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Crucial Moments in Israeli History Through the Lens of Short Stories - Part One

Past Sessions
Monday, March 27, 2023 5 Nisan 5783 - 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM - ZOOM
Monday, March 20, 2023 27 Adar 5783 - 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM - ZOOM
Monday, March 13, 2023 20 Adar 5783 - 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM - ZOOM
Monday, February 27, 2023 6 Adar 5783 - 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM - ZOOM
Monday, February 13, 2023 22 Shevat 5783 - 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM - ZOOM

This class is an initiative of the Israel Engagement Committee. For questions please contact Maureen Mintz.

Instructor: Jacob Meskin Ph.D. Academic Advisor and Senior Lecturer, Me'ah Program 
Cost: $190, generous financial aid is available  
Location: Zoom  
Hosted by: Temple Israel of Sharon

This course uses famous short stories written by Israeli authors, accompanied by optional selections from historical background materials, to introduce students to critical periods in the history of the modern state of Israel.   

Originally designed as a ten-week course, we start with the earliest waves of immigration and settlement, and proceed week by week to the Lebanon War, with a final week on stories written by Arab Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli authors. The course is now also being offered as a sequence of two, five-week courses.  The five weeks of Part One begin with the period of the first aliyah (1881-1903), and end with the War of Independence (1947-1949) and its immediate aftermath.    

Written by men and women, Ashkenazim and Sefardim/Mizrachim, Israeli Jews, Arab Israelis, and Palestinians, secularists and traditionalists, these stories open up for us uniquely visceral and imaginative windows on many of the compelling events, and still unsettled debates, that have shaped the history of Israel. The authors we will be reading include Shai Agnon, Yosef Haim Brenner, Benjamin Tammuz, Amos Oz, Savyon Liebrecht, Aharon Megged, Mira Magen, Shimon Ballas, A.B. Yehoshua, Ayelet Tsabari, Sayed Kashua, Suad Amiry, and Yahya Yakhlif. (Biographical information is supplied on the authors being read each week.)  Although various optional academic materials will be provided each week to shed light on the complex developments we will be studying, our central guide and companion for this journey will be Anita Shapira’s Israel: A History (2012).  

This course was initially developed as a way of helping students to engage with Israeli history. However, experience has shown that the stories, as engaging and evocative works of literary art, also provide students with an opportunity to enter empathetically into the profound experiences, existential challenges, and emotional dilemmas that have confronted men and women throughout the history of modern-day Israel. 

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Tue, June 25 2024 19 Sivan 5784