August 21, 2014
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Gesher Graduate Program October 2013 - May 2014


Thursday Mornings at Frisco Lakes 9:30 – 11:00 am

October 3-December 12 
Mark Stolovitsky
The Christian/Jewish Relationship: Year 1 to 2014
Why do Jews have a collective discomfort with the image of a cross?  What are the mother/daughter dynamics in the relationship between Judaism and Christianity? Questions like these and more will be addressed in this course as we study the changing image of Jews found in the stories of Christianity throughout history; and the ways this has impacted the Jewish/Christian relationship.

January 8 –March 12
Gerri Patterson
Short Stories Two:  A Window to the Jewish Experience
 Back by popular demand, this class will use Jewish short stories as a vehicle to study Jewish life and culture.  We will examine Jewish folktales, Yiddish, Russian, American and Israeli writers and the world in which they lived.  We will see how the stories created a commentary on the social issues of their day, sometimes in a critical way.    This class will also include some of the great writers of the past 150 years such as I.B. Singer, I.J. Singer, Isaac Babel and SY Agnon.  It is not necessary to have taken Short Stories in Spring 2013 to enroll for this class.

March 19 – May 28
Gerri Patterson
Melton Scholars Curriculum
Jewish Denominations: Addressing the Challenges of Modernity
Throughout most of its history, Judaism could be described as an “ethnic church,” whose members emphasized their common ancestry and upheld the same basic beliefs and religious practices.  This amalgamation of tribal identity and creed was sustained by the social and economic limitations enforced against the Jews by the host nations where they settled, as well as local and cultural norms. The last three centuries, often referred to as the modern period, have witnessed dramatic political and societal transformations. These changes have engendered far more diversified representations of Judaism and Jewish identity than in the past.  This course, traces the history of the emergence of denominational Judaism in response to Modernity using original texts.  Learners gain an understanding of the environment in 19th century Europe which gave rise to Reform Judaism and the traditionalist response.  As the lessons progress the setting changes from Europe to North America and the development of Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism as well as the divisions and re-alignment in American Orthodoxy are explored.  By the end of the course the history of every aspect of Jewish Denominations and People hood has been addressed in a meaningful way. 

For more information contact Rachelle Weiss Crane, Director of Melton and Gesher Graduate Programs, at rweisscrane@jccdallas.org or 214-239-7128

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