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Jewish Communal Services Concentration

Jewish Communal Services Concentration

This concentration area allows students to develop broad overview content knowledge in Jewish Studies themes and apply them to their work in a wide array of Jewish communal services fields. Concentration courses focus on the integration of classical Jewish sources and ideas with best practices in the areas of management and leadership. In addition to an individualized project, students also gain important knowledge about grantwriting.

Jewish Studies for the Communal Professional
7 classes
Course #4302A

A core tenet of the Jewish Communal Services Concentration is the importance of balancing classical Jewish texts and ideas with professional best practices. This course explores major themes and personalities in Jewish history and thought, and it suggests how they can be applied to and inform students’ professional work. In addition to formal classwork, students will work closely with the instructor on an independent project related to the students’ own current Jewish communal work or professional interests.

Sought Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the development and state of the academic field of Jewish Studies
  • Understanding of the relevance of academic Jewish Studies for communal work
  • Familiarity with the central methodologies employed in Jewish Studies
  • Basic familiarity with the genres of Jewish sources (writings, material culture)
  • Familiarity with major periods (chronology, characteristics), events, concepts and language of Jewish Studies (history and thought)
  • Development of graduate-level critical thinking skills

On Becoming an Effective Jewish Leader
7 classes
Course #4309A

This course offers both a theoretical and pragmatic approach to the nature and challenges of Jewish leadership. Students will study the ways in which Jewish civilization throughout the ages – from biblical times until today – has dealt with models of power and collaborative leadership. The course will explore ethical challenges often faced by Jewish leaders, and will consider the essential relationships today’s Jewish leaders must nurture and maintain in order to be successful. Drawing upon classical Jewish and non-Jewish sources as well as contemporary material on leadership from government, business and industry, and the nonprofit world, students will have the opportunity to frame leadership strategies and skills that can be applied in their particular organizational framework.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Have a working knowledge of the tripartite system of communal leadership in Jewish sources
  • Have an understanding of collaborative leadership and shared power as discussed in major Jewish and general writings
  • Understand the basics of a systems approach to leadership
  • Consider the ethical challenges inherent in leadership, and contemplate appropriate personal and organizational responses
  • Be familiar with the differences between management, leadership, and governance in nonprofit organizations
  • Understand basic approaches to the role of conflict and conflict management in nonprofit organizational environments
  • Begin to contemplate strategies for enhancing their own skill-sets and performances as professional leaders in nonprofit organizations

Grantwriting for Nonprofit Organizations*
6 classes
Course #4583

Every year hundreds of foundations, corporations, and government agencies have millions of dollars available to be distributed to nonprofit organizations. To access these funds, fundraising professionals must know how to write and submit grants. Grantwriting is a competitive process that requires knowledge of the politics of grantwriting, the art of grantwriting, and the mechanics of grantwriting. In this course, students learn how to identify potential funding resources, how to satisfy the needs of grantors, and how to write winning grants.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Have knowledge of the application and grant review process
  • Understand the concepts of relationship building with potential grantors
  • Understand the importance of grant-seeking research
  • Explain the differences between private and government funding
  • Know the parts of a grant and how to write a grant
  • Know what grant reviewers look for in a grant

*This course is offered in the Fundraising Management, Human Services Administration, and Jewish Communal Services concentrations.