Required Coursework


For students enrolled in the Blitstein Institute the Judaic Major is in an area of Advanced
Hebrew Studies.

A similar intensity pervades the advanced level Judaic Studies courses at the Blitstein
Institute. Lectures, guided seminar discussions, cooperative learning experiences in and out
of the classroom as well as individual research develop mastery of learning skills, depth of
knowledge and creative thought and expression in the chosen major. The specific course
requirements are determined on the basis of the student's prior studies by the advisor and
approved by the Dean. Students who do not pursue Talmud as the Judaic major are bound
by the Jewish Law Requirement, described below.

Jewish Law Requirement

The courses in Jewish Law provide a foundation in ritual law and traditional custom that
govern specific aspects of life, both sacred and mundane. They are designed to provide the
information required for normative Jewish life, as well as an understanding of the legal and
ethical roots of prescribed practice in Biblical and Rabbinic sources, and the basis for
divergent customs and Psak Halacha. The overarching goal is to instill in each student an
appreciation for the Halachic process and a commitment to Torah observance that permeates
throughout one’s life.

Students not majoring in Talmud must complete one of the following two course sequences:
JLAW 125 & 225, or JLAW 127 & 227, or their equivalents, or demonstrate via
examination mastery of Hilchot Shabbat and Kashrut, as part of the six credit Jewish Law
requirement for the Bachelor of Arts.

Major in Bible

The Bible Department provides all students of Hebrew Theological College with grounding
in the methods of classic Torah study, while giving them a base of knowledge about the
persons, historical events, issues, and values that make up the three sections of the Tanach
— Pentateuch, Prophets, and Hagiographa. The aim of the Bible Department — in
conjunction with the Department of Hebrew Language and Literature — is to provide each
student with proficiency in Biblical Hebrew, along with skills in critical reading and
analytical thinking, to enable and foster lifelong independent Torah learning, and to foster
an integration of the Torah’s dictums and values into each student’s life.

Students who select Bible as their major are required to complete no less than 30 semester
hours in Biblical study (i.e. 18 semester hours above and beyond the 12 required by the core
curriculum), 10 of which must be completed in residence. Moreover, at least two-thirds of
those courses (i.e. 20 semester hours) must be selected from advanced courses (numbering
in the 200s and 300s).

Each student’s program of study will be designed to address the student’s interests,
strengths, and deficiencies with the guidance of the assigned advisor to ensure that the
student’s base of Biblical knowledge is sufficiently broad in scope, and that the student’s
skills in independent research are adequately honed. Prior to graduation, each student must
successfully complete tone of the following series of courses (BIBL 332 & 333, BIBLE
361& 362, BIBL 363 & 364, BIBL 370 & 371), which incorporate comprehensive
examinations and significant research.

Major in Jewish History

In addition to offering students valuable historical information with which to interpret
situations, create systems of values, satisfy intellectual curiosity, and allow the opportunity
to make informed decisions about the future based on knowledge of the past, the study of
History seeks to address and inform the following skills, which are applicable both to the
study of History and to other disciplines as well:
              Analytical Thinking
              Human Differences/Comparative Analysis
              Communication Skills
              Methodology and Research
              Organizational Skills

Students who select Jewish History as their major are required to complete a total of 30
semester hours in Jewish History (24 semester hours above and beyond the 6 required by the
core curriculum), of which at least 10 semester hours must be completed in residence. A
required course for the Jewish History Major is HIST 101 - The Historian's Craft: The
Methods, Models and Objectives of Historical Study. Furthermore, Jewish History majors
are required to complete an additional 6 semester hours in General (Non-Jewish) History
courses which will apply towards the 30 credit required core of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(e.g. World Civilization, American History). All majors must complete no less than 12
semester hours in advanced courses (numbered 300 or above). Prior to graduation, each
student must submit a significant research thesis or complete a comprehensive exam.

Major in Interdisciplinary Judaic Studies

Students enrolled in the Blitstein Institute may choose a major from Hebrew, Bible, and
Jewish History or in an interdisciplinary area designed with the student's advisor and
approved by the Dean. When such an interdisciplinary major is approved, the student is
required to complete no less than 60 semester hours in Judaic Studies, 30 of which must be
at the 200 level of coursework or above. Such a student must complete at least 24 semester
hours of the Judaic Studies coursework in residence

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