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Course Offerings

Course Offerings

Independent and Online Courses 

For Enrolled Spertus Jewish Studies Students

These courses are offered on an ongoing basis.
They can be started anytime after a student is admitted.
Click on course title for faculty and course description.


Orientation: Introduction to Jewish Studies
Introductory Biblical Hebrew I, II, and III

The Bible and the Ancient Near East
The World of the Rabbis
Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages
Early Modern Jewish Experiences
Modern Jewish Experiences
Contemporary Jewish Experiences


History of Antisemitism I: Antiquity to Late Eighteenth Century
History of Antisemitism II: Dawn of the Enlightenment to the Present
History of Jewish Biblical Interpretation

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Onsite Seminars

Twice a year, Spertus Institute holds Jewish Studies Seminars onsite on our Chicago campus. Seminars offer dedicated time to advance your studies, learn with skilled and accomplished faculty, and engage with your fellow students from around the world. During seminars, courses are offered that meet program requirements for students in Jewish Studies master's and doctoral programs.

Summer Seminar | July 8-12,2018

Course and faculty information can be found here MORE> 

Synchronous Jewish Studies Webconferencing Course

Faculty and students "attend" class together via iMeet.

Jewish Humor
Tuesdays, April 24 - May 22, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm CST

Course 4240 | 3 credits

Taught by Dr. Leonard Greenspoon

Humor is often identified as a characteristic feature of Jews and Judaism. In spite of a history of crises and living on the edge (or perhaps because of this history), Jews have frequently created or resorted to humor. In this course, you will explore different descriptions and instances of humor as well as what makes types of humor “Jewish.” We will look at examples from the Hebrew Bible through the Talmud and medieval period, then on to the Enlightenment and into the 21st century. In the process, we will discern common features of “Jewish humor” as well as acknowledge the individualism and eccentricities of many of the figures we discuss.



Letter from the Dean

Dear Jewish Studies Students:

We are pleased to provide you with a schedule of course offerings.

This list includes ongoing online courses and a series of new courses that will be delivered via web-conferencing.

There is quite a range of exciting courses, taught by distinguished international faculty, delivered in a variety of ways to meet your needs, schedules, and interests.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at or contact Dr. Victor Mirelman (Jewish Studies Faculty Chair) at

We look forward to learning with you.
Dean Bell
Dr. Dean P. Bell
Provost and Vice President
Spertus Institute

Why Spertus Institute?

  • Welcoming nondenominational environment open to all
  • Distinguished international faculty
  • Flexible scheduling and locations, distance learning available
  • Opportunities to pursue individual interests
  • Extensive resources


At Spertus Institute, we embrace the idea that the wisdom of Jewish thought and the richness of Jewish experiences inform Jewish society and Judaism today. Our programs encourage intellectual and spiritual reflection. Students grapple with Jewish ideas in the service of their personal, professional, and communal advancement.

Course Costs for Admitted Students

  • Masters level 
    $350 per quarter-hour credit 
    ($1050 per 3qh course)

  • Doctoral level 
    $400 per quarter-hour credit 
    ($1200 per 3qh course)

A registration fee of $25 is also required.

For New Students

Spertus offers graduate programs in Jewish Studies through a unique blend of distance learning and intensive on-campus instruction. Students — from half a dozen foreign countries and more than two dozen US states — come to Spertus for week-long academic seminars. Seminars include a range of courses in Jewish history, thought, and culture, accompanied by study of classical Jewish texts.

Applications for Jewish Studies programs are accepted all year. MORE>