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Robert Abzug, Director CLA 2.402, 305 E 23rd St B3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-475-6178

Course Descriptions

J S 304M • Jewish Civ: Begin To 1492

40320 • Schofer, Jonathan
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 436A
(also listed as HIS 306N, MES 310, R S 313M)
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This is the first half of a two-semester survey of Jewish civilization, from the origins of Ancient Israel to 1500 C.E. All materials are in English translation. The course will begin with readings from the Bible and the Ancient Near East, and at that time we will focus on the development of the civilization of the region now known as Israel or Palestine, including the complex cultural interactions of the second millennium B.C.E. We will have extensive readings from the Second Temple Period as well as classical rabbinic literature and other writings from the period known as Late Antiquity. The course will also include studies of Geonic and Medieval Judaism, including philosophy, poetry, and mystical writings.


  • First paper (5 pages): 25%
  • Second paper (5 pages): 25%
  • Final Exam: 50%

Regular attendance, careful preparation of assigned texts, and participation in class discussions are considered to be basic requirements of the course. 


  • Robert Selzer, Jewish People, Jewish Thought
  • Jack Suggs, et al, eds., The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha
  • Other primary sources

J S 311 • Intro To Jewish Latin America

40325 • Weinreb, Amelia
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 310L, HIS 306N, LAS 315, R S 313)
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What can we learn about Latin American social worlds when we look at the place of Jews within it? Conversely, what we learn about Jewish social worlds when they unfold in Latin America?  This course examines both of these questions. Specifically, we consider the role of Latin America as both a refuge from and a source of antisemitism, a hub of immigration, a site of Zionism, and of Jewish success and philanthropy.  We also address themes of displacement, longing, belonging, marginalization, prejudice, immigration, community, cultural continuity, and memory, while considering Sephardi and Ashkenazi difference, and inter-generational conflict among Jewish Latin Americans. Overall, through reading, writing exercises, independent research and in-class films, the course is designed to provide students with an understanding of how Jews constructed individual lives and vibrant communities in predominantly Hispanic, Catholic countries of Latin America.

With these themes in mind, the course is divided into four units: 1) Historical literacy is a substantive introductory unit, which provides basic context from 1492 until the post-World War II period; 2) Jewish group identities in Latin American features readings on Jewish life and cultural forms in select national contexts (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic and others); 3) Memoir and personal narrative engages students in critical reading of creative non-fiction and ethnography that focuses on individual lives; 4) Contemporary realities explores current events, contemporary trends and popular culture in Jewish Latin America. Finally, over the course of the semester, drawing on course motifs, students will produce their own research papers addressing a specific research question in the Latin American national context of their choice.

Note: This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

J S 363 • Jewish Folklore

Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 116
(also listed as ANT 325L, GSD 360)
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Course Description

Dybbuks, golems, evil eye are just some of the more well known aspects of Jewish folklore, but this course will also examine the folk life of the Jews, their world view, their folk beliefs and fears. Call it folk religion if you will; many of these practices were dismissed by the “official” Jewish religion as un-Jewish, but the "folk" persisted and eventually the practice became Judaized and accepted.

Using literary sources, ethnographic memoirs, historical documents, films (among them The Dybbuk,1939), folklore collections and field trips (among them, to the oldest Austin Jewish cemetery), we will focus on what makes Jewish folklore Jewish. For example, the high literacy rate among Jews over the centuries and the people's close connection to the written word led to the development of specifically Jewish interpretations of internationally disseminated beliefs. Folklore genres—folktale, legend, folksong, folk music—custom, belief and, of course, Jewish humor will be included.

 Grading Policy

  • Attendance, homework and class participation: 30%
  • Four short papers 30%
  • Midterm and final paper: 60%

Reading List

  • Joshua Trachternberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition
  • Joachim Neugroschel, Great Tales of Jewish Fantasy and the Occult
  • Moses Gaster, Maaseh Book
  • I. B. Singer, The Satan in Goray
  • Elizabeth Herzog/Mark Zborowski, Life is With People

J S 363 • Jewish Id In Amer Performance

40345 • Rossen, Rebecca
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WIN 1.148
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This course will consider how Jewish artists represent Jewish identity, culture, and history in American performance from the 1920s to the present. Combining the viewing of video and live performance with critical readings, we will examine Jewishness in a wide range of genres including theater, dance, musical theater, film, comedy, and television. Throughout we will consider—what does “Jewish” mean? How is Jewishness performed? What role does gender, race, class, or nationality play in these performances? What role has performance played in shaping our understanding of Jews and Jewish culture in the U.S.? How have Jewish artists addressed themes including anti-Semitism, stereotyping, exile, immigration, assimilation, religion, the Holocaust, Israel, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? This course is open to ALL students who are interested in the relationship between ethnicity and performance. No knowledge of theater, performance, Judaism, or Jewish culture is required.

