; two (2) 3-5 page reaction essays; one (1) in-class midterm to evaluate their ability to explain, identify, and classify basic terms and concepts; one (1) take-home final.

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