Introduction to Judaism
Provides a general introduction to Judaism in its many ancient and modern expressions. Students are introduced both to the historical narrative of the Jewish people and the beliefs and practices of the Jewish religion. We address the questions of "what do Jews believe?" and "what do Jews do?" Ideas and motifs of Judaism to be addressed include: the Bible in Judaism, rabbinic literature, theology, Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) and philosophy, Jewish law, Jewish nationalism, anti-Semitism, messianism, Jewish culture and identity, the synagogue, ritual and worship, life cycle, festivals and calendar. We will take advantage of the many resources in New York City for understanding Jewish history and culture. This will include visits to the Jewish Museum, The Center for Jewish History, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Lower East Side, and the second cemetery (1805-29) of the Spanish and Portuguese community. These visits complement our in-class topics of study. All museum admission costs are covered by NYU.