Texts for the course may include:

  • Bial, Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen
  • Brook, ed., You Should See Yourself!: Jewish Identity and American Postmodern Culture (Rutgers 2006)
  • Kushner, Angels in America: Part I and II
  • Bock and Styne, Fiddler on the Roof
  • Course reader

Students will also watch a variety of performances (theater, dance, musicals, film, television) on video.

Grading (subject to change):

  • 15% participation
  • 10% informal journal responses
  • 10% 3-page performance review
  • 15% 4-5 page paper
  • 20% collaborative presentation
  • 30% 6-8 page final research paper and brief oral presentation

Dr. Rebecca Rossen is a choreographer, dance historian, and performance scholar whose research focuses on Jewish identity in American dance and performance. Her writings on this subject have appeared in TDR: The Drama Review (2011), Feminist Studies (2011), and the anthologies You Should See Yourself!: Jewish Identity and American Postmodern Culture (Rutgers 2006), and The Oxford Handbook of Ethnic Dance (Oxford 2012). Her forthcoming book, Dancing Jewish, will be published by Oxford University Press. See:

J S 364 • Immigration To Israeli Society

40365 • Klor, Sebasti├ín
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.216
(also listed as HIS 366N, MES 341)
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The Zionist movement and the immigration to the Land of Israel have generated a real change in the history of the Jewish people in modern times. During the course of seventy years only the Zionists succeeded in establishing a state for the Jews and to fulfill their nationalistic goals. The current course aims to examine the Zionist ideology and the immigration process from the formative years of 1880s until the present days, and focuses on various issues relating to the Zionist ideology, patterns of migration, migration policy, patterns of settlements and colonization, political conflicts and Zionist parties.


  • Lecture questions 5%
  • Class participation 10%
  • Quizzes  20%
  • 2 Assignments 25%
  • Final exam 40%


The Zionist ideology and the origins of the State of Israel

  • Shimoni, Gideon. The Zionist ideology. Hanover: University Press of New England [for] Brandeis University Press, 1997, pp. 85-126.
  • Hertzberg, Arthur. The Zionist idea: a historical analysis and reader. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1997, pp. 179-198; 201-230.

Five waves of Migration, 1882-1939

  • Sachar, Howard. A history of Israel: from the rise of Zionism to our time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, pp. 3-35; 71-85.
  • Alroey, Gur. “Galveston and Palestine: Immigration and Ideology in the early Twentieth Century”. American Jewish Archives Vol. L VI1 2004: 129-150.
  • Hyamson, Albert Montefiore. Palestine under the Mandate, 1920-1948. London: Methuen, 1950, pp. 51-69.

Patterns of Jewish Settlements in Palestine

  • Curtis, Michael and Chertoff, Mordecai S. (eds.). Israel: Social Structure and Change. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, c1973, pp. 95-135.
  • Eckardt, Alice L. and Eckardt, Roy A. Encounter with Israel: a challenge to conscience. New York: Association Press, 1970, pp. 419-432.

The Zionist Parties until 1948

  • Horowitz, Dan and Lissak, Moshe. Origins of the Israeli polity: Palestine under the mandate. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978, pp. 120-156.
  • Sachar, Howard. A history of Israel: from the rise of Zionism to our time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, pp. 188-194.

The Birth of Israel

  • Sachar, Howard. A history of Israel: from the rise of Zionism to our time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, pp. 279-309; 315-347.

Immigration to the State of Israel

  • Sachar, Howard. A history of Israel: from the rise of Zionism to our time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, pp. 395-424.
  • Curtis, Michael and Chertoff, Mordecai S. (eds.). Israel: Social Structure and Change. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, c1973, pp. 333-347.

