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Course Offerings

Course Offerings

Jewish Studies

Independant 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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Synchronous Jewish Studies Webconferencing Courses

Faculty and students "attend" class together via iMeet. 

Jewish Medical Ethics
Rabbi Dr. Peter Knobel
Tuesdays, October 17-November 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm CST

This course explores current issues in bio-ethics from Jewish points of view, looking at the opinions of scholars across the denominational landscape. Discussions cover issues at the beginning of life (including artificial reproduction, cloning, stem cell research, surrogates, abortion, and birth control) and the end of life (including advance directives, refusing treatment, brain death, organ transplantation, euthanasia, suicide, and assisted suicide). The course also examines the question of quality versus quantity of life, genetic engineering, enhancement versus therapy, and health care reform.

Dreams and Visions in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East
Dr. Igal German
Thursdays, October 19-November 16 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm CST

This course explores the dreams and visions recorded in the Hebrew Bible within their ancient Near Eastern milieu. It covers how biblical dreams and visions reflected and helped shape the history and religion of ancient Israel. Participants examine various biblical texts and ancient Near Eastern sources that shed light on the phenomenon of dream interpretation.

Prayer and Liturgy
Rabbi Dr. Moshe Berger
Wednesdays, November 29-January 3 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm CST
(No class December 20)

This course explores Jewish prayer as a halakhic phenomenon, as well as a theological, spiritual, and communal event. We consider the evolution of the liturgy through the biblical, classical rabbinic, medieval, and pre-modern periods. We also examine the standardized liturgy as a model for interpersonal communication.

Dr. Gary Porton
Wednesdays, January 17-February 14, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm CST

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2018 Jewish Studies 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.

This year's seminars are scheduled for:

March 11-15, 2018
July 8-12, 2018

Seminar course and faculty information will be announced in late 2017. 

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>