History of the Jewish Intellectual Tradition

Course Dates: June 20 - August 18, 2022

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This course explores how the salient ideas and values of the Jewish intellectual tradition have not only stood the test of time but also—perhaps more importantly—have played a critical role in the shaping of traditional religious practices and customs, while profoundly influencing contemporary non-Jewish Western culture. The objectives of the course are to survey the history of the Jewish intellectual tradition and to identify a series of key principles that can be extracted from this tradition that have broad, even life-changing, implications for individual and societal achievement.

  • The course is completely asynchronous and conducted entirely online. You can take it in your own time and do not have to be present on campus to complete any portion of it.
  • You’ll experience a top cadre of instructors from around the world. Each instructor is a specialist in his or her field, and the variety of topics will be enhanced by the lecturers' unique expertise.
  • You’ll strengthen your familiarity with Jewish history and thought as you extract lessons and values that have the potential to enrich your life and your community.
  • The three credits you earn by completing this course can be transferred to your college or university.

The course has no prerequisites and is appropriate for both the beginner and intermediate-level student of Jewish history.

How to Apply

  • NYSCAS STUDENTS: Register for GHSN 320 using TouroOne.
  • NON-TOURO STUDENTS: Register as a non-matriculated student to NYSCAS using the simplified admissions application, then register for GHSN 320 using the TouroOne student portal.
  • The price is $900 for 3 credits.

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Sample Lecture Titles and Learning Objectives:

Dr. Alan Kadish

Dr. Alan Kadish

The Jewish Intellectual Tradition and Modern Scientific Inquiry: Disruptive Thinking

Analyze how disruptive thinking can lead to scientific and technological advances and how the Jewish intellectual tradition may foster disruptive thinking.

Dr. Marian Stoltz-Loike

Dr. Marian Stoltz-Loike

Modern Echoes

You will:

  • Evaluate whether the philosophy of Jewish education in antiquity continues to influence contemporary perspectives on Jewish education.
  • Analyze how ancient perspective on Jewish education enabled the Jewish community to survive since the destruction of the second Temple.
  • Identify the resonance of various perspectives of Jewish education in the way Jewish studies are taught today.
Dr. Shayner Leiman

Dr. Shnayer Leiman

The Volozhin Yeshiva and its Impact on Jewish Intellectual History

You will examine what was innovative about the Volozhin Yeshiva, and its response to the Hasidic and Haskalah (Enlightenment) movements in 19th century Eastern Europe.

Dr. Karen Sutton

Dr. Karen Sutton

Italy and the Library of Leone Modena

This lecture will explore and analyze the contributions and conflicts of Jewish Humanists on mainstream Italian culture and on traditional religious beliefs. During this new age of rationalism, science and philosophy, an enlightened attitude was especially evidenced by worldly religious leaders in Italy.


Email Samuel Yudelzon at samuel.yudelzon@touro.edu