M.A. in Jewish Education

Contact Us

The Melton Centre for Jewish Education
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
+972 2 588-2033/4
Fax +972 2 532-2211
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
melton-centre@savion.huji.ac.il

This study program can be concentrated within a single calendar year. It is intended for educators in formal and informal frameworks who are interested in the social sciences, educational philosophy, and Jewish Studies and in exploring questions of culture and identity in educational programs.

Courses in the specialization in Jewish Education are intended to familiarize students with research in Jewish Education and to enable the clarification of the goals, methods, and challenges involved in transmitting Jewish culture and teaching Jewish subjects in Israel and the Diaspora.

This specialization provides students with the possibility for advancement in various areas of Jewish education as well as the possibility to continue in a research track. Alumni of the program can continue to central positions in educational systems in Israel and the Diaspora where they develop study plans, manage Jewish educational programs, and serve as heads of experimental school programs. Outstanding students in the program may continue toward a Ph.D. through research at the Melton Centre.

The study program is personal and combines courses that fulfill the requirements of the specialization with studies that are tailored to the needs and interests of the individual student. When the personal study plan justifies it, it is possible to include courses taught in the School of Education, the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Humanities, and in other departments of the Hebrew University.

The study program concentrates on the following areas:

  • Social Sciences, Jewish Identity, and Informal Education.
  • Philosophy of Jewish Education.
  • Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry.
  • Curriculum and Programming with Jewish content.

In addition to the formal program, students are invited to participate in the Melton Centre’s wide variety of events and programs, including seminars, forums, and conferences, as well as personally interacting with members of the Melton faculty.

Requirements for Acceptance

In order to be accepted to the Master’s program, prospective students must have completed their B.A. with an average grade of 80 or above and must have an exemption from English as a Foreign Language.

Supplementary Studies

Each student is advised of required supplementary studies upon acceptance to the program. Students who are not graduates of the School for Education or of a Jewish Studies department will be required to take supplementary courses in order to ensure their successful and fruitful integration into the Master’s program. Such courses are not considered towards the masters’ degree and must be completed before the end of the first year of study.

Program Structure

The length of the Master’s Program in Jewish Education is determined by the individual student. The study program is based on the student’s choice of studying for one or for two years, depending on whether the student studies for two days a week or one. Studies are conducted in two tracks: Track B (the non-research track) and Track A (the research track).

Transferring into the research track depends on the following criteria:

  • An average of 85 or above in 20 credits of the degree.
  • A seminar paper with a grade of 85 or above.

Students must fill out a request form for transfer to the research track and must plan their year of study accordingly.

Track B (non-research track)

The coursework in this track comprises 20 weekly hours (40 credits). Students must plan their coursework so that it is completed within two years.

Requirements:

  1. 8 credits (4 weekly hours): Required courses.
  2. 4 credits (2 weekly hours): Research studies.
  3. 28 credits (14 weekly hours): Elective studies. It is possible to take up to 4 credits outside the specialization with the approval of the head of the specialization.
  4. A passing grade (60) in each course, according to each course’s requirements.
  5. Two seminar papers, at least one of which is completed within the framework of the specialization. A seminar paper is an additional, more extensive paper completed in addition to the final paper required at the end of the course.
  6. Following the completion of the above requirements, students will sