New Jewish Studies Lifelong Learning courses 2013-14

We are excited to announce that we will be running three Lifelong Learning evening classes during the 2013-14 academic year. Our evening classes are a fantastic opportunity to find aout more about Jewish life and history and the interaction of different cultures, whether you have studied the topic in detail or just have a passing interest. The only thing you need to bring with you is enthusiasm!

Approaches to Jewish History and Culture

In semester one we will be building on our succesful ‘Approaches to Jewish History and Culture’ course. In 2012-13 this course examined a range of thematic case studies drawn from Jewish history and culture including philanthropy, topographies, food and literature. In 2013-14 the course will instead take a broadly chronological perspective, drawing on historical events such as the reign of Constantine and life in ancient Jerusalem. The course is intended to introduce you to the rich variety within Jewish history and culture, and to investigate developments within Jewish culture focusing especially on relations with other groups, both religious and secular.

The material discussed will give you a broad overview of Jewish history from antiquity to the present day, including case studies from Jerusalem in early Jewish society to approaches to studying the Holocaust. The sources and topics you will examine will consider Jewish history and culture from the perspective of both the religious and the secular and so encompass a range of facets of Jewish life.

‘Approaches to Jewish History and Culture’ will run on Thursday evenings, 7-9pm, from 10 October 2013 until 16 January 2014.

Britain, Israel and the Modern World

New for the 2013-14 academic year, ‘Britain, Israel and the Modern World’ will explore the evolving relationship between Britain and Israel from 1948 to the present day, examining a wide range of interconnected socio-political issues and themes such as ‘New’ anti-Semitism, Holocaust memory and decolonisation.

Britain’s near 100-year formal relationship with the Jewish community in what was Palestine and later Israel has always been significant for both nations. However, this relationship has developed significantly since the end of the British controlled Mandate of Palestine in 1948 and the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel. Despite such alteration, it remains of key global importance: the position of Britain on the UN Security Council as well as the interaction between the two respective Jewish communities demonstrates its continuing relevance to the modern world.

 This course will provide a detailed overview of a significant international relationship that continues to be of global importance, whilst also focusing on the responses of two Jewish communities to some of the defining moments in modern history.

‘Britain, Israel and the Modern World’ runs from 5 February 2014 to 21 May 2014 on Wednesdays, 7-9pm.

Classical Hebrew

‘Classical Hebrew’ will provide you with an elementary knowledge of Classical Hebrew grammar, which is needed in order to read the Tanakh or Old Testament in its original language.

The course will focus on explanation of grammatical forms and syntax in order to read and translate phrases and sentences taken from the biblical text itself, and primarily from the book of Genesis.

This course is a continuation of part one, which covered the forms of the active ‘qal’ verb, masculine and feminine nouns, basic prepositions, conjunctions, adjectives and pronouns. In part two, the course will focus on the different forms of the regular verb in Classical Hebrew, the weak verbs, waw consecutive and verbal suffixes. If you missed part one, please do get in touch to see if this course is appropriate for you and new-comers are most welcome!

The course will enable you to read and translate select verses from the book of Genesis from Hebrew into English, explain your own views on issues in translation of Classical Hebrew and evaluate the importance of knowledge of the original text of the Tanakh or Old Testament in the study of biblical ideas.

‘Classical Hebrew’ will run from 6 February 2014 to 22 May 2014, from 7-9pm on Thursdays.


Our evening classes cost £180 (£155 for Friends of Parkes) for a 12 week course of 2 hours per week. To book your place please visit our dedicated online store. For more information Parkes Institue evening classes please contact Dr Helen Spurling ( or Dr Tom Plant (, and for information on the University of Southampton’s Lifelong Learning programme or for assistance in booking courses, please visit the Lifelong Learning website or contact

We hope to see you in October and February!

This entry was posted in Outreach and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s