Master of Jewish Studies

Master of Jewish Studies

The Academy offers leadership specializations in several areas within the Master of Jewish Studies degree.  These are founded on acquisition of a core of Jewish knowledge, upon which the student builds a range of special skills designed to be practiced in the Jewish community.  Students who complete one of these programs will receive the Master’s degree and will have competencies useful to synagogues, agencies, Jewish centers, and faith-based programs that welcome a variety of religious participants.

The MJS degree with a community leadership specialization has course requirements totaling 38 semester units in addition to Hebrew language requirements, which differ in each track.  A full-time student can complete the Master’s degree in less than two years.  The categories of required learning outcomes are the same as for AJRCA as a whole, but the levels differ according to each specialization.

Beginning in 2014-15, these programs will be available through a “hybrid” delivery method, which will combine intensives of two weeks of study on campus with some online courses.  Further information is available from the Director of Admissions or the Registrar.

Jewish Communal Life

Thriving Jewish communities require wise and compassionate lay leaders who understand what it takes to maintain healthy relationships within our institutions. This degree track will develop awareness of organizational issues, community resources, group process, and peer counseling skills in specific contexts relevant to Jewish communities.

Jewish Values and Ethics

The Torah describes the Jewish people as “a wise and understanding people,” and this is certainly true in the realm of ethical reflection.  With critical issues facing the world, we as Jews have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to bring Jewish values and ethics to bear on our society. This track provides a foundation in classical biblical and rabbinic literature, followed by seminars in contemporary Jewish ethics.  Students who complete this degree track can become teachers and consultants to their peers in a variety of communal settings.

Music in Jewish Life

Music is a powerful inspiring, integrating, and healing force in communities.  This specialization will enrich the student’s access to musical resources and ability to implement that knowledge in the context of Jewish community. Students will also be trained in Jewish musicology and related disciplines, and gain tools to contribute to this diverse and growing field.

Interfaith Relations in Jewish Communities

Our contemporary communal reality, ranging from our families to local and global politics, is interwoven with practitioners and believers in many non-Jewish religious and humanistic traditions.  This degree track offers an orientation to this complex reality and the opportunity to acquire skills that enable students to offer practical assistance to individuals, families, and groups of various religions. Read more about the several options for interreligious studies and interfaith work available to our students.