Frequently Asked Questions (Context Two-Year Program)

Context Two-Year Program

How often do classes meet?

Classes meet once a week for 20 weeks per year. 

How long is each class session?

Each session is 2 hours and 15 minutes, including a 15-minute break.

How much reading is required?

The amount of reading varies depending on the class and instructor. On average, 40 to 70 pages of reading are assigned each week. Instructors will typically review each week's assignment and prioritize readings that are most central for the next class.

What if I can't do all the reading?

You are encouraged to complete all assignments to maximize your learning experience. Instructors understand that students are busy adults who do not always have time to complete the reading.

What if I have to miss some classes?

Attendance is important for your own intellectual progress and for the purposes of building a learning community. If you do need to miss a class, you can listen to a digital recording of the session online.

Do I need to have previous Judaic studies knowledge to take Context?

Context participants have diverse backgrounds, from those with no formal Jewish education to those familiar with Jewish texts and traditions. The range of experiences contributes to a vibrant class dynamic.

Is knowledge of Hebrew required?

All Context classes are conducted in English, and texts are studied in English translation. Instructors do not assume that students know Hebrew.

Are there any written requirements?

There are no tests, papers, or grades.

What is the tuition for 2014?

Tuition is $850/year. 

Is there an additional cost for materials?

Instructors may require students to purchase a few books per semester. The number of required books varies depending on the class and instructor.

Can I start the course midterm?

Because each Context semester builds on the material covered in previous semesters, you may enroll only at the beginning of the two-year program.

Do I need access to a computer to take this course?

Access to email is essential. You will need Internet access to download readings and other materials from the course website and to listen to digital recordings of sessions online. You will also be responsible for printing copies for in-class use.

Who are the instructors?

Context instructors are members of the JTS faculty. They bring to community-based Context classes a level of scholarship typically encountered only in university settings.

Is Context a degree-granting program?

Upon completion of the two-year program, you will participate in a graduation ceremony where certificates will be conferred.

How can I learn more?

For more information, contact us at or (212) 870-5850.