Israeli society – Demographic profile

  • Smooha, Sammy. Israel: Pluralism and Conflict. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978, pp. 48-69.
  • en Rafael, Eliezer, and Peres, Yohanan. Is Israel One?: Religion, Nationalism, and Multiculturalism Confounded. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

Sectors in Israeli Society

  • Dowty, Alan (ed.). Critical issues in Israeli Society.Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004, pp. 109-126.
  • Curtis, Michael and Chertoff, Mordecai S. (eds.). Israel: Social Structure and Change. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, c1973, pp. 409-418.
  • Dowty, Alan (ed.). Critical issues in Israeli Society. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004, pp. 71-93.
  • Eckardt, Alice L. and Eckardt, Roy A. Encounter with Israel: a challenge to conscience. New York: Association Press, 1970, pp. 73-79.
  • Ben Zadok, Efraim. Local communities and the Israeli polity: conflict of values and interests. Albany: State University of New York Press, c1993, pp. 189-208.

Israel and its Arabs Neighbors

  • Bickerton, Ian J. and Klausner, Carla L. A history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2010, pp.1-14; 390-400.

Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism and Post-Colonialism

  • Dowty, Alan (ed.). Critical issues in Israeli Society.Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004, pp. 223-247.
  • Laqueur, Walter. A history of Zionism. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, c1972, pp. 589-599.
  • Shapira, Anita. "Politics and Collective Memory: The Debate over the 'New Historians' in Israel". History and Memory 7(1), 1995: 9-40.

J S 364 • Israeli Intelligence/Espionage

40370 • Ben Zur, Barak
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 208
(also listed as GOV 365N, HIS 364G, MES 343)
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The Israeli defense strategy is based on the principal of early alert, i.e. the ability of the intelligence community to “ring the bell” and point to the approaching storm. Once the warning is there, the government can mobilize the manpower of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Israeli leadership has a significant impact on shaping the Israeli intelligence community, thus affecting its efficiency and capabilities. Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minster, shaped the services; he is responsible for the unique phenomenon of defining the military intelligence branch to be the prominent organ in the intelligence community—an exception in democratic countries.

The course will trace Israeli leaders and their attitude toward intelligence and the intelligence community: how they affected the secret services with personnel appointments, budget, initiating changes, investing in research and developments, approving or avoiding special operations, and assimilating intelligence into policies and decision-making processes.


  • Mid-length piece, written as a government brief: advising the Israeli government on an assigned topic – due second half of semester – 15 %
  • 10-minute oral presentation on a weekly class topic – 10 %
  • 48-hour take-home final examination – 75%


The importance and role of the secret services: theories and case studies

  • Ephraim, Kam, Surprise Attack: the Victims Perspective (Harvard University Press 2004), pp. 37-55, 85-114, 159-175.
  • Michael Warner, “Wanted: A Definition of 'Intelligence' ” (Studies in Intelligence, vol. 46, no.  3, 2002).
  • Michael A. Turner, Why Secret Intelligence Fails (Dulles: Potomac Books, 2005), pp. 1-15.
  • John G. Heidenrich, “The State of Strategic Intelligence (Studies in Intelligence, vol. 51, no.  2, 2007).
  • Michael Herman, Intelligence Power in Peace & War (Cambridge University Press 2001), pp. 61-112.
  • Jeffrey T. Richelson, The U.S. Intelligence Community (Ballinger Publishing Company 2001) pp. 1-29, 233-264.
  • Adda B. Bozmen, Strategic Intelligence & Statecraft ( Brassey’s, 1992), pp. 1-7.
  • John Keegan, Intelligence in War (Vintage Books 2002), pp 3-25, 295-349.

Ben Gurion from the "SHI" to an established intelligence community

  • Ian Black, Benny Morris, Israel's Secret Wars: The Untold History of Israeli Intelligence (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991), pp. 35-70, 71-97.
  • Eliot A. Cohen, Soldiers Statesmen & Leadership in Wartime (New York: the Free Press 2002), pp 133-172.
  • Ohad Leslau, "Israel Intelligence and Czech-Egyptian Arm Deal", (Intelligence and National Security, vol. 27, 3, June 2012), pp. 327-348.
  • Uri Bar-Joseph, "State Intelligence Relations in Israel 1948-1997", (the Journal of Conflict Studies, vol. xvii, fall 1997).

