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HISTORY 283 JEWISH STUDIES 235. JEWS IN MODERN TIMES. Syllabus. http://www.history.umd.edu/Faculty/BCooperman/Modern/283syllabus2007.htm http://www.history.umd.edu click on “Faculty” and then “Cooperman” and then on the course name. History 299c. Films Tuesday 3-6 F S Key 0106.

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history 283 jewish studies 235




  • http://www.history.umd.edu/Faculty/BCooperman/Modern/283syllabus2007.htm
  • http://www.history.umd.edu
    • click on “Faculty” and then “Cooperman” and then on the course name
history 299c

History 299c


Tuesday 3-6

F S Key 0106

hist283h jwst235h
  • Honors students
  • Jewish Studies Majors
  • Students with strong background in Jewish Studies
  • See me if you have questions
  • Hand in a sheet with times you definitely CAN’T come -- Name; phone no.; email; background
new section time
New Section Time
  • We will move section 0107, probably to Thursday after class, but that isn’t fixed
  • See Michael Phelan after class and hand in a sheet identifying yourself and giving times that you would prefer.
professor bernard cooperman
Professor Bernard Cooperman

Taliaferro (TLF) Rm 2130;


[email protected]

Office hours:

Tues. 10:00-11:00,

Thurs. 11:00-12:00,

and by appointment

teaching assistants
Teaching Assistants
  • Brian Phelan (FSK 3???) [email protected] 240-418-2087
    • office hours Mon. 11-12; Tues 2-3 and by appointment
  • Michael Lesley (FSK 3???) [email protected] 240-535-7413
    • office hours Mon. 1:00-2:00 and by appointment
stock issues i
Stock Issues I
  • external vs internal
  • passive vs active
      • shall we periodize according to how others treat the Jews?
stock issues ii
Stock Issues II
  • Who is a Jew in Jewish History?
    • apologetic approach
    • Nazi definitions
    • State of Israel’s definitions
    • continuity?
stock issues iii
Stock Issues III
  • What community is the true bearer and proper subject of Jewish history?
    • territorial definition unavailable
  • Idealist Approach
  • grand theories about God or Destiny
  • traditional Jewish self-perception
  • combined with German idealist and romanticist historiography
graetz ii
Graetz II
  • The totality of Judaism is discernible only in its history. Its complete nature, the sum of its powers, becomes clear only in the light of history. Every vital idea must create for itself a solid existence.
  • History is not only the reflection of the idea, but also the test of its power.
    • Structure of Jewish History, p. 65
redefinition of basic concepts
Redefinition of Basic Concepts
  • Diaspora --> “theoretical period” when immediacy becomes reflection
  • Moses Mendelssohn
  • (1729–1786)
  • political emancipation vis-à-vis Holocaust
  • religious mission vis-à-vis Zionism
  • Zionist historiography vis-à-vis diaspora
    • (e.g. President of Israel, Moshe Katzav, at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz)
Here in the heart of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a scream seeks to burst from the depth of our soul and yet there is a spark of pride.The Jewish people have arisen from the death camps ashes, as a brand snatched from the burning fire. We have returned to our homeland. Three hours flight from here, we have re-established our homeland….
The Jewish people survived the destruction, suffering, exiles, expulsions and the greatest tragedy - the Shoah.

Despite it all, we have returned to our homeland and we have built a modern, developed, democratic state, which has ingathered the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth.

In all of human history, there has been no similar event.

My brothers and sisters, the martyrs of the Shoah, who were not able to join the State of Israel, world leaders have come to this place, which was your hell, in order to remember you. You are the lost citizens of our homeland.
gartner chapter 11 catastrophe recovery and triumph
Gartner (chapter 11): “Catastrophe, Recovery, and Triumph”

• links Holocaust with State of Israel “which provided a consoling sense of home if not of safety for years to come.”

  • period begins with German invasion of Poland and ends with truce between “the new Jewish state and its Arab invaders during the mass arrival there of European survivors.” (347)
are we post modern
Are We Post-Modern?
  • Was there a dynamic to Jewish “modernity” that is now over?
  • Shall we distinguish between “modern” and “contemporary” history
  • we will try to go past 1945 and 1948 to at least 1967 with some discussion of contemporary events and trends; so have our questions changed?
  • Good example of a changing dynamic is seen in the dynamic of Jewish nationalism since 1948 and especially since 1967
  • National memory/myth-making
history and the contemporary
History and the Contemporary
  • historical study should lead to contemporary understanding through contextualization
  • Intelligent reader of newspaper
  • Exercise based on newspaper articles
    • Jerusalem Post
    • Jerusalem Report
    • HaAretz
    • YNet
shmuel ettinger
Shmuel Ettinger
  • Understanding of modernization
  • centrifugal vs centripetal
traumatic modernization
Traumatic Modernization
  • geographic alienation
  • cultural alienation
  • even the centripetal is a reaction to centrifugal