Master of Arts in Jewish Studies (MAJS) MAJS

The Hebrew College commitment to in-depth Jewish study, pluralism, and spiritual vitality — and the opportunity the study alongside our rabbinical students — makes the Master of Arts in Jewish Studies program a unique learning experience.

  • time All
  • location On Campus
  • duration 36 credits. 2 years full time; or part-time. $1,200 per credit. Funding available for students who qualify for financial aid.
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Fall 2019 Course Highlights

“Modern Jewish Thought” with Rabbi David Starr
[2 graduate credits]
Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

This course will explore the writings of major Jewish thinkers living in the modern era and place them in the context of their historical setting. The class will focus on the various ways these thinkers – from Mendelssohn to Buber – understood the dynamic relationship between inherited tradition and modern conceptions of religious life.

Rabbi David Starr, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Tzion, a Program for Israel Literacy, and a visiting Research Associate of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Brandeis University. He was the founding Dean of Me’an and Vice President at Hebrew College and teaches on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Program.  He lectures on topics related to history and religion.  David is currently writing a biography of Solomon Schechter and a study of Me’ah and its impact on adults and community. He holds a doctorate in history and Jewish studies from Columbia and rabbinic ordination from JTS.


“Classical Jewish Thought” with Rabbi Jordan Schuster
[2 graduate credits]
Mondays 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

In this course, we will be exploring the theological, social and economic thought of the classical rabbinic period.  We will delve into ancient forms of Jewish mysticism, magic, and responsibility, as well as consider rabbinic understandings of  suffering, sexuality, and the soul.  In addition to these topics, we will be attempting to untangle and gain fluency in the literary form that the rabbis used to treat these topics – namely, the literary form of the dialectic.  Grounded in 20th and 21st century scholarship on rabbinic thought, our conversations will additionally rely upon our own readings of primary source materials in the Hebrew original.

Rabbi Jordan Schuster serves on the faculty of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School and is Director of the Mekorot program. Jordan taught Yiddish literature and language at Columbia University in New York and studied psychoanalysis and queer theory in San Francisco.  He loves to bring Jewish texts – both classical and modern – to life with his students, and he feels blessed to watch how the meanings of these texts shift, refract and evolve as his students forge a way through them together.  


“Introduction to Mishna & Jewish Practice” with Rabbi Jordan Schuster
[4 graduate credits]
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course is an intensive introduction to the form and content of the Mishnah, the first code of rabbinic law. Students will gain familiarity with classical rabbinic syntax, key concepts, and frequent forms of rabbinic teachings, building a foundation for further study of rabbinic literature.  In addition, this course will help students to cultivate a relationship to the Mishna as a guide to grounding, innovating and evolving Jewish practice today.

Rabbi Jordan Schuster serves on the faculty of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School and is Director of the Mekorot program. Jordan taught Yiddish literature and language at Columbia University in New York and studied psychoanalysis and queer theory in San Francisco.  He loves to bring Jewish texts – both classical and modern – to life with his students, and he feels blessed to watch how the meanings of these texts shift, refract and evolve as his students forge a way through them together. 

Please contact Laurena Rosenberg for information on other courses.

Ready to Register?

Application Deadline: Fall: May 15, with a priority deadline of March 1. Spring November 15