Out of control: Sharett and other examples

  • Avi Shlaim, "Approaches to Israel's Relations with the Arabs: Ben Gurion and Sharett, 1953-1956". (Middle East Journal, vol. 37, 2, Spring 1983), pp. 180-201.
  • Nathn Yanai, "The Political Affair: A Framework for Comparative Discussion", (Comparative Politics, vol. 22, 2, January 1990), pp. 185-197.
  • Yigal Sheffy, "Early Warning of Intentions or Capabilities? Revisiting the Israeli-Egyptian Rotem Affair, 1960" (Intelligence and National Security, vol. 28, 3, 2013), pp. 420-437.
  • Uri Bar Joseph, "Rotem: the forgotten Crisis on the Road to the 1967 War", (Journal of Contemporary History", vol. 31, 3, July 1996), pp. 547-566.
  • Eyal Pascovich, "Military Intelligence and Controversial Political Issues the Unique Case of the Israeli Military Intelligence", (Intelligence & National Security, 2013), pp. 1-35.
  • Uri Bar Joseph, "Israel's Military Intelligence Performance in the Second Lebanon War", (International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, vol. 20, 2007).
  • Ephraim, Kahana, "Analyzing Israel's Intelligence Failures", (International Journal of Intelligence, vol. 18, 2, 2007), 262-279.

Golda Meir: Where we went wrong?

  • Uri Bar Joseph, Watchmen Fell Asleep: The Surprise of Yom Kippur and Its Sources, 2005.
  • Moni Chorev, Surprise Attack the Case of the Yom-Kippur War, (Washington D.C.: Fort McNair 1996).
  • Uri Bar Joseph,"Strategic of Fundamental Flaws? The Sources of Israel's Military Defeat at the Beginning of the 1973 War", (the Journal of Military History, vol. 72, 2, April 2008), pp. 509-530.
  • Abraha Ben Zvi, "Between Warning & Response: the Case of the Yom Kippur War", (International Journal of Intelligence & Counterintelligence vol. 4, 2, 1990), pp. 227-242.
  • Israeli National Archive, The Inquiry Commission Report: the Terror Attack on the Israeli Delegation to Olympic Games Munich 1972 (Hebrew, will be presented in class by the lecturer).



J S 364 • World War II Eastern Europe

40372 • Lichtenstein, Tatjana
Meets W 300pm-600pm PAR 306
(also listed as EUS 346, HIS 350L, REE 335)
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In Eastern Europe, the Second World War was, as the Czech Jewish woman Heda Margolius-Kovaly remarked, “a war no one had quite survived.”  Wedged between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Empire, Eastern Europe was the site of unprecedented human and material destruction in the years between 1938 and 1948.  As the staging ground for Hitler’s vision for a new racial order in Europe, the region was devastated by genocide and ethnic cleansing, programs of economic and social exploitation, and warfare.  Using a wide variety of sources, this course will examine the war in Eastern Europe with a particular emphasis on occupation, collaboration, and resistance; the Holocaust; and the connection between ethnic cleansing, population transfer, and the establishment of Communism in postwar Eastern Europe.     


  • Alan Adelson, ed., The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the ?ód? Ghetto (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • Lee Baker, The Second World War on the Eastern Front (New York: Pearson Longman, 2009)
  • Tadeusz Borowski, This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen (New York: Penguin Classics, 1976)
  • Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: Harper Perennial, 1998)
  • Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)
  • Optional:Karel C. Berhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004)
  • Electronic Readings:  Material marked with * are available on-line through the course website (under Course Documents).


  • 25%: Participation (incl. final 3 page reflection essay)
  • 5%: Map Quiz      
  • 5%: Weekly Questions and In-Class Writing
  • 10% Document Analysis (2-3 pages)
  • 15%: Essay 1 (3-4 peer reviewed/rewriting)
  • 20%: Essay 2 (6-7 pages peer reviewed/rewriting)    
  • 20%: Essay 3 (6-7 pages)

J S 364 • Jews Of Eastern Europe

40373 • Lichtenstein, Tatjana
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 306
(also listed as HIS 362G, REE 335)
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This course explores the history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe.  Focusing on the Jewish societies in the Russian and Austrian Empires, the course seeks to map the Jewish experience from the late 1700s until the first decades of twentieth century through topics such as secularization, urbanization, migration, antisemitism, political movements, and war.  We study the destruction of the Jewish societies in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust as well as Jewish memory and renewal in Eastern Europe since the end of Communism.

