Take a Look at Some of Our New Course Offerings!

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce its lineup of Spring 2021 (virtual) one-credit courses! For a look at our complete Spring 2021 course offerings, visit this link.

Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Digital Edition: Propaganda, Conspiracy, and the Politics of Hate, JCIV 181 

Professor Emily Blout 

Tuesdays: 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Digital Edition: Propaganda, Conspiracy, and the Politics of Hate. For more than a century, Protocols of the Elders of Zion has been used to advance a powerful and persistent anti-Semitic trope: that Jews are plotting to take over the world. From Adolf Hitler to Henry Ford, rabid anti-Semites have championed the fabricated text as a historical document and published it widely. Using Protocols as a launching point, this course will examine the history and nature of propaganda and conspiracism, with an eye toward understanding how such vehicles of influence are constructed and deployed in the today’s hyper-mediated politics.


A Pope and a Rabbi: Unlikely Friends, JCIV 014 

Father Dennis McManus and Rabbi Abraham Skorka 

Thursdays: 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

An Unlikely Friendship: The Lifelong Dialogue of Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Pope Francis. This course will explore how two great religious figures in Argentina — Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka — became world-wide dialogue partners, modeling the new relationship between Jews and Catholics. The course is co-taught by Fr. Dennis McManus and Rabbi Skorka, himself. The course includes readings, films, live interviews by Zoom, and a final essay. Course meeting dates are: Jan 28, Feb 4, Feb 11, Feb 18, Feb 25. The course is also listed as INAF 014.


The Lands of Blood of Honey: Israel and the Balkans in the 21st Century, JCIV 285

Professor Sarah Fainberg 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

This modular course highlights the multifaceted relations that have developed between the countries of the Balkan Peninsula and the State of Israel since the breakup of Yugoslavia. Their encounter draws upon an acute sense of the 20th century tragedies as the Jewish people and minorities across the Balkans experienced genocidal policies and ethnic cleansing. Based on the Ottoman legacy, the Balkan countries and Israel also perceive themselves as “crossroads between Christian and Muslim civilizations” while wrestling with the challenge of integrating their own ethnic and religious minorities. From a geopolitical perspective, Israel and the Western Balkans are viewed as soft underbellies of Western security architecture and aspire to foster a stable neighborhood and regional integration. Specifically, they share a concern for the rise of Jihadi extremism, the refugee crisis’ destabilizing effects, Iran’s and Turkey’s muscle-flexing and rivalry, Great Power collusion, and the imperative to protect their energy needs and infrastructures. Ideologically, they tend to converge in their unwavering commitment to the national principle and the nation-state framework. Israel’s intensifying relations with the Balkan region in the broad sense (from the Adriatic coast to the Ionian, Aegean, and Black Seas) testify to the rise of a new and often overlooked geopolitical continuum between the Balkan area and the Middle East. Together we shall explore Israel’s multidimensional engagement with the Balkan countries by focusing on three main questions: What are the main drivers and constraints of their relationships? What lies behind the US involvement in their relationship dynamics? To what extent can the Balkan countries provide Israel with a second circle of allies in the periphery of the Middle East? This course is designed to empower students and young professionals with a keen interest in European, Eurasian, and Middle East studies in the foreign policy and national security realms. Students shall be trained to formulate security assessments and generate policy-oriented objectives and solutions. Course meeting dates are: Feb 15-19.