Customized Programs for Local Groups

JTS develops highly customized educational programs in partnership with Jewish communities throughout North America, bringing the scholarship and teaching excellence of JTS faculty and fellows to you. In collaboration with community leaders, we design courses and events that explore critical themes and questions on the minds of 21st-century Jews.  

Who It’s For

We invite community leaders—lay and professional—to work with us in creating a customized learning program for the adult learners in your community. We partner with individual organizations and with collaborating organizations in a region.

Developing a Program Model for Your Group

Our programs are not one-size-fits-all. Each community we partner with learns in a unique way, and our diverse range of program models allows you to find the format that will work best for your group and provide the most compelling learning experience. 

Some possible models:

  • JTS Days of Learning: In partnership with local Jewish organizations, we bring our faculty and fellows to communities across North America—including Chicago, South Florida, and Greater Washington, DC—for intensive days of study, each exploring a particular theme.
  • Visiting Scholar Programs: JTS faculty and fellows offer stand-alone guest lectures, serve as Shabbat scholars-in-residence, and participate in collaborative lecture series with other JTS scholars.  
  • JTS Community Courses: Our multisession community courses vary in length and feature in-depth exploration of topics in Jewish history, philosophy, religion, arts, literature, and more. We also create customized online courses for interested community groups. 

Developing a Topic for Your Group

Our faculty and fellows are experts on a vast range of Jewish subjects, and the content we develop for your program will align with your community’s specific, focused interests.

Recent topics have included:

  • What Is the Good Life? How do we live a “good life”? Together we explore a range of Jewish sources and consider what they suggest about how to live as individuals and as members of Jewish and global communities. We will discuss how Jewish philosophic conceptions of “the good life” have differed from those of other traditions and discuss the role of thought, reflection, and Torah in the quest for a well-lived life.
  • The Land of Israel: Promise and Challenge This program focuses on the significance of the land of Israel in Jewish thought and history. How have Jews attempted to reconcile the promise of the land with the reality of Jewish exile and life in the diaspora? What happens to the Jewish longing for an ideal in the face of nationhood and the challenges of sovereignty? 
  • Relating to the Other in Jewish Text and Tradition In America today, Jews exercise unprecedented influence and forge close ties with non-Jews in a multitude of ways. How has Judaism viewed its responsibility to non-Jews? How central is chosenness to thinking about Jewish relations to others? What can we learn from the Jewish past about how to maintain a commitment both to a distinctive Jewish identity and to the well-being of the broader society?
  • Entering the Tribe: Conversion and Jewish Identity Jewish identity is not—and never has been—a simple question of yes or no. This program discusses the history of religious conversion along with individual stories of conversion and identity. How do people become Jews? Is it okay to proselytize? How have the creation of the state of Israel and the high rates of intermarriage in America posed new questions about conversion and Jewish identity?

Learn with Outstanding Faculty and Fellows

With over 100 full-time and adjunct faculty members, JTS has a top scholar in nearly every field of Jewish study. In addition to our regular faculty, three outstanding Jewish studies scholars from across North America serve as JTS Fellows, expanding the reach and diversity of JTS’s adult learning opportunities.

Get in Touch

To learn more about bringing JTS scholars to your community, contact us at


Jul 12

JTS in the Berkshires Summer 2024

Massachusetts | Community Courses | JTS in the Berkshires

Join JTS scholars in Lenox, Massachusetts, for inspiring learning that illuminates the Jewish past and shapes the Jewish future. With Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Dr. Sarah Wolf, and Dr. Yitz Landes.

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Aug 9

JTS in the Berkshires Summer 2024—Session II

Massachusetts | Community Courses | JTS in the Berkshires

This talk will explore how the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud grappled with the timeless problems of truth and doubt, and what their wisdom can offer us today. 

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Aug 23

JTS in the Berkshires Summer 2024—Session III

Massachusetts | Community Courses | JTS in the Berkshires

The concept of Torah is surely one of the most central ideas in Judaism. And yet, how exactly has this concept been defined over the course of Jewish history?

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