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About the Jewish Professional Studies Program

About the Jewish Professional Studies Program

21st-Century Jewish Community Leader Lisette Zaid is the Program Manager for new Chicago outpost of San Francisco-based UpStart.

21st-Century Jewish Community Leader Lisette Zaid (above) is the Program Manager for new Chicago outpost of San Francisco-based UpStart.

She developed her leadership skills through Spertus Institute's Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies (MAJPS) program, a unique graduate program that meets the needs of students and their careers through its core curriculum, concentration areas, and individualized learning components including mentoring and an applied final project.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the MAJPS program learn to:

  • Understand the key themes in Jewish communal life today
  • Possess a grounding in classical Jewish thinking and texts
  • Understand the best practices in nonprofit management that
    most affect Jewish communal work
  • Develop skills for critical self-reflection and career planning, aided by work with an individual mentor
  • Integrate theory and practice in the professional environment
  • Learn to work constructively with diverse groups of constituents and colleagues

Course Requirements (45 quarter-hour credits)

At Spertus Institute, course credit is granted in quarter hours (as opposed to semester hours).

  • Core curriculum (8 courses, 3 credits each)
  • Concentration (4 courses, 3 credits each)
  • Individualization, including mentoring and a capstone project (9 credits)

Concentration Areas

  • Jewish Education
  • Camping and Experiential Education
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Jewish Studies

The MAJPS program also offers the opportunity to earn an additional certification as part of your integrated coursework (additional fees apply) in either Jewish Leadership (through a partnership between Spertus and Northwestern University) or Israel Education (through a partnership between Spertus and the iCenter).

Applications being accepted now

Fellowships are available for select students
who begin the program this fall!

With the generous support of an outside donor, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership is, in specific cases, able to provide scholarships — called Midcareer Fellowships — to qualified students beginning the MAJPS program this fall. Fellows receive a tuition reduction of 45% bringing the cost of the entire program to just over $9,000. 

See if you qualify>

Next Steps

Apply Now

Applications now being accepted for the Fall 2015 Chicago cohort.

Midcareer Fellowships

Fellowships Available
For This Cohort 

This fall, with the generous support of an outside donor, Spertus Institute is able to offer substantial scholarships — called Midcareer Fellowships — to incoming MAJPS students who meet specific criteria, including employment with a Jewish agency or organization.
See if you qualify>

Interested in learning more?

Contact Director of Enrollment Stacey Flint, who will meet you to discuss your goals and share how the Spertus MAJPS program can accelerate your career or empower your staff. Reach her at or 312.322.1707.

Characteristics of Spertus Institute Degree Programs

  • Non-traditional programs geared toward busy, working adults
  • Emphasis on application of learning
  • Distinguished faculty
  • Program support through expert library resource assistance and academic advising

About Spertus Students & Fellows

Spertus students and fellows serve as educators, program directors, administrators, advisors, lay leaders, camp directors, executives, fundraisers, and more. The agencies where they are making a difference include:

American Technion Society
Association for Independent
    Jewish Camps
Birthright Israel / Shorashim
Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
JCC Chicago
Jewish Federation of Canada
Jewish National Fund
JUF/Jewish Federation of
    Metropolitan Chicago
Mishkan Chicago
North Suburban Synogugue Beth El
Solomon Schechter Day School
The Shapira Foundation
Union of Reform Judaism

Mazel Tov

Spertus MA in Jewish Professional Studies alumni who have recently taken on important new roles.

Rachel Cort accepted a new position as Managing Director of Mishkan ChicagoJoshua Donner (from our Pittsburgh cohort) is now Executive Director of the David S. and Karen A. Sharpira Foundation. We look forward to working with them in their new positions! 

Downloadable Info Sheets

Curriculum and Concentrations
Cultivating Organizational Leaders