HISTORY 387 - History of American Jews
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Jews today are one of the most visible minorities in the United States: college educated, high income, steadfast supporters of the Democratic party. But it wasn’t always this way. How did a poor immigrant group become American and how did they manage to stay Jewish at the same time? This course explores a series of overlapping questions. How should American Jews be understood: As an American minority group? a dissenting non-Christian religious group? an immigrant and ethnic group? as a privileged white group? a cultural group? Employing the visual and aural dimensions of Jewish culture, including film, photography, music, and television along with readings in original documents and historical texts, the course suggests that studying American Jews challenges accepted interpretations of American history. Why for example, does the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus” adorn the Statue of Liberty? Why did the deaths of so many Jewish and Italian working women in Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire dramatically change labor laws in the U.S.?

Course Requirements:

The course requirements will include a mix of diverse writing assignments, from short blog posts to medium length reflections on texts, to one long term paper focused on newspaper sources. There will also be a prepared midterm and final exam. Students will gain insight into the many ways in which Jews shaped American culture, politics, and economy from the 18th to the 21st century.

Intended Audience:

Students from freshmen to seniors are welcome. No prior knowledge of Jewish or American history is required.

Class Format:

Although structured as a lecture course, regular time will be set aside for discussion in addition to section discussion.


HISTORY 387 - History of American Jews
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for HISTORY 387.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTORY 387 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)