Israeli Settlements in West Bank
Start writing a post

We had a pretty heavy first few hours of our morning, but now we are on our way to Shalem College! This place is a big deal because it's the first liberal arts college in Israel.

Since everyone (or most everyone) goes into the IDF right after high school, there isn't really room for liberal arts studies in what is considered the typical timeline of an Israeli young adult. Similar to stereotypical Chinese education paths, Israelis can either go to school to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. However, Shalem College students want to explore something more.

At Shalem, there are two majors: the first is Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and the second is Philosophy and Jewish Thought. There is a core curriculum that students take in addition to their major requirements; the core curriculum includes general breadth requirements such as Western & Eastern Philosophy and Religion, Jewish Thought, Literature, Art, & Music, History and Social Sciences, and Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

The classes offered within the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies major are as follows: Intensive Modern Standard Arabic; Major Issues in Islam; The History of the Middle East I: From Muhammad to the Fall of the Abbasids; Arabic Media and Literature; Intensive Modern Persian; The History of the Middle East II: From the Mongol Conquest to the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire; Classical Islamic Texts I: Koran, Hadith, and Fiqh; Classical Islamic Texts II: Sira, Tarikh, and Adab; The Shi'a; Islamic Reformism and Fundamentalism in the Modern Period; Kurds and Other Minorities in the Middle East; Oil and Water: The Economy of the Middle East in the Modern Period; Politics and Ideology in Modern Egypt; The Art of the Khutba: Analyzing Friday Mosque Sermons; Saudi Arabia; The Arab-Israelis Conflict in War and Words; Modern History: Turkey and the Key Players in the Arab World; and Iran: History and Culture.

The classes offered within the Philosophy and Jewish Thought major are these: The Biblical Narrative; Topics in Analytic Philosophy; Epistemology and Metaphysics; Neoplatonic Philosophy from the Ancient World to the Middle Ages; Platonic Dialogues; Topics in Rabbinic Literature and Thought: Interpretation and Meaning; Introduction to Kabbalah; Morality and Ethics; Readings in the Guide for the Perplexed; Competing Theories of Justice; Kant and Hegel; Philosophy of History; Readings in the Zohar; The Hassidic Movement and Its Mitnagdic Opposition; The Legacy of Plato and Aristotle in the Hellenistic World; Political Thought in the Jewish Tradition; Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and Political Philosophy; Modern Jewish Thought and the Many Voices of Judaism; Hermeneutics; and the Philosophy of Halacha.

We joined a classroom of 20-25 Shalem College students for lunch and asked them about their studies. Most of the students in that class were Middle East and Islamic Studies majors, and most were secular Jewish Israelis. They dressed differently from the Jewish young adults we saw in and around the Old City; there, everyone was dressed in religious or more traditional, plain garments. Here, the liberal arts students were dressed in an "edgy" style, with ripped jeans and colorful scarves and large earrings. Many even had nose piercings.

Some were parents; after all, they were all at least 21 or 22 years old. Some were born and raised here in Jerusalem, and others were American Jews who made Aliyah to Israel with their families.

There was a distinct accent difference between American Jews and Israelis who grew up here; the students themselves pointed out how we could tell the American English accent from the Israeli-accented English.

I talked to a student named Daniel, who was the father of a two-year old girl. He was studying Middle East and Islamic Studies, and we bonded over our love for the Arabic language. He said that after studying Arabic intensively, he was able to understand more about the Palestinian narrative and way of thinking.

He wanted to study Arabic culture because he believes that understanding one another is the first step to peace. He told me, though, that he didn't think there would be permanent peace in his lifetime; even so, he would still do his part to contribute to it.

He also wanted to know why Americans are so concerned with being politically correct all the time. If there's one thing that all Israelis have in common, it's that they do not care one bit about being politically incorrect. In America, no one wants to say something that's not PC--that's a huge cultural difference between the US and Israel. It's honestly refreshing to hear someone say exactly how they feel about a certain topic without trying to accomodate for the possibility of hurting someone's feelings. If an Israeli doesn't like you, they'll tell you right up front.

It was really cool to see the passion that these students had for understanding other cultures. I will always appreciate the candor in our conversations about cultural differences; though we did not agree on everything, we could still share pita and hummus with each other. In our next section, we will be talking to Dr. Daniel Gordis, a professor at the Shalem Institute.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

217334

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

Even though Domestic Violence Awareness Month is coming to an end, it is so important to remain alert and aware of exactly what domestic violence is, who can be affected by domestic violence (hint: everyone), how to get help if you need it, and even how to be the best support system possible if you know any survivors.

