At mention of the word "history," most people break out in a cold sweat. They remember back to high school where history was the memorization of names, dates, places and events -- necessary only for exams and then promptly forgotten afterwards.

The Crash Course in Jewish History is anything but. It makes history relevant interesting and dynamic. And it provides an overview and understanding of the central themes and events of 4,000 years of Jewish history.

The Jewish people are arguably the oldest surviving people on Earth, and because they have been spread out throughout the world, when we learn Jewish history, it's a great framework for world history, too.

Sample class

Each of the 68 segments features a dynamic essay, plus a 3-minute video presentation. The essays can be read online, or printed in a beautiful PDF format.

This course also has interactive online testing. When you register, all your test results are stored in your personal online account, so you can track your progress as you study the material.

Benefits and features:

  • explore key historical events and personalities
  • put specific events into their larger, overall context
  • get the Jewish perspective on well-known world events
  • see long-term trends and how history repeats itself

Do you want a solid grasp of Jewish history? “Crash Course in Jewish History” will get you there.


Rabbi Ken Spiro

Rabbi Spiro is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher for Aish HaTorah's Discovery Seminar, known for his ability to explain deep concepts with wit and clarity. In addition, he is a licensed tour guide from the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Rabbi Spiro graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Russian Language and Literature, and did graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. He has an MA in History from the Vermont College of Norwich University, and Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, and is the author of WorldPerfect - The Jewish Impact on Civilization. Rabbi Spiro lives in Israel with his wife and five children.



  1. Why Study History?
  2. The Bible as History
  3. The World of Abraham
  4. Abraham's Legacy
  5. The Promised Land
  6. Isaac and His Sons
  7. Joseph
  8. Reunion
  9. Moses
  10. The Ten Plagues
  11. Mount Sinai
  12. Golden Calf
  13. Tragedy of the Spies


  1. The Conquest of Canaan
  2. Era of Judges
  3. King Saul
  4. David: Shepherd and Warrior
  5. King David
  6. King Solomon
  7. A Divided Nation
  8. Assyrian Conquest
  9. The End of Judah


  1. Babylonian Exile
  2. Purim in Persia
  3. The Second Temple
  4. The Great Assembly
  5. The Greek Empire
  6. Greek Persecution
  7. Revolt of the Maccabees
  8. The Romans
  9. Herod the Great
  10. Hillel and Shammai
  11. The Great Revolt
  12. War for Jerusalem
  13. Destruction of the Temple
  14. Timeline: Abraham to Exile


  1. The Bar Kochba Revolt
  2. Expulsion
  3. The Talmud
  4. Origins of Christianity
  5. From Paul to Constantine
  6. The Rise of Islam
  7. The Jews of Babylon
  8. The Jews of Spain
  9. The Crusades
  10. Blood Libel
  11. The Black Death
  12. The Inquisition
  13. The Jews of Poland
  14. The Protestant Reformation


  1. The Kabbalists
  2. The Chassidic Movement
  3. The Enlightenment
  4. Reform Movement
  5. Jews and the Founding of America - see sample class
  6. Pale of Settlement
  7. The Czars and the Jews
  8. Jewish Life in America
  9. The Face of Anti-Semitism
  10. The Holocaust
  11. The Final Solution
  12. Return to the Land of Israel
  13. Modern Zionism
  14. The British Mandate
  15. The State of Israel
  16. Middle East War
  17. The Miracle of Jewish History
  18. Timeline: Abraham to Israel

Sample class
Key features:
  • 68 class modules
  • Dynamic video presentations foreach class
  • Beautiful PDF printouts, and automated testing

Comprehensive online curriculum explores:
  • Key historical themes
  • Key historical events
  • Key historical personalities

Self-paced, easy-to-use modules:
  • Gives you complete control over your learning schedule
  • Makes it easy to absorb new concepts and information
  • By popular and experienced educator, Rabbi Ken Spiro

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