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Hebrew III: Topics in Hebrew Literature (216-3-20)


Hanna Tzuker Seltzer
Crowe 5-159
Office Hours: Mondays/Wednesdays 3:30 - 4:30 or by appt.

Meeting Info

Kresge 3354 German Seminar Rm.: Mon, Wed 2:00PM - 3:20PM

Overview of class

The topic of this course is The Four-Dimensional Jerusalem. In this course, students will gain a deeper understanding of some of the complexities of Israeli culture through the specific example of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and she saw many victories and downfalls before her eyes. She is the subject of writing for poets and storytellers, Jews and non-Jews alike, and she is often the setting for many films and TV series that were produced in Israel. Jerusalem is immensely diverse, encompassing ultra-orthodox Jews next to secular Jews, Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardi ones, and Jews and Arabs. In this class we will get a glimpse of these sectors as they are portrayed in literary and visual art. We will read poems by Yehuda Amichai (the poet who lived and died in Jerusalem and wrote about and to Jerusalem throughout his entire life) and a short story that takes place in the Mahane Yehuda's Market and portrays the fragile relationship between the various groups in Jerusalem. We will watch clips from a dance project that brings to life love stories that took place in Jerusalem and we will speak with Miriam Engel, the artist who created this project. We will learn about the complex relationship between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, the volatile situations and the unique projects of social organizations that strive to promote understanding and co-existence. We will also learn about the history of Jerusalem and how this history affects the current intricacies of this unique city.

Registration Requirements

Prerequisite: Hebrew 121-3, or permission of the instructor.

Learning Objectives

This course is targeted for students who have finished second-year Hebrew. They will be able to put into use their knowledge of Hebrew and integrate their skills of speaking, writing, listening and reading. In the course students will work on the following linguistic and cultural objectives:
1. … identify structures you learned in the past and integrate the grammar knowledge you have acquired throughout your journey learning Hebrew into developing a higher level of reading comprehensibility;
2. … use 400-500 new words both from written or spoken sources and practice these words through interactive exercises in class and as homework;
3. … developed strategies to help you locate the main ideas, read comprehensively, to understand and assess a variety of input sources: original texts from websites of various social organizations, tables and maps, graphs, and pictures, literary sources;
4. …. Develop your ability to analyze artistic and literary works, such as poetry slam, dance, a short story, in Hebrew.
5. … to summarize and present key details of historical and current news events in your own words (written and oral) including voicing critical remarks.

Teaching Method

This is an interactive, reading and discussion-based class which requires daily guided work as well as independent research. The course materials are presented online in a multisensory way through texts, pictures, graphics, audio and video sequences.The course is divided into five units with different topics. Each unit has a set of core readings and listening activities, vocabulary development opportunities, and final writing assignments.

Evaluation Method

The final assessment of this course is based on a variety of inputs that include class attendance and participation, completion of homework, various assignments aligned with the learning goals, and a final presentation.

Class Materials (Required)

The course material is available through online PDFs and through clips that will appear on Canvas. There might be additional background reading in English.

Class Attributes

Literature & Fine Arts Distro Area