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Ancient Jewish History

Course Developed by: Sharon Eretz
Frankel Jewish Academy

Imagine if you could travel back to the time of Moses, or even before Moses, and witness the events of the Hebrew Bible, fully immersed in the culture of the time. Imagine yourself more than 3000 years in the past. You arrive on a starry night, and witness fathers sitting by the campfire telling their children about Moses, and tracing their own lineage to that time. How would that experience enlighten your current perspective of what Judaism is today? 

This course will cover Ancient Near East History of the Jewish people, from the time before they were even called "Jews." We will travel back in time, by the vehicle of primary sources, to the second millennium BCE (2000 BCE) until the final destruction of the last Jewish Temple, 1st century CE. We will be utilizing primary sources including Biblical and Non-Biblical texts, archeological finds, and ancient scripts. Some of the topics we'll examine include: origins of the Tribes of Israel and neighboring influences, possible origins of monotheism, the Hebrew language and script and how it became Hebrew, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and much more.

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Mrs. Eretz recently made Aliyah to Israel and is teaching at the Zarkor School. Formerly, she was a Judaic History Instructor at Frankel Jewish Academy in West Bloomfield, teaching Jewish History, Holocaust Studies, Israel Advocacy, and History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. She also worked for the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) of Michigan facilitating "Words to Action" which includes Anti-Semitism education/action at local synagogues and Jewish organizations. She co-published the first English Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch while completing her MA (Bible and the Ancient Near East Program) at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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