The Glory Of Sepharad (Spain): The Surprising Story of The First Modern Jews


The Glory Of Sepharad (Spain): The Surprising Story of The First Modern Jews

Instructor: Dr. Jacob Meskin (Read Bio)
FALL Dates: 6 Thursday evenings, 12/14, 12/21, 1/4, 1/11, 1/18 & 1/25
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $270 (Fall Semester), financial aid available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Hebrew College


Perhaps most intriguing to us today: the Jewish men and women of medieval Spain were, in some centrally important ways, the first “modern” Jews! They were a tiny religious minority, striving to flourish in what may have been the closest thing to a “pluralistic society” that the world had ever seen at that point. Constantly forced to negotiate the existence of their religion, and their culture, in the face of two vast, overwhelmingly powerful religious empires, our medieval Jewish ancestors responded with remarkable innovations. Their lasting achievements in the arts, in religion, and in Jewish thought continue to inspire us today, as we negotiate our own very different — and yet somehow still similar — challenges concerning Jewish identity, assimilation, religious pluralism, and the search for meaningful forms of spirituality.

The FALL COURSE, taught by Prof. Jacob Meskin, will include the following topics:
– the complexities of Jewish-Muslim and Jewish-Christian relations
– unprecedented Jewish approaches to understanding the Bible
– daring secular and erotic poetry in Hebrew (studied in translation)
– a fresh approach to ethics and personal life
– the development of Jewish mysticism
– provocative new views about science, faith, comparative religion, and the problem of historical change and development.

This is the first of two courses that will prepare students for the inaugural Me’ah Jewish Discovery Tour of Spain in May 2024.

Detailed trip information:  Join us!

On the HC website:

For more information about these courses or the Spain trip, contact Terri Swartz Russell,