Rechtschaffen Institute of Judaic Studies | Evaluated Learning Experience
Sociology of Ethnic Jewish Cuisine Throughout the Ages (SOC 311)
Varies; self-study format.
March 2021 - Present.
Upon successful completion of the learning experience, students will be able to: demonstrate a commanding knowledge of both the history and social significance of Jewish Cuisine throughout the ages; be aware of the primary Jewish sources which are replete with references to cuisine and its significance in both custom and law; demonstrate a distinct proficiency in being able to compare and contrast the potential impact of custom vs. law in the realm of Jewish Cuisine; identify the origin of many common practices involving the various victuals in modern Jewish society. The student will be expected to be capable of tracing the roots of many common practices that have cropped up over the years, and in contrast, identify which customs are societally no longer practiced and provide an explanation for these vicissitudes involving cuisine in the Jewish world.
Major topics include: social history of Jewish food, including Biblical and Talmudic concepts and rules of food and customs that have been adopted over the centuries in Jewish settlements in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and more recently in the United States and Israel, how foods are used for ritual and festival purposes, how Jews played a role in spreading foods to other cultures, and modern attitudes of Jews toward different types of cuisine and different reasons for their food choices and the respective sociologically significance. This course is taught in variable format. The online module-based format (with a required textbook) consists of on-going and cumulative competency-based assessments (quizzes and final exam), open-ended essays, student activity and observations/reflections. The final grade is based on the final exam. Study materials are provided for the student in the form of both a comprehensive study guide which generally follows the textbook closely, and other study aids such as PowerPoint presentations and other digital media to aid in conveying the material.
In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 6 semester hours in Judaic Studies, Religion, Sociology, Anthropology, Jewish History, Nutritional Science or as a General Elective (8/21).