American Politics with a Twist

blog picDr. Terri Susan Fine, political science professor at UCF, will teach “Jews in American Politics” on four Monday nights—Sept. 30, Oct. 7, Oct. 14, and Oct. 28—from 7 to 8:15 during Beit Hamidrash at the Jewish Academy of Orlando. The adult course, which is separate from the students’ classes, is open to the public. Participants are encouraged to attend one class or all four—each installment will focus on a unique perspective about Jews in American politics such that missing one class will not be a disadvantage to full participation in later classes.

“I have really enjoyed teaching ‘Jews in American Politics’ at Beit Hamidrash. This is my second year,” said Fine. “I enjoy getting to know the students, finding out about their perspectives on their role in the political process and learning about their lives. I thought it would be fun to teach the class to adults who may be interested to learn more on the topic.”

Fine teaches the class by focusing on civic education with a Jewish focus. “Educated citizens are my objective—this will not be a class where I share my political views—that is not teaching.”

The Sept. 30 class will open with a general discussion about Jews and Judaism in American politics. Special emphasis will be on Jews in the Civil Rights movement. On Oct. 7, the discussion will turn to how Jews interact with the political process through elections. Participants will look at how the 2000 presidential election in Florida mobilized political parties and interest groups to target Florida’s Jews in 2004 while also looking at pro-Israel political action committee donation patterns in election campaigns. On Oct.14, participants will look at Jews who hold elected office focusing attention on Jews in Congress, now and in the past. Participants will also consider whether, when, and possibly who, will be the first Jewish president. Finally, on Oct. 28, Jews on the U.S. Supreme Court will be discussed. As part of this discussion, two U.S. Supreme Court cases of particular interest to Jews will be analyzed.

Fine has taught at UCF for 24 years and is the recipient of 10 excellence in teaching awards and one university-wide award each for professional leadership, academic advising and professional service. She is the 2009 recipient of the Jewish Federation’s “Community Relations” award and in 2012 received the American Society for Public Administration’s “Academic Excellence” award from the Central Florida chapter. In 2006 she was named a Schusterman Israel Studies fellow at Brandeis University and in 2013 was named a faculty fellow of the Center for Academic Engagement-Israel on Campus Coalition. She and her husband Paul Stenzler live in Orlando.


*Original article retrieved from here.

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