Course Goals

  • Examine the cultures of Jews in Eastern Europe as well as the historical forces that transformed these societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • Explore a variety of primary source materials and discuss their use as historical evidence
  • Write analytical, thesis-driven essays based on close reading of the course materials

Required Course Books

  • Zvi Gitelman, A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2001).
  • Henryk Grynberg, The Jewish War and The Victory (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2001).
  • Eva Hoffman, Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews (New York: Public Affairs, 2007).
  • Israel J. Singer, The Brothers Ashkenazi (Orig. 1936, New York: Other Press, 2010).
  • Electronic Readings: The YIVO Encyclopedia of the Jews of Eastern Europe.  The YIVO Encyclopediacan be accessed using this link:

Assignments and Grading

  • 10%: Attendance and Participation
  • 10%: Article Response
  • 20%: Midterm
  • 25%: Essay
  • 35%: Take-Home Final Exam

J S 364 • The Church And The Jews

40375 • Bodian, Miriam
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as EUS 346, HIS 362G, R S 357)
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This course will examine the complex relationship between the Western Church and the Jews over the course of two millenia. We will analyze ideas about Jews as they were expressed in both elite and popular culture, from theological works and canon law to church art and popular preaching. We will especially try to understand how changing conditions of life in the Christian West gave rise to striking changes in attitudes and policies toward Jews - changes whose justification required a rethinking of Christian theology.

Required to purchase:Revised Standard Version of the Bible (any edition)We will make use of a website designed specifically for this course by the instructor. The website will be distributed in CD-Rom form. It includes many of the readings. Other assigned readings will be posted on Blackboard.

Grading:Class attendance and participation (10%), two unannounced quizes (20%), two 1-3 pp. assignments (20%), mid-term exam (20%), final exam (30%). Plus and minus grades will be used.

J S 365 • Multicultural Israel

40380 • Weinreb, Amelia
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 325L, MES 341)
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Israel has the highest proportion of migrants of any country in the world. The notion of absorption—the social and economic integration of Jewish immigrants—has remained an explicit ideal since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Yet absorption is also an ideological tool that often runs counter to the contemporary lived experience of citizenship, participation, nation building, minority rights, and the conflicting interests of today’s multicultural publics. Taking these tensions as a starting point, this course explores the complex social fabric that comprises contemporary Israeli society, and that shapes Israeli identity, practice and politics. We will focus on the lived experience of Israel’s increasingly diverse population. This includes populations associated with the majority: veteran Ashkenazim and Mizrahim; more recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Latin America and France; religious communities such Haredim and modern-Orthodox. It also includes ethnic and religious minorities such as Arab-Israelis/Palestinians, Bedouins, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Black Hebrews, as well as laborers from all over the globe who migrate to Israel for work. How fluid are boundaries between these groups? How different are their interests, tastes and desires? How committed are various publics to a coherent nation-building project and to contemporary Zionism? To explore the breadth of multicultural Israel without sacrificing cultural specificity and theoretical depth, the course is organized into three integrated units: a) historical background of Israel and its populations; b) Israel’s citizen-state relationships, identity and belonging, and c) ethnographic case studies of Israel-specific multicultural issues, and general contemporary multicultural theory.

Note: This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

J S 365 • Responding To Terror In Israel

40385 • Ben Zur, Barak
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 1
(also listed as GOV 365N, MES 341)
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Israeli civilians, official personnel, and security sites—both on Israeli soil and abroad—are legitimate targets for attacks from a variety of armed groups and established state services. Among these: armed Palestinian groups, Iranian established intelligence and military services, groups affiliated with the Iranian regime, and al-Qaeda. Israel is challenged, as well, by the domestic threat of ideologically extreme Jewish groups, some of which turn to violence and the use of terror.

These groups’ ability to adapt and embrace new tactics is the main challenge facing Israeli security services. Since 9/11, the international arena has changed its attitude toward terrorism, and in critical aspects of countering terror Israel finds much understanding.

The course will deal with the challenges facing Israel. We will learn about the strategy and methods armed organizations use and the Israeli security services’ response. The examples we use will include domestic challenges, such as the Second Intifada and Jewish terror groups; threats-next door, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza strip; and challenges and threats against Israeli official sites and personnel.


