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Sociology of the Ba’al Teshuva Movement (SOC-303)
Location:
Various: distance learning format

Length:
Versions 1 and 2: Varies (self-study; self-paced).

Dates:
Version 1: April 2014 - May 2022. Version 2: June 2022 - Present.

Subject Area:
Sociology

Number of Credits:
3

Learner Outcomes:

Version 1: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: discuss the Ba’al Teshuva movement; explain how the Ba’al Teshuva enter the movement and their typical socialization process; recognize the social challenges faced by the basic Ba’al Teshuva and the nuances which continue to identify the Ba’al Teshuva from the rest of the community; and discuss how this movement may impact the future of the Orthodox community. Version 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: demonstrate a broad and in-depth knowledge of the ba’al teshuvah movement; explain how ba’alei teshuvah enter the movement and their typical socialization process, recognizing the social challenges faced by the ba’al teshuvah and the nuances which continue to identify the ba’al teshuvah from the rest of the community; understand the factors which influenced the ba’al teshuvah movement and the sociological questions which are posed by it; and understand how this movement may impact the future of Orthodoxy.

Instructions:

Version 1: This course assesses students’ knowledge of the Ba’al Teshuva movement.  Major topics include: entry points to the movement, such as synagogues and Ba’al Teshuva institutions of study, challenges of recruitment,  how the Ba’al Teshuva tends to adapt to Orthodox culture and which aspects pose special challenges, cultural stigmas that the Ba’al Teshuva carries in the Orthodox community and how such stigma can be dealt with, and the impact that the Ba’al Teshuva movement has had on the general Orthodox community. The proficiency examination also evaluates students’ knowledge of the history, meaning, and social nuances of the Ba’al Teshuva movement, as well as the sociological terminologies that explain it. Version 2: The Sociology of the Ba’al Teshuva Movement (SOC-303) examination will assess the student’s knowledge of the Ba’al Teshuvah Movement which began in the second half of the 20th century as Jews returned to Orthodoxy. It will include the perceived socio-historic challenges which the movement overcame, as well as those socio-historic factors which supported its development. Entry points to the movement are examined, such as synagogues and ba’al teshuvah institutions of study, along with the challenges of recruitment. There will be a discussion of how the ba’al teshuvah tends to adapt to Orthodox culture, and which aspects pose special challenges. Special attention is focused on understanding what cultural capital ba’alei teshuvah carry in the Orthodox community and how they achieve it. Finally, we deal with the question of what impact the ba’al teshuvah movement may be having on the general Orthodox community and recent trends in the field of kiruv.

Credit Recommendation:

Version 1: In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Sociology, Religious Studies, Judaic Studies, Anthropology, or Jewish History (4/14) (4/19 revalidation). Version 2: In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 6 semester hours in Sociology, Religious Studies, Judaic Studies, Anthropology, or Jewish History (6/22 administrative review).


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