Liturgy

Professors
Alan Mintz, Jewish Literature
Raymond Scheindlin, Jewish Literature
Burton L. Visotzky, Talmud and Midrash

Associate Professors
Eliezer Diamond, Talmud and Rabbinics
Robert A. Harris, Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages
Eitan Fishbane, Mysticism, Hasidism
Boaz Tarsi, Jewish Music and Hazzanut

Visiting Professor
Reuven Hammer

Senior Lecturers
Nancy Abramson, Music, Nusah
Samuel Barth, Program Advisor

The program in Jewish Liturgy is interdepartmental, designed to introduce students to the development, genres, and themes of Jewish liturgical text, expression, and experience from ancient times to the present. Every year, a variety of courses in liturgy and related fields are offered. The study of liturgical texts with classical commentaries and the application of contemporary scholarship remains a pillar of liturgical study. Many course offerings engage also with liturgical experience that is "beyond the text" exploring such issues as

  • ritual and performance theory as applied to congregational worship
  • the tools available to explore the religious meaning of liturgy and prayer
  • the halakhot of liturgy and the ways that the contemporary Judaism, and specifically the Conservative Movement engages with halakhic issues
  • the interface between musical and religious experience in prayer and worship

Degrees

Bachelor of Arts
Doctor of Hebrew Literature
Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Arts

Admission Requirements
View the List College Admissions page.

Degree Requirements

Currently under active revision. Interested students should consult with the program advisor.

From the Core Curriculum

  • LIT 1031: The Weekday Prayer Book

For a major in Liturgy and Synagogue Studies

  • One course (3 credits) LTG 1031: Introduction to Liturgy: The Weekday Prayerbook
  • One course (3 credits) of either LTG 5175: Liturgy of the Days of Awe, or LTG 5333: Liturgy of Shabbat and the Three Festivals
  • At least two courses (6 credits) of the following:

         • Whichever of LTG 5175 or LTG 5333 not taken for the above requirement

         • LTG 7031: History of the Development of Liturgy

         • A Talmud or Codes course on halakhah about liturgy

         • A course on piyyut

         • A course on evolution of personal prayer

         • A course on Psalms or other biblical texts included in the liturgy

  • Five courses (15 credits) chosen in consultation with the advisor in areas relevant to liturgy, synagogue, or ritual studies. Some examples include:

• A course on ritual theory at Columbia University or Barnard College

• A course on ethnomusicology at Columbia or Barnard

• A course in nusah

• A course on Shabbat Zemirot or art song

• A course on commentaries to the prayerbook

• A course on the history of synagogues

• One course (3 credits) senior/capstone seminar

Doctor of Hebrew Literature

Admission Requirements
See the Graduate School Admissions page. Additionally, an MA in Jewish Studies is recommended.

Degree Requirements
Courses
In addition to courses required of all students in The Graduate School, 30 graduate credits beyond the MA are required. They must be advanced courses related to the field of Liturgy. A list of courses approved for credit each year will be available in the office of the advisor. All course selections must be approved by the advisor.

Comprehensive Examination
Upon satisfactory completion of all course work, students must take an oral examination based upon a prescribed reading list of primary and secondary sources related to their areas of interest.

Dissertation
Students must complete an original monograph-length dissertation on a topic in liturgy. After consultation with the dissertation advisor, the title and outline must be submitted to the advisor for approval before beginning research.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements
See the Graduate School Admissions page. Additionally, an MA in Jewish Studies is recommended.

Degree Requirements
Languages
In addition to languages required of all students in The Graduate School, students must demonstrate proficiency in Aramaic and any other languages deemed necessary based on the students' areas of interest.

Courses
In addition to courses required of all students in The Graduate School, 30 graduate credits are required as follows:

  • Eight courses (24 credits) at the doctoral level in Jewish Liturgy, including courses dealing with the biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods
  • Two courses (6 credits) in Jewish Liturgy seminars or their equivalent

All course selections must be approved by the advisor.

Comprehensive Examination
Upon satisfactory completion of all course work, students must take an oral examination demonstrating knowledge of the designated reading list and another liturgical tradition.

Dissertation
A major original piece of research.

Search for LTG courses in the Course Catalog.