Henry M Jones
Before the Nazi genocide, Jews had lived in Eastern Europe for almost a thousand years. They created a unique literature in the Yiddish language, developed a distinctive musical idiom, established the first professional Jewish theatres, began the revival of vernacular Hebrew, and immeasurably enriched the non-Jewish cultures of the countries in which they were born. This class will explore the astonishingly rich and varied culture of Polish and Russian Jewry from the 17th century to the present day. .
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Although the focus of the course is literature, we will be covering a substantial amount of history in order to place the stories, plays, and poetry that we read in context. In addition to our readings of folktales and works by Sholem Aleichem, Yitzhok Leybush Peretz, Sholem An-sky, Isaac Babel, Avrom Sutzkever and others, we will also see a film on the history of Polish Jewry, and listen to and analyze Yiddish songs
No previous knowledge of Judaism or Jewish history is required.
Class assignments and grading