  • Mid-length piece, written as a government brief advising the Israeli government on an assigned topic (second half of semester) 15 %
  • 10-minute oral presentation on a weekly class topic 10 %
  • 48-hour take-home final examination 75%


The Global Perspective

  • Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). Chapter 1: Defining Terrorism, p 1-41.
  • Richard Shultz, Douglas Farah, Itamara V. Lochard. "Armed Groups: a Tier One Security Priority" (Colorado: USAF Academy, INSS Occasional Paper 57, September 2004).
  • Richard H. Shultz Jr. & Andrea J. Dew, Insurgents, Terrorists and Militias (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006).Chapter 2: Assessing Enemies, pp. 17-37.
  • Juan C. Zarate, Treasury's War (New York: Public Affairs, 2013). Chapter: Epilogue - Lessons from the Use of Financial Power, p. 423-432.
  • Matthew J. Morgan, “The Origins of the New Terrorism” (Parameters, Spring 2004) pp. 29-43.

Israel's Domestic Threats

  • Daniel Byman, A High Price: The Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 13-28, 269-284.
  • Ami Pedahzur, The Israeli Secret Service & the Struggle against Terrorism (New York: Colombia University Press, 2009), pp. 111-124.
  • Avi Dichter, Daniel L. Byman, "Israel's Lessons for Fighting Terrorists and their Implications for the United States" (The Saban Center: Analysis Paper, 8, March 2006).
  • Boaz, Ganor, The Counter Terrorism Puzzle (Herzlya: IDC, 2011), pp 47-61, 101-141.
  • Richard Shultz and Roy Godson, “Intelligence Dominance: A Better Way forward in Iraq,” The Weekly Standard (July 31, 2006), pp. 22-26.
  • Ami Pedahzur, The Israeli Response to Jewish Extremism and Violence Defending Democracy (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), pp. 70-96

Next-Door Threats: Hezbollah and Hamas

  • Martin Rudner, "Hezbollah: an Organizational and Operational Profile" (International Journal of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 23, 2010), pp. 226-246.
  • Ely Karmon, “Hezbollah as a Strategic Threat to Israel,” Heartland: Eurasian Review of Geopolitics (July 2005). Pp 22-49.
  • Andrew Axum, "Hezbollah at War" (the Washington Institute: Policy Focus 63, December 2006).
  • "The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas" (MEMRI: Special Dispatch 3867, May 26, 2011). Pp. 1-18.
  • "Light at the End of their Tunnels, Hamas & the Arab Uprising" (the International Crisis Group: Middle East Report 129, August 2012), pp. 1-47.

Threats Abroad

  • Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). pp. 65-80. Matthew Levitt, Hezbollah: the Global Foot Print of Lebanon's Party of God, (Washington D.C: Georgetown University, 2013), pp. 75-106, 117-119.
  • Matthew Levitt, "Iran's Support for Terrorism in the Middle East" (Washington Institute, July 25, 2012).
  • Justus, Reid, Weiner, "Diplomatic Immunity? Terror Attacks against Israeli Embassies and Diplomatic Representatives Abroad” (Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, VI: 2, 2012), 107-123.
  • Ariel, Merari, "Israel Facing Terrorism" (Israel Affairs, Vol. 11, January 2005).

J S 365 • America And The Holocaust

40390 • Abzug, Robert H.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 3.122
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 356R)
show description

The goal of the course is to familiarize you with the history of the Holocaust and how it intersected with American society. It will combine a basic introduction to the Holocaust with a consideration of the ways in which American history, culture, and politics affected and have been affected by these events in Europe. We will consider not only American policymaking and the Nazis but also how the Holocaust became central to the contemplation of evil in the decades after the end of World War II. Issues of race, ethics, national policy, and the ability of cultures to depict and draw lessons from history form the interpretive questions at the heart of the course. .

The course will require students to participate in class discussion on key issues concerning what history can tell us about ethical issues raised in particular crises, as they affect both personal and state action, in the context of historical situations and on the basis of historical evidence.  

Pre-Requisite: There are no specific course pre-requisites, though basic familiarity with modern American and European as well as Holocaust history will of course be helpful. However, I do not assume any such background and a student will most of all need a commitment to the lectures, readings, and questions of the course to do well, and the will to seek additional background if necessary.       

            This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility. 


Robert H. Abzug, Inside the Vicious Heart

Doris Bergen, War and Genocide

Edward T. Linenthal, Preserving Memory

Philip Roth, The Ghostwriter

Richard Rubinstein, The Cunning of History

AND Readings Posted on Canvas



Midterm: 35%                           or

Final:   65%                           


Midterm:                                20%

Optional Midterm:    30%

Final:                           50

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