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Modern Jewish Literature Class Returns

Past Sessions
Sunday, May 28, 2023 8 Sivan 5783 - 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - NEW DATE: Beit Kehillah and Livestream
Sunday, April 30, 2023 9 Iyar 5783 - 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Beit Kehillah and Livestream
Sunday, March 26, 2023 4 Nisan 5783 - 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Beit Kehillah and Livestream
Sunday, February 26, 2023 5 Adar 5783 - 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Beit Kehillah and Livestream
Sunday, January 22, 2023 29 Tevet 5783 - 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Beit Kehillah and Livestream

Taught by Ariel Horowitz*

What does it mean to be a Jew in a modern world? How does one relate to the past? What is the nature of the conflict between the constraints of tradition and the wish for authenticity and individuality? And how do contemporary Jewish experiences vary between different localities? Jewish writers have been struggling with such questions for well over a hundred years; this course on modern Jewish literature will offer some of the attempts to reconcile with these topics. We will explore four novels and two short stories by Israeli and American Jewish writers, all of whom try, in different ways, to come to terms with issues of love, hope, identity, ethics, time and ideology.

*Ariel Horowitz is a PhD student in comparative literature at Stanford University. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Ariel holds a BA in philosophy and comparative literature, and an MA in comparative literature, both from the Hebrew University. His MA thesis focused on the writings of Yaakov Shabtai and Gershom Scholem, and his current work deals with twentieth-century Jewish literature and thought, with relation to history and memory. Ariel is also a writer: his debut novel, Our Finest, was published in Hebrew in 2021, and won critical acclaim. He lives in Stanford with his family.


  • Facing the Past (1) - Nicole Krauss, "Zusya on the Roof", in Krauss, To Be a Man; A. B. Yehoshua, "Facing the Forests", in Yehoshua, The Continuing Silence of a Poet
  • Facing the Past (2) - S. Yizhar, Khirbet Khizeh
  • Ideology and Identity (1) - Philip Roth, Indignation
  • Ideology and Identity (2) - Emuna Elon, If You Awaken Love
  • Between Here and There - Joshua Cohen, The Netanyahus

Class fee: $54 for the series. Please register for the class using the form below. Questions? Contact Rabbi Sarah Weissman.

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Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784