Jewish Studies Summer 2024

Summer Seminar | In Person at Spertus Institute | June 23-27, 2024

Registration Deadline Extended to May 10!

Dear Jewish Studies Students:

I’m excited to share with you course offerings for our Summer 2024 Seminar, which will meet in person on our campus in Chicago, Sunday, June 23 – Thursday, June 27, 2024, as well as an online bonus course beginning in July.

Summer Seminar
The summer seminar is a chance to learn with our amazing faculty, reconnect with your fellow students, and enjoy being in a community of learning across all of the Spertus academic programs. Two courses will be offered in the morning block and two in the afternoon block, so you’ll have the chance to take one or two courses while also enjoying Chicago’s beautiful weather in June.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to set up an advising appointment with Scarlett Andes, Manager of Student & Faculty Services, at to review your academic progress.

Online Bonus Course
I am pleased to announce an online bonus course that will meet for seven Tuesday evening sessions beginning July 2, 2024. Titled Readings in Holocaust Diaries, it will be taught by new faculty member Dr. Amy Simon. An award-winning educator, Dr. Simon holds the William and Audrey Farber Family Chair in Holocaust Studies and European Jewish History at Michigan State University. For those who join us for the summer seminar, this is a great way to extend the seminar’s momentum. For those unable to attend the seminar, this is the perfect opportunity to schedule some learning into your summer and move forward in your program.

We hope to see you in Chicago for an exciting seminar of Jewish learning and to have you join us online in July!

Keren Fraiman signature
Dr. Keren E. Fraiman
Dean & Chief Academic Officer
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

Seminar Morning Courses

History of Orthodoxy

Taught by Dr. Joshua Shanes
Course 4129 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS 2nd Level Core, DSJS Text, and DHL Text

Orthodoxy is a product of modernity, just like non-Orthodox Judaism. Orthodoxy was born at the end of the long period of Jewish autonomy, in which members took the authority and authenticity of inherited religious beliefs for granted. It represents a range of self-conscious attempts to negotiate a Jewish identity that feels authentic and unchanged in the radically new context of the voluntary community in a post-traditional world.

Through studying this set of modern denominations, we will seek to understand the millions of Jews who live in these communities and the nature of Jewish modernity itself.

The Western Sephardi Diaspora

Taught by Dr. Matthew Goldish
Course 3282.1 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Elective, DSJS Core (Jewish Living), and DHL Core (Historical and Sociological Developments)

When Spain expelled the Jews in 1492, perhaps half of them left permanently. Some of those who were left behind — living as Catholics, called conversos — escaped Iberia and formed their own communities in Western Europe in the 17th century. This is called the Western Sephardi Diaspora. We will study the leading Western Sephardi community, Amsterdam, as well as London, Hamburg, Livorno, and some colonial satellites. Our examination will include community-building, religion, economics, leadership, and ideological ferment.

Seminar Afternoon Courses

Intro to Jewish Studies | Nature & Methodology of Jewish Studies

Taught by Dr. Dean P. Bell
Course 3500 (MAJS) and 5348 (DSJS) | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Core and DSJS Core

The interdisciplinary field of Jewish Studies is a relatively new academic discipline. It draws from a broad range of scholarly methodologies, covers a dizzying array of topics, and utilizes an array of source materials. As such, Jewish Studies is an amalgam that tells us about Jews and Judaism (past and present) as well as the current state of the Academy. At the same time, Jewish Studies is a much older discipline — in the guise of Biblical study, exegesis, historical writing, and debate.

In this course, we will examine the general lines of development of Jewish Studies in the Academy, with emphasis on recent developments. We will look at recent scholarship to understand central themes and current trends in Jewish Studies today.

Jewish Politics

Taught by Dr. Sam Brody
Course 4349 | 3 quarter-hour credits
Fulfills MAJS Elective, DSJS Elective, and DHL Core (Key Issues in Contemporary Jewry)

This class explores Jewish politics in the modern period, the period of mass politics, when Jews were offered admission to general society on an equal basis for the first time in two millennia. Jews responded in three main ways: with enthusiastic acceptance (liberalism), with rejection (nationalism, ultra-Orthodoxy), and by holding out for a better offer (socialism).

Together, we will examine thinkers representative of each of these trends, seeking to understand them in their own terms as well as through historical and theoretical scholarship. Thinkers studied may include Moses Mendelssohn, Samson Raphael Hirsch, Theodor Herzl, Hermann Cohen, Emma Goldman, Martin Buber, Albert Memmi, Hannah Arendt, Louis Brandeis, and more.

Jewish Studies Course Registration Details

Course registration is for current Spertus Institute Jewish Studies students. Please review course details before completing your registration.

Before registering for courses, students must be admitted to one of Spertus Institute’s Jewish Studies graduate programs — or be accepted as non-degree student who meets prerequisite requirements and wishes to enroll in courses for credit.

Summer Seminar Course Registration Deadlines

April 15, 2024 — Preferred Registration Deadline
May 10, 2024 — Final Registration Deadline

Seminar Schedule & Hotel Suggestions

Two seminar courses will be offered in the morning course block and two will be offered in the afternoon course block. Students can take one morning course, one afternoon course, or one of each.

Course materials will be made available to students approximately 6 weeks prior to the seminar.
Seminar lunches are included, and all food served at Spertus is kosher.

While hotel rates in summer in Chicago typically rise due to the busy summer tourist season, our team has arranged for two lower-priced options. Click here for the full details.

Schedule by Day (exact times subject to change)

Sunday, June 23, 2024
12-1 PM Check In & Lunch | 1-4 PM Morning Course Time Slot | 4:30 PM Light Bites | 4:30-7:30 PM Afternoon Course Time Slot

Monday-Wednesday, June 24-26, 2024
9 AM-1 PM Morning Course Time Slot | 1-2 PM Lunch | 2-6 PM Afternoon Course Time Slot

Thursday, June 27, 2024
8 am-12 PM Morning Course Time Slot | 12-1 PM Lunch | 1-5 PM Afternoon Course Time Slot

Course Payment

Spertus Institute welcomes course registration from students with accounts in good standing. This means:

  • Student’s unpaid account balance is less than $2,500 (roughly two courses).
  • The most recent payments on past due balances are within the last six months.

Students who do not meet these criteria will need to pay down their balance prior to registering for any additional courses.

Course Costs

For MA in Jewish Studies (MAJS) Students
$400 per quarter-hour credit ($1200 per 3qh course)

For DS in Jewish Studies (DSJS) and Doctor of Hebrew Letters (DHL) Students
$475 per quarter-hour credit ($1425 per 3qh course)

A non-refundable $25 fee is charged on all course registrations forms.

Refund policies vary by course format. Please review the specific policy listed on your course registration form.

Courses auditing can be arranged on a select basis with approval from the Dean. Audited course tuition is $350 per 3qh course.


For questions relating to Jewish Studies courses or registration, including which course to register for next, please contact Scarlett Andes at

Image at top: Spertus Institute, photo by Angie McMonigal.