JTS comes to Jewish communities across North America with prepared courses and learning content that rabbis and educators can flexibly incorporate into existing adult education frameworks, without needing in-person JTS faculty facilitation.
Our curricula cover a range of topics, from Conservative Judaism to interreligious dialogue, and can include video lectures, classical and contemporary texts, teaching guides, discussion questions, and more. These materials have been carefully curated to serve as full courses of study—designed to give your community easy access to thoughtful, relevant, and top-notch scholarship.
Beyond Dispute: Debates that Shape Jewish Life
Debates—philosophical, spiritual, ethical, and cultural—are at the heart of Judaism and Jewish life. Are religion and reason compatible? Can Jewish law change, based on context? How do we teach and talk about the Holocaust and the State of Israel? Should we prioritize Jewish causes or universal causes in our giving? Is Jewish tradition intrinsically patriarchal and ableist? Is our relationship with God defined by human obligation or divine compassion?
Beyond Dispute is a comprehensive toolkit that allows rabbis and educators to bring adult learners into a substantive, text-based exploration of how these debates have been manifested over the course of Jewish history, and to lead rich discussion about their continued resonance for contemporary Jewish life. The course enables teachers and students alike to go beyond the conflicts themselves to uncover the essential questions that underlie them, and to build a more inclusive view of the Jewish past, present, and future.
The Ethical Life: Jewish Values in an Age of Choice
From political and financial scandals to rapid progress in biomedical science and technology, the complex issues of modern society are, at their core, issues of ethical and moral concern. Now more than ever, we require a solid understanding of how Jewish ethics can inform our discussions and decisions about the critical questions of the day. Judaism has a long history of wrestling with moral questions, responding to them in a way that considers all sides of an issue.
This complete, turnkey course for adult learners gives rabbis and educators the resources to facilitate nuanced communal conversations grappling with today’s most pressing ethical dilemmas. It includes videos featuring JTS faculty, other expert scholars, and practitioners in the field; classical and contemporary texts; an extensive leader’s guide; and additional resources online.
Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow
Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow is a collection of short essays by Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen exploring essential questions of Jewish belief, practice, community, and identity from a Conservative perspective. Along with the book—available in hard copy and as an e-book—JTS has created free online resources, including discussion questions and videos, that allow rabbis and other educators to use Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow as a curriculum in adult education and leadership development settings.
Creating Caring Communities Through Bikkur Holim
JTS’s Center for Pastoral Education has created a self-guided curriculum for clergy, lay leaders, and congregants to learn about the mitzvah of bikkur holim (visiting the sick) and how to help create a community that cares for its members. Clergy are usually thought of as the main pastoral caregivers in congregations, but often they need the help of trained and dedicated volunteers to fully meet the needs of the community. Users of this curriculum will gain new skills and a deeper understanding of their communities and will also encounter the richness of the Jewish textual tradition and contemporary scholarship in the field.
Sharing the Well: A Resource Guide for Jewish-Muslim Engagement
A joint project of JTS, Hartford Seminary, and the Islamic Society of North America, this guide is designed to assist and enhance Jewish-Muslim interactions at the community level. It is available in hard copy and as a free PDF. JTS is grateful for the invaluable support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which made the creation, publication, and distribution of Sharing the Well possible.
- A guide to dialogue
- 18 articles by Jewish and Muslim leaders on topics such as caring for others, family and heritage, and religious life
- Questions for discussion
- A sampling of 24 successful Jewish-Muslim engagement programs from across America
- A glossary of Jewish and Muslim terms