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Instructor Class Description

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Levis A Kochin
SISJE 470
Seattle Campus

Economic History of the Jews

Explores the history, economics, and politics of mercantile minorities, the Jews. Topics include the economics of religion, migration, Zionism, Arab-Israeli relations, and Israeli high-tech. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.0 in ECON 300. Offered: jointly with ECON 470.

Class description

Our topics over the term. 1) The transformation of the Jews from an agricultural people into a mercantile minority in the first millennium. 2) Economic growth from 1815 to 1914 raised Jewish numbers and per capita incomes in Europe more than those of any other substantial European group. At the same time both numbers and per capita incomes were largely stagnant in the Middle East. 3) Jewish migration from East to West from Europe to the US and from rural areas to cities was one of the chief ways in which Jewish incomes rose between 1840 and 1914. 4) Jews and finance from the Middle Ages to the present day. 5) The economic causes and consequences of Zionism- the movement for a Jewish country which beginning as a large scale movement about 1880 created the State of Israel in 70 years. 6) The conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors which has helped make Israel a center of the high tech. 7) The interactions of the economics of education of language and of religion. About half the course is devoted to the economic history of the Jews outside of the Land of Israel. Jews were for a thousand years a “mercantile minority” The Jews like the Chinese of Southeast Asia succeeded economically to an extent that aroused hostility and persecution. Violent examples of persecution against members of mercantile minorities can be found in many places. In 2010 murderous riots have been directed against the Kikuyu in Kenya and the Chinese in Tibet. After a period of reduced tension in the middle 19th Century Anti- Jewish hostility intensified from 1880 until in the 1940s one third of the Jewish people were murdered. The threat to life was one of the chief forces impelling Jews to migrate to Israel from Europe and from Moslem countries.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

ASSIGNMENTS % of Term Grade EXAMINATIONS Unscheduled Quizzes 20% Final 30%

TERM PAPER % of Term Grade Term Paper Proposal No Grade Preliminary Term Paper (5 pages) 10% Final Term Paper (15 Pages) 40%

ASSIGNMENTS % of Term Grade EXAMINATIONS Unscheduled Quizzes 20% Final 30%

TERM PAPER % of Term Grade Term Paper Proposal No Grade Preliminary Term Paper (5 pages) 10% Final Term Paper (15 Pages) 40%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Loryn Rhea Paxton
Date: 01/11/2012