Jewish tradition goes back thousands of years, and Jews have resided in many different lands. They have become an integral part of many different cultures, yet have often retained (or been forced to retain) a certain degree of separateness or difference. In this course we will trace continuity and change in Jewish traditions from ancient to modern times, and across different regions. Taking into account inter-cultural contact and historical events — ranging in place from the Middle East to Muslim Spain to Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and in time from the ancient world to the medieval era, the Holocaust, and contemporary Israel and the U.S. — we will explore developments in Jewish history, literature, and culture. The course considers topics such as the attitudes other groups have had toward Jews (and vice-versa), the question of whether Jewish identity is a race, a religion, or an ethnicity, the dilemmas Jews face today, and the ways that Jews in many diverse settings have balanced change and continuity. We will explore the factors that shape Jewish experience in different times and places, the diversities within and among Jewish lifestyles, and the ways in which events and interactions with other peoples have influenced the development of Jewish civilization. Finally, we will consider the dilemmas Jews face today in terms of the preservation of their identity and traditions. The course includes class discussion. Students are evaluated on the basis of, essay exams, quizzes, in-class discussion and commentaries, and group projects.