American and Jewish: Problems and Prospects Syllabus

Brief Weekly Prep:
All readings are located in the course-customized Source Reader, American and Jewish. We will discuss some or all of the following readings, which, for the most part, are excerpts. I will invite you to read specific readings at least one week before we discuss them together in class. If you miss a class, in order to feel prepared for the next one, contact someone taking this class with you or feel free to email me for the next class’s reading.
 
The “Disproportionate” Problem, or "Why have so few Jews influenced American so much?"
Read: “Jews in the Clinton Administration”
 
The American Stage of World Jewish History
Read: Seymour Lipset, “A Unique People in an Exceptional Country”
 
The New World
Read: “Petition to Expel the Jews from New Amsterdam” (Peter Stuyvesant)
Read: “Reply to Stuyvesant . . . ” (Dutch West India Company)
 
American and Jewish: The United States Constitution
Read: Preamble and Article VI
Read: The First Amendment (church, state, and religious freedom)
 
Complications on the Street
 Read: Selections from the Forward’s “Bintel Brief”
 
The Old and the New
Read: Henry Ford, “The International Jew”


Jewish or American?
Read: "The Pittsburgh Platform" (Conference of Reform Rabbis)
Read: “Zionism Is Consistent with American Patriotism” (Louis D. Brandeis)
Read: “Americans Demand a Single Loyalty” (Dorothy Thompson)
 
Jewish in America?
Read: Philip Roth, Goodbye, Columbus
Read: Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life
 
American Pogrom?
Read: “Blacks and Jews: The Struggle in the Cities” (Jonathan Kaufman)
 
The Struggle for the Soul of Jewish America 
Read: “The Jewish Tipping Point” (Samuel Freedman)
 
“Jewish Power” I
Read: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (Protocols 1-3)
Powerpoint: “Jews and Jersey: Origins of the Motion Picture Industry”
 
“Jewish Power” II
Read: T.Timayenis, The American Jew
Read: “Who Are the War Agitators” (Charles A. Lindbergh)
Read:  “Thomas Edison and the Jews and Walt Disney” (Anon.)
 
Conservative America
Read: “The Holocaust [and] Bible Prophecy Belief” (Paul Boyer, “Rapturous Tidings”)

Expectations
· Come on time and please stay throughout. Attendance will be monitored.
· Come ready to discuss the readings, listen respectfully to each other, and become involved in ongoing debates.
· Background readings: Truly stimulating class discussions (even for a Sunday morning!) will depend on your brief preparation before each class. Readings in each case are short excerpts and provocative. Bring your annotated copies to class. I will base my evaluations of your performance in this class on your completion of reading requirements and participation in class discussions.
· Enjoy this discussion—the readings are light but important and usually a bit disquieting.