JSTD 19480 History of Jews in America

(Satisfies the University requirements of a Service/Experiential Learning course)

Cuyahoga Valley State University Spring 2011
Monday, Wednesday 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 310 Bowman Hall

Instructor: Michael Levinstein Email: mlevinst@cvsu.edu Phone: 330-283-4092 Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. "The Jews are a Distinct Nationality regardless of where they live, their station in life or their shades of belief...” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, June 1915 Introduction This course focusses on the American Jewish history and its future. Through an examination of the past we aspire to understand the present and the future of the American Jewish community. Historically, Jews have shown a striking resilience at surviving hatred in the countries they lived in, but not until their arrival in the United States have they confronted the mixed blessings of a society dedicated to promoting tolerance and unwilling to accept difference. Why and how were American Jews accepted and/or mistreated by their non-Jewish neighbors? For those American Jews who "made it," what, if anything, remained Jewish in their lives? How, in short, did a fundamentally Christian America and with successive waves of Jewish immigrants endeavor to live together? How is the national experience of Jews similar and different than the experience of Jewish in northeast Ohio? This course offers students an opportunity to explore questions about the conflict and concert of Jewish and non-Jewish cultures over 350 years in America. In the spirit of intellectual honesty and reflecting the realities of Jewish life in America, we accept that there are hardly any easy answers. Our emphasis will be on evaluating history through first-person accounts, scholarly texts and historic documents. We will spend our time, learning about the typical Jewish experience across America, interviewing Akron Jews who resided here during the first half of the 20th century and discussing and evaluating our experiences in class to produce a final visual project that will be on display in the Jewish Community Center lobby. Course Objectives At the completion of this course, students will be better able to: • Analyze both primary and secondary historical sources to create an experiential narrative • Formulating historical arguments verbally and on paper

insights and learning throughout the course. you receive knowledge. The final draft is due on March 15. Magolda. to construct knowledge. and the underlying assumptions in our thinking. and Connect social understanding to civic action. 2011. waiting to be “filled” with knowledge. Students will choose one book from a short list of relevant selections provided by the instructor and write a paper (12-15 pages) drawing connections between the book and coursework. Therefore.” Y. Constructed knowledge is the combination of what you’ve read and what you hear in class (from instructor and peers). Theorists of cognitive development (Baxter. Student participant in the Banneker History Project. Perry) differentiate between received knowledge and constructed knowledge. as you sit passively. feelings. but it is rewarding in the end. at least once each class session. we learn to ask questions of what we know. The class will determine the best format for the journaling. Analyze and understand the social systems (root causes) that lead to the oppression of minority individual and communities. A preliminary draft may be submitted on or before March 1. each class member shares responsibility for creating a learning community with full and informed class participation. 2011. Research Project “Find something worthwhile in your community that hasn’t been researched before. Through rigorous questioning and critical engagement. With the former. in a meaningful way. Participation is expected to include contributing to the creation of a learning community through active listening as well as stimulating discussion in class. how we have come to know it. This means you should contribute your voice to discussion.E. Further the journal is an opportunity to analyze the lived experiences of Jewish Americans and construct their narrative. Include at least five citations from course readings and closely follow the Chicago-Style Citation manual. quality of analysis. Hopefully it will have a high impact on the community. . and enthusiasm. It is hard because no one has stepped there before. Course Requirements Active Participation Active participation is vital to the successful completion of this course. The paper should summarize the main theme(s) in the book and comment on their importance to our understanding of American Jewish history. The participation portion of the grade will be based on the quality of discussion. Belenky et al.• • • Develop and utilize the sense of personal agency (the choices we make in life) and social responsibility (the obligation to act in ways that benefit society). Reflective Journaling Students are required to keep a reflective journal to record observations. we strengthen and refine our thinking. with your own knowledge and experience.

• Turn off text messaging capabilities including notification of received messages. Written work should reflect professional quality in spelling. The exhibit will remain on display for a week. • Not use technology for social networking purposes. Students will create a visual representation of your research project and present it to the class and those present. Evaluation Evaluation will be based on performance in the following areas: Active Class Participation 30% Reflective Journaling 30% Research Project 30% Exhibit Display 20% 100% Grades in this course will be based on the quality and completion of all requirements listed above. • Not use laptops/notebooks/netbooks for purposes other than note taking unless instructor has approved other options/uses. . grammar and composition. Any student with extenuating or emergency circumstances preventing submission on the due date must discuss the situation individually with the instructor. As a college student. pagers. Late submissions of work will receive a minimum of one-letter grade reduction. palm pilots. The visual representation may take many forms and will be graded on the student’s ability to tell the story in creative and understandable ways. Additional Information Technology and Civility: It is expected that technology will not intrude into the learning environment. Students are expected to: • Silence or turn off cell phones. you are expected to exhibit high quality work that demonstrates understanding of course concepts and their complexity. Grading scale: A 90-100% B 80-89% C 70-79% D 60-69% F <60% Late work: It is expected that assignments will be submitted on the date due. and similar devices prior to class.Exhibit Our final project consists of an historical exhibit displayed in the Stephen Thomas Jefferson History Lounge as part of the Museum of American Jewish History’s annual conference held on campus.

edu/disability/Current/StudentHandbook/ RightsReas. I direct your attention to the APA style manual for a statement on plagiarism and a helpful example of how to paraphrase. all members of the university are expected to join in creating a positive atmosphere in which individuals can learn and work. Indiana University offers a useful guide regarding plagiarism: http:// www. and interests of each and every student. addressing the needs. (See “University Policy Register”) The instructor of this course is committed to teaching equitably and inclusively. see http://www. English language experience. they can be reached at 330-678-3391 and are located on the ground floor of the Student Center. encourages an atmosphere in which the diversity of its members is understood and appreciated.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.cvsu. regardless of age.registrars. we are all subject to the standards of academic integrity. Using another person’s words. race/ethnicity. religion. thoughts or ideas without proper attribution is plagiarism and a form of academic dishonesty. please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Finally. an atmosphere that is free of discrimination and harassment based on identity categories. sexual orientation. Thus. for more information about your rights and responsibilities.edu/policyreg/ Further. Academic Integrity: As members of the community of higher education. class. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations.shtml . For more information about University policy see The University Policy Register at http://www. gender/sexual identity. Please note.htm Statement of Inclusion: Kent State University. All students must become familiar with and abide by the University’s policy on academic integrity.cvsu. you must first verify your eligibility for academic accommodation through Student Accessibility Services. as an equal opportunity educational institution. an environment that is sympathetic. Academic dishonesty is a violation of University policy.indiana. which prohibits cheating and plagiarism. concerns. respectful and supportive. or disability.Accommodation: University policy 3342-3-18 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. Students are subject to the Code of Student Conduct.

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