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Virtual Student Exchange. Bar Ilan Universität (Israel)

Das Centrum für Jüdische Studien hat mit der Bar Ilan Universität (Israel) eine Kooperation im Bereich der digitalen Lehre vereinbart. Im Rahmen dieses „Virtual Student Exchange“ können Grazer Studierende online ausgewählte Lehrveranstaltungen des Department of Jewish Art in englischer Sprache belegen, die von der KFU Graz angerechnet werden.

Folgende Kurse können im Studienjahr 2023/24 belegt werden:

Im Wintersemester 2023/24/ first semester:

  • Prof. Mirjam Rajner: On the Crossroads: Jews, Art and Culture in Southeastern Europe (zoom)

Thursday 10:00-11:30 (Israel time) - 9:00–10:30 (Central European Time)

Description: Southeastern Europe is an understudied area in both Jewish and European studies. Although this fascinating multi-ethnic and multi-religious region is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Balkan, Central, and East European worlds that were once part of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires, and includes the Ashkenazic-Sephardic fault-line, it has not yet received sufficient scholarly attention. The course will offer an overview of the Jewish life in the region while paying special attention to the Jewish visual culture and arts that developed in its urban centers, in the 19th and the 20th centuries.
During the course the students will learn about the main Jewish communities in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Vojvodina; the synagogues built in the region in the course of the 19th and the 20the centuries; and the art created by the artists of Ashkenazic and Sephardic origin active in Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade in the interwar period, during the Holocaust and in its immediate aftermath.

Requirements: Written paper (6-8 pp.); the topics with instructions will be given by mid-December. Papers due by March 1, 2024. 10% - attendance (open cameras) and active participation (allowed to miss 2 classes), 90% - paper


  • Dr. Martina Niedhammer: Jewish Travel Writing on Eastern Europe

Wednesday, 13:30-15:00 (CET) – 14:30-16:00 (Israel Time)

Description: At the end of the 18th century, the territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth included a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-religious population. As Larry Wolff has shown, enlightened intellectuals residing in Paris and travelling to Poland or Russia transformed these various landscapes into a rather uniform region of backwardness and barbarism. It was their “invention” of the East that helped Western and Central Europeans to define their own “mission” which was to raise the moral, social, and cultural conditions of Eastern European inhabitants. Jewish travelers made no general exception to this rule. Nevertheless, they found themselves in a slightly different position as they were more eager to embrace their coreligionists in the “East” than other groups. This might have been both a result of their diaspora experience and the fact that a lot of them had either ancestors who had lived in the region before migrating to Central and Western European cities or had themselves spent their childhood in the region. It is therefore no wonder that we often observe a mixture of fascination and disgust when reading Jewish travelogues depicting daily Jewish life in Eastern Europe. This becomes the more obvious when we consider the spiritual crisis which affected Western and Central European Jewry at the end of 19th century and led, amongst others, to an increased study of Eastern European traditions commonly regarded as more “authentic” than those in the “West”. In this course, we will discuss what travelers perceived as “Jewish” along their journeys and examine the images they developed about “West” and “East”.

Teaching aims: By the end of this course, students will
- Be able to reflect on the diversity of the Jewish experience in modern Western / Central and Eastern Europe
- Have a profound knowledge about the early history of Jewish ethnography in Eastern Europe
- Be able to analyze a wide variety of primary sources (novels, memoirs, images)

Requirements: Attendance, participation in class discussions, knowledge of assigned weekly readings, short oral presentation, essay (about 8/10 pages).


Im Sommersemester 2024/ second semester:

  • Dr. Leor Jacobi: Hunting Scenes in Medieval Jewish Art: Real, Imaginary and Symbolic (zoom)

Thursday 10:00-11:30 (Israel time) -- 9:00–10:30 (Central European Time)

Description: Students will engage with images of Medieval Jewish Art and analysis of them together with contemporary Art History Studies. They will develop historical appreciation of actual archaic hunting methods, recognition of the imaginary, fantastic, and grotesque. Students will develop awareness of symbolic levels of meaning and iconography, with an emphasis on Biblical scenes and Medieval Jewish-Christian relations.
We will examine hunting scenes as they are expressed in works of art made by Jews, for Jews, or about Jews in the Middle Ages, mostly in illuminated manuscripts. The textual background and the artistic means illustrating them will be examined and contemporary art history literature describing both general and specific medieval hunting scenes will be discussed.

Teaching aims:
• Introduction to selected works of Jewish and non-Jewish art
• Analysis of the religious, historical and geographic background of the paintings
• Isolation of the main iconographic themes
• Appreciation of the relationship between Jewish Art and Literature

Requirements: Review of images and literature before each course. Active participation in online course, including “group surfing” of Library image and literary databases. Final Exam. Exam 90%, Course Participation 10%


Weitere Informationen zum Studienjahr 2023/2024 finden sie unter: https://www.biu.ac.il/en/academic-year?title=2023-2024

Der Link zum Anmeldeformular ist nun auf der Joint Programme Website zu finden: https://www.jointdegree.eu/de/juedische-studien/programm/bar-ilan-university-virtual-exchange/

Direkter Link zur Bewerbung: https://survey.uni-graz.at/index.php/566671?lang=en

Rückfragen und Anmeldung richten Sie bitte per Email an: olaf.terpitz(at)uni-graz.at. Das Büro für Internationale Beziehungen wird Sie im weiteren Schritt in das Austauschprogramm aufnehmen.

Kontakt Virtual Student Exchange. Bar Ilan Universität (Israel)

Priv.-Doz. Dr.phil. M.A.

Olaf Terpitz

Centrum für Jüdische Studien

Centrum für Jüdische Studien

Telefon:+43 316 380 - 8084

nach Vereinbarung

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