1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Notification of Changes
  14. Custom Sections
  15. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  16. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  17. Severe Weather Protocol
  18. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  19. Religious Observances
  20. UAct Statement


REL 224-001Spring 2018 | 3 Credit Hours


Dr. Steve Jacobs

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prerequisites required.

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

A study of some of the leading schools and interpreters of Judaism and a review of modern developments including the Holocaust and the State of Israel.

This Core course introduces Judaism and examines its history, philosophy, theology, holiday/festival and life cycles, as well as contemporary experiences including the Holocaust and the rebirth of the state of Israel. HU

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:

Course Objectives

1. To introduce students to the multi-dimensional world of the Jews and Judaism through a look at their historical and contemporary experiences, their thought world of texts, philosophy and theology, and their practices of holiday and life-cycle celebrations.

2. To contemporize the Judaic experience by examining those influences which mark the present moment in Jewish history: the influence of both the Holocaust/Shoah and the ongoing Arab/Palestinian-Israel/Middle East Conflict.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • 1. Students will be able to successfully--with a passing grade of 70 or better--the "Jewish Literacy Survey" given at the beginning and end of the course--in addition to a take-home-essay-style Final Examination concretely demonstrating knowledge of the areas of Judaism covered in this course.

  • 2. Students will demonstrate their writing proficiency through two (2) additional assignments of 5-7 pages and a 7-10 pages, the result of (a) a Creative Project on "What if...", a Research Paper, and/or a Creative Project.

Other Course Materials

Possible additional handouts provided by the instructor. See also additional Blackboard Course Page for additional readings, etc.

Outline of Topics

1. The Nature of Jewish/Judaic Studies.

2. Unpacking a Definition.

3. Cycles of History

4. Cycles of Texts: Building the Foundations

5. Cycles of Thought: Judaic Philosophy

6. Cycles of Belief: Judaic Theology

7. Cycles of Time: the Jewish Calendar

8. Cycles of Life: The Life-Cycle Journey

9. Cycles of the Here and Now: The 21st Century and Beyond

10. The Future of Judaism and the Jewish People.

Exams and Assignments

See Class Itinerary for Assignments and Exams.

Grading Policy

The Grading Scale is as follows: A+ = 99...; A = 94-98; A- = 90-93; B+ = 88-89; B = 84-87; B- = 80-83; C+ = 78-79; C = 74-77; C- = 70-73; D+ = 68-69; D = 64-67; D- = 60-63; F+ = 58-59; F = 54-57; F- = 50-53

25% = "What if..." Paper

50% = Research Paper or Creative Project

25% = Final Exam

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

All missed responsibilities will be worked out on an individual basis with the instructor.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required unless otherwise noted on the Calendar of Meetings.

Notification of Changes

The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Academic Misconduct Policy provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by respect and civility.  The UAct website (www.ua.edu/uact)  provides extensive information on how to report or obtain assistance with a variety of issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence or other Title IX violations, illegal discrimination, harassment, hate or bias incidents, child abuse or neglect, hazing, threat assessment, retaliation, and ethical violations or fraud.