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Jews and Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is one of America’s founding ideals. And yet Americans have long debated the religious liberties of individuals and institutions. What should the law do when church and state collide? These issues, which remain pressing to all faith communities, have been of particular importance to American Jews who, as a religious minority, have long benefited from the First Amendment’s freedoms. In this seminar course, we will explore how First Amendment principles of religious liberty govern the relationship between church and state. Then we will consider how the Jewish community, as a paradigmatic religious minority, has and should continue to engage in ongoing religious liberty debates.

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