Modern Jewish History


This course examines modern Jewish history from the sixteenth century to the present, focusing on the political, social, religious, and cultural transformations of Jewish life and identity around the world. Major topics to be discussed will include political emancipation and the Hebrew Enlightenment, Zionism and modern Jewish political movements, antisemitism and the Holocaust, the divergent paths of American and European Jewries, and post-World War II relations between global Jewry and the State of Israel. This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism or Jewish history.


The main textbook for this course will likely be Howard Morley Sachar’s A History of the Jews in the Modern World. This will be supplemented with a variety of other scholarly articles and an extensive array of primary sources drawn chiefly from Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz’s source book, The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. Requirements will likely include three short papers in response to primary sources; a midterm exam; a final exam; and participation in in-class discussion sections. HIEU 2102 follows HIEU 2101, Jewish History II: The Ancient and Medieval Experience, though the two may be taken independently.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts