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Jewish Studies Calendar

Jewish Studies Calendar

Synchronous Webconferencing Courses

Join a line-up of impressive Spertus faculty members and your fellow students to learn together in real time.

These courses fulfill requirements for students enrolled in Spertus Institute's Jewish Studies MA and Doctoral programs. 

Contact Spertus Institute Registrar Victoria Blum at if you have questions relating to your registration.

January Seminar Course


Summer 2021 Seminar Course
Meets online for daily morning and afternoon sessions, June 6-10, 2021

Taught by Dr. Matthew Goldish

Course 3182 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Second Level Core, MAJS Elective, and DSJS Elective

Meets via Zoom | 10 am-12 pm and 2 pm-4 pm Central Time
Daily Sunday, June 6 through Thursday, June 10, 2021

Explore the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, their forced conversion in Portugal in 1497, and the fateful diasporas that resulted. Under the guidance of historian and author Dr. Matthew Goldish, this course will provide a base from which to understand the immense, fascinating, labyrinthine world of the Sephardim.

We will begin with the multiple causes and accounts of the expulsion, following the Sephardi to the Ottoman Empire, North Africa, Italy, and the New World. We will explore the conversos and crypto-Jews who converted to Catholicism by choice or by force, as well as the fate of their descendants, pausing to glance at the incredible literary and cultural flowering among the exiles. Finally, we will look at both community and dissidence among the Sephardi diasporas in Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, Bayonne, and Livorno.

Register by April 30, 2021

Summer 2021 Webconferencing Courses
Each course meets online weekly for two-hour sessions held over eight weeks
Register for one or both at the link below.

Taught by Dr. Gary Porton

Course 3183 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Elective, DHL/DSJS Text Course, and DSJS Elective

Meets via Zoom | Tuesdays, 6-8 pm Central Time
July 6 to August 24, 2021 (8 sessions)

In this course, explore the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, two areas that students of Judaism frequently miss as they jump from Tanakh to Mishnah, a span of about 700 years.

The books found in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha contain ideas and images that first appeared in Jewish thought from late antiquity through the modern period. There are mystical visions in Enoch, martyrdom originates in II Maccabees, Greek philosophy informs IV Maccabees, and messianic images, the afterlife, and resurrection abound in II and III Maccabees, II Baruch, and IV Ezra.

We’ll read in English translations and discuss the ideas within the texts and the types of Judaism which produced the documents. We’ll discover that many expressions of Judaism that existed alongside rabbinic Judaism and the ideas in this books that inform our Jewish landscape.

Image: From the exhibition Blood of the Maccabees, Negev Museum of Art

Taught by Rabbi Dr. Devorah Schoenfeld

Course 3295 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Second Level Core, MAJS Elective, DHL/DSJS Text Course, and DSJS Elective

Meets via Zoom | Wednesdays, 6-8 pm Central Time
July 7 to August 25, 2021 (8 sessions)

Song of Songs is one of the most widely read and iconic books of the Bible. Jews and Christians both reference the text to think about what it means to love God. In this course, we will look at Jewish and Christian approaches to Song of Songs, from classical commentaries like the early Christian scholar Origen and the rabbinic Midrash Rabbah to medieval commentaries like those of the famous Jewish exegete Rashi and Bernard of Clairvaux, the twelfth-century saint and Church leader, to contemporary exegetes such as Ilana Pardes and Jon Levenson. The course will offer a close reading of the text in a variety of historical and theological contexts and offer insights into its value for a variety of purposes.

Image: Marc Chagall, Song of Songs IV, 1958

Register for weekly courses by May 24, 2021

Considering a graduate degree in Jewish Studies?

Your application and admission materials must be received six weeks prior to a course start date.

Spertus Institute graduate programs in Jewish Studies are offered through a unique blend of distance learning and intensive on-campus instruction (when safe for us to do so). Courses cover Jewish history, thought, and culture, accompanied by study of classical Jewish texts. LEARN MORE>