So, before you close out October, here's a brief run-through of what you need to know about domestic violence, whether you're going through it, survived it, or know someone who has.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

417164

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Vulnerable Stories That Were Shared This World Mental Health Day

Everyone has a mental health experience. These creators bravely shared their stories with us.

4251

Everyone has a mental health story. Whether it's a story that's shared publicly or privately, it's something that has the ability to make a big impact in someone's life. For many, these mental health stories are ongoing, ever-changing in how they play a part in an individual's life.

Odyssey believes in the community that can be formed when these stories are shared. As October 10 was World Mental Health Day, many of our creators took the opportunity to speak out about their personal struggles with mental illnesses.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

145603

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Fox Atomic

Halloween is days away and that means that November is basically here, aka the holiday season. I love Halloween movies, preferably the ones that are more cute or funny than innately scary.

If October has been a crazy busy month for you, you may have forgotten to watch some of your favorite Halloween movies, but you still have time! This week I know I have been bingeing my favorites, and you need to add some of these to your list if you need to get in the last minute Halloween spooky spirit.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

248921

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less
ABC

Don't get me wrong, we definitely saw some red flags from Clare in episodes one and two of this season of "The Bachelorette," but after (spoiler alert) Yosef got sent home last night, she's quickly become the villain of her own season, waving some pretty bright red flags we can no longer ignore.

To get more specific, last night Chris Harrison told the guys they'd all be getting dates after Clare canceled the cocktail party following the fight with Yosef (please let this be the last time I have to think about this a**hole). Unfortunately for the men, Clare also ended up completely ditching the first group date she promised them. Yes, that's right, she stood up the men who were supposed to have a fun day with her and showed up hours later without an apology (or a reason).

Keep Reading... Show less

Fall is most of our favorite seasons. We all have different reasons for that, but mine is for the food. I'll (with a fair amount of shame) have a hot soup any day of the year — even on the hottest summer days. But from the first sign of leaves changing, I embrace my love for hot chai, pumpkin-based baked goods, and my favorite Indian soups publicly with loved ones.

This year more than ever, even those who can barely make toast or cereal have been dusting off their cookbooks. We're not just making homemade pumpkin spice chai — we're eating fried chicken, homemade soups, and ordering TikTok viral drinks from Starbucks.

Keep Reading... Show less
@bacheloretteabc on Instagram / @viallnicholas28 on Twitter

"The Bachelorette" is FINALLY back, and season 16 is already off to a — dare I say it? — DRAMATIC start.

There is no fandom more involved and invested than Bachelor Nation, so naturally, viewers had A LOT of thoughts during last night's episode. And honestly, the only thing more entertaining than watching a new episode of "The Bachelor" is following the live tweets fans post while it airs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Disney Movies To Watch If You're In Need Of Some Childhood Nostalgia

Disney + is a huge part of my young adult life- since I am a sucker for re-watching shows and movies I was obsessed with throughout my childhood. Check out to see what Disney movies have taught me throughout my life.

2115
Walt Disney Pictures

Disney movies will always hold a special place in my heart. They made my childhood important and taught me so many lifelong lessons at an early age while making it fun and enjoyable for me.

During quarantine, I have decided to re-watch some of my favorite childhood movies, and let me tell you, I do not regret a single minute of it. It reminded me how these movies instilled values and morals into not only my childhood but still in my life to this day.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

10 Best Songs From Bryson Tiller's 'Anniversary' And 'TRAPSOUL Deluxe' Albums

Five years since his debut album and I'm brought back to middle school.

20003
Wikimedia

To celebrate the five year anniversary of his debut album "TRAPSOUL" Tiller has released two new albums and these are my favorites from the release. The deluxe album includes songs that didn't make the cut from the debut album and the "Anniversary" album has brand new songs.

Keep Reading... Show less

Halloween is every costume-lover's favorite holiday. Growing up in Canada, I remember wearing turtlenecks and sweats under my princess costumes. The opportunity for it to be socially acceptable to dress up as anybody but yourself for just one night a year is one most of us love taking advantage of.

I was doing "couples" costumes with my girlfriends before I ever had a boyfriend. There was a year in high school in which my best friend and I dressed up as two of the Golden Girls and one year in which we went to Halloween parties dressed up as Iago and Jafar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments