Adi Raz

Assistant ProfessorEd.D.- 2009, Jewish Theological Seminary

Clinical Assistant Professor
Adi Raz



Teaching Hebrew as a second language to students with language learning disabilities; Jewish education


J S S365 • Cross-Cul Comm In Middle East

85725 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am CLA 0.120
(also listed as ANT S320L, MES S341)

An old woman is standing in the middle of the isle in your local supermarket. You don't see her and you bump into her. In Korea, you would apologize ten times and give her your business card, just in case she wants to contact you. In Hungary, you would apologize profusely. In Israel, you would scold her and ask why she is standing in the middle of the isle waiting for an accident to happen…What is the proper thing to do in a given culture? Why do non-native speakers visiting other cultures tend to offend the locals? These questions can all be answered by understanding the pragmatics of a culture. Pragmatics is the study of language as action and of the social contexts in which linguistic action takes place. Cross-cultural pragmatics is the study of linguistic action carried out by language users from different ethnolinguistic backgrounds.  Pragmatics is based on speech acts such as apologies and requests and their acceptable use in different cultures. In this class, we will first discuss two theoretical approaches to pragmatics: speech act theory and politeness theory. Following this introduction, we will focus on case studies from Middle Eastern countries such as Israel, Iran and Egypt. We will examine detail research on the production and interpretation of speech acts across cultures.


Gars, S. M., & Neu, J. (Eds.). (2006). Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W.


Quizzes on theoretical definitions of pragmatics. (25%); One group or individual presentation of one or more articles from the readings. (25%); Group or individual research project and presentation of findings focusing on one or more speech acts. (50%)

J S S365 • Minorities In Israel

85945 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm MEZ 2.122
(also listed as HEB S372, MES S322K)

Israel is a diverse country with just over seven million citizens. The people of Israel wear keffiyahs, wigs, veils, and kippot. Most of the population in Israel is Jewish however, many are surprised to hear that there are numerous non-Jewish minorities that include Muslims, Christians and Druze. Since Israel is an immigrant nation, there are also Jewish minorities such as Ethiopians and Russians that came to Israel looking for a better life. In this course we will look at the many facets of Israeli society and focus on the minorities that live in Israel. We will discuss the issues that these minorities encounter in a country facing social, political, and security difficulties.



Rosenthal D. (2008). The Israelis. Free Press, New York



Quizzes  25%

One group or individual presentation of one or more articles from the readings.  25%

Attendance and class participation  15%

Group or individual research project and presentation of findings  35%

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