The Adult Learning Programs of JTS

Understanding our  past.
Contextualizing the  present.
Facing the  future.

Context brings the educational excellence of The Jewish Theological Seminary to a growing number of Jewish communities through an array of programs conducted at synagogues, schools, and Jewish Community Centers. Designed to meet the diverse Jewish learning needs of adults, Context programs are distinguished by

  • text-based examination of Jewish history and civilization through an academic prism
  • teaching by university-level instructors from local academic institutions
  • respect for and encouragement of the intellectual autonomy of each student and instructor

The Institute is a leading address for innovative programming, community‐oriented services, and research aimed at raising the level of Jewish literacy among Jewish adults in North America.

Context Programs

Two-Year Context Program: Intensive study covering the sweep of Jewish history and the major texts of the ancient through modern periods

Context Seminars: In-depth explorations of specific topics in Jewish history, philosophy, religion,  arts and literature

Context Mini-Courses: Three- and four-session examinations of core Jewish rituals, practices and ideas

Context Programs and Events: Learning events featuring JTS faculty and local instructors

All Context programs are built upon the following core values:

Access: Top-quality Jewish Studies programming should be accessible to all members of the Jewish community. Educational materials are made available online wherever possible to keep costs low. Need-based scholarships and payment plans are available to students in the two-year program and Context Seminars.

Faculty Excellence: Our eminent instructors are drawn from an array of leading academic institutions, both secular and religious. Each has a demonstrated passion for adult Jewish learning.

Autonomy: Each student's intellectual autonomy is highly valued and respected. Similarly, instructors bring their own expertise and approach to the material, creating their syllabi in concert with the overarching program curriculum.

Community: Community-based education can be a galvanizing force. Context is delivered through multi-institutional collaboratives that transcend denominational boundaries as well as by individual institutions. Partner institutions share the hosting of the four-semester program.

Logistical Excellence: Context is run by an experienced team of educational administrators who specialize in adult Jewish learning.

Download a Scholarship Application Form (PDF)

Register Online for Two-Year Context Courses

Register Online for Spring Mini-Courses

Context Faculty and Staff

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