Tufts University: Rabbi Jeffrey Summit - Judaic Studies - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Most likely one of the best classes I have taken at Tufts. Rabbi Summit chooses daily topics that are always pertinent to the current events, holidays, or seasons. He assigns readings due for each class and then happily goes over the material during class time by allowing the students to re-read the assignments together in small groups to enable intimate discussions. When the class regroups, we discuss how each group interpreted the readings and reevaluate our own interpretations. The Rabbi is extremely considerate, always willing to help explain things and always available outside class for appointments to review any misunderstandings. His enthusiasm for the course is undeniable and it truly affects the way students respond to foreign material. Even though it is an introductory course, at the end of the semester the knowledge acquired is quite substantial. It is most certainly not only a course for enthusiastic Jews, but every denomination benefits from the discussions and assignments. My class in particular had a variety of faiths including Muslim and Christian students who all participated in making the class as comprehensive as possible and overwhelmingly inviting. It was a wonderful experience and I plan on taking a number of classes with Rabbi Summit in the future. (Plus there was always a bonus of great snacks each class!)
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The day to day work is absolutely manageable. Simple readings are due each class and then interpreted during class. There are two essays, one 5 page midterm essay and one final 10 page essay. Along with a relatively enjoyable final where students express themselves and have a huge amount of flexibility in their responses. The Rabbi is happy to accomodate students with difficult schedules or conflicts. In short this is a very stress-free class.