[ Programs ]
Studies in Jewish-Israeli culture are an opportunity to discover millennia of Jewish works, employing an interdisciplinary perspective covering history, literature, ethnography, art, philosophy and more. They offer a chance to study the development of traditions, ideas and concepts not only diachronically, that is, through history, but also synchronically, that is, in multiple cultural, lingual and conceptual arenas. It also allows students to transcend conventional dichotomies of Jewish vs. Israeli, Diasporic vs. Zionist, canonical vs. marginal, masculine vs. feminine, etc.
This perspective might challenge prevailing hierarchies of knowledge and canon, reexamine familiar questions and open up fresh ones that are germane to Jewish communities around the world. Such questions might include the following: What were the “spiritual inheritances” of various historic leaders, and what burdens were associated with them? What are the social and cultural challenges illustrated by stories of immigration, and how are they resolved therein? What are the ideological functions of museums as heritage sites, or what are the educational functions of field trips? How is Israeli identity set off from Jewish identity in cinema? What sources of inspiration does modern Jewish art tap into, and what sorts of identity struggles does it represent?
Teachers, members of social movements and urban Kibbutzim (such as Tenu’at Tarbut and Dror Israel), representatives of pre-military preparatory programs, and community leaders.
(1) Introduce students to a variety of Jewish traditions and works within a wide historical and cultural scope.
(2) Drive students towards a critical and creative reengagement with such traditions and works.
(3) Consider with students the relevance of such traditions and works for contemporary Jewish society and inspire them to design future related studies in their respective educational settings.
(4) Develop students’ reading and writing skills, cultivate and hone their aesthetic evaluation abilities.