Fall 2019 Courses

Instructor: Michael Brenner
Mondays and Thursdays, 11:20am - 12:35pm
8/26/2019 - 12/14/2019
Crosslist: HIST-643
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

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

Front page of The Palestinian Post newspaper with the article 'State of Israel is Born'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. Usually Offered: fall. 

Instructor: Guy Ziv
Tuesdays and Fridays, 2:30 - 3:45pm
8/26/2019 - 12/14/2019
Location: TBD
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SISU-206 and SISU-230

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, President Jimmy Carter, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin shake handsThis 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 U.S.-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: Lauren Strauss
Mondays and Thursdays, 12:55 - 2:10pm
8/26/2019 - 12/14/2019
Crosslist: JST-320.001; HIST-344.001
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

A woman speaks at a podium at Come Together: AIPAC Policy Conference 2016This course explores Jewish participation in the American political system, and compares Jewish political involvement in the U.S. with similar activities in Israel. American Jewish participation in electoral and advocacy politics far outweighs the relative percentage of Jews in the population, and is often centered around the status of minorities in a democratic society. In Israel, the intense level of political discourse often highlights similar questions of minority rights and national identity, but does so in a different context, often with different results. The course begins by exploring the foundations of religious freedom in America, and then explores the formation of Israeli law, focusing mostly on events and issues from the 20th and 21st centuries. It addresses these issues by examining "case studies" in both societies, which confront questions of minority rights, religious freedom, gender equality and more.

Instructor: Sara Grayson
Mondays and Thursdays, 9:45 - 11:00am
8/26/2019 - 12/14/2019
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

The Hebrew alphabetFocuses 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: Sara Grayson
Mondays and Thursdays, 8:10 - 9:25am
8/26/2019 - 12/14/2019
Location: TBD
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: HEBR-117

The Hebrew alphabetRefinement of basic language skills in a cultural context. Expansion of vocabulary and grammatical structures and development of communicative skills. Usually Offered: fall.

Instructor: Elizabeth Thompson
Thursdays, 5:30 - 8:00pm
8/26/2019 - 12/14/2019
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

This course examines four key moments in efforts to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine since 1917. Students explore how this history bears on prospects for peacemaking in the future.

Spring 2020 Courses

Instructor: Dan Arbell
Mondays and Thursdays, 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
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-220.

Instructor: Guy Ziv
Wednesday, 2:30 – 5:20 p.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

This senior capstone 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. As well, previous rounds of negotiations are 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 and Thursdays, 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

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. Usually Offered: spring.

Instructor: Morad El Sana
Thursdays, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Crosslist: ANTH 350.003/ISR-396.002
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

This course is designed to introduce students to the Israeli-Arab community in Israel through analysis of its economic, educational, historical and political structure and experience. The first week of the course will consist of an overview of their cultural heritage, ethnic, religious, national identity, and traditional customs. Then the class will examine more deeply some of these subjects, such as Israeli-Arab cultural and religious practices, family conflict resolution practices and mediation, marital structure (including polygamy), child-rearing practices, women education and power, family honor, social- economic status and the traditional justice system. The final section will address how today’s Israeli-Arab community interacts with Israeli law, with 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 will be an integral part of the course through the semester.

Instructor: Martyn Oliver
Thursdays and Fridays, 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

Central for the three Abrahamic traditions, Jerusalem has been a locus of worship and dispute for over two-thousand years. The course proceeds thematically, beginning with the role of Jerusalem in the mythic imagination of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students then turn to writings reflecting the history of Jerusalem as a physical place and a source of contention for the Assyrians and Babylonians, the Persians, the Romans, the empires of medieval Europe and the Ottomans, the British, the Arabs and the modern State of Israel. Finally, the course turns to the modern era and examines Jerusalem as a modern city and a proxy for disputes over identity, culture, language, and religion. Students visit different places of worship in Washington, DC and invite guest speakers representing a diversity of cultures to class.

Instructor: Moran Stern
Wednesdays, 5:30  - 8:00 p.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Crosslist: ISR-396.001
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

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

This course explores the emergence of Israeli society and its changes over time. It reviews Israel's ideological and political foundations, the centrality of immigration, the emergence of Arab minorities and Jewish ethnic divisions, and assesses political, economic, religious, and family patterns within the broader Jewish and Palestinian communities.

Instructor: Dan Arbell
Mondays and Thursdays, 8:10 - 9:25 a.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

Israel's parliamentary democracy is a mosaic in which ethnic, class, religious; national and migration considerations play a dynamic part in the intricacies of the political system. This course provides an overview of the geopolitical history of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict from the pre-state era until the present, and also an introduction to the principles that guide Israel's political system and the cleavages in Israeli society which greatly affect developments and trends in politics and policy. Prerequisite: GOVT-130 or GOVT-231 or GOVT-232. Restriction: minimum 2.5 GPA.

Instructor: Sarit Lisogorsky
Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Location: TBD
Credits: 3

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

Instructor: Sarit Lisogorsky
Mondays and Thursdays, 8:10 - 9:25 a.m.
1/13/2020 - 5/5/2020
Location: Anderson Hall B10B
Credits: 3

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

About the Minor

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.