This course provides students the opportunity to consider the challenges of Jewish acculturation to American life along with the great sacrifices and contributions Jewish Americans have made over the past 200 years. Classes explore such topics as the role of education, the Three Generation Hypothesis, Antisemitism and the Holocaust, the changing place of Zionism and the State of Israel in American-Jewish identity, the Civil Rights Movement as a case study of distinctiveness and involvement, and other issues that speak to American Jewish culture and identity. These 10 lessons address the proverbial question of whether the cup is half-empty or full – sharing perspectives from optimists, pessimists, idealists, and cynics as they debate the future of Jewish identity in America.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1 - Timeline of American Judaism
Lesson 2 - The Three-Generation Hypothesis: Immigrants, Their Children, and Grandchildren
Lesson 3 - Jewish Commitments Enriched and Weakened
Lesson 4 - General Education, Jewish Education, and Jewish Americanization
Lesson 5 - Jews as Creators of American Culture
Lesson 6 - Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and American-Jewish Self-Understanding
Lesson 7 - Zionism and the State of Israel Through the Eyes of American Jewry
Lesson 8 - More American Than Americans
Lesson 9 - American Jewish Fiction
Lesson 10 - Is the American Jewish Cup Half-Empty or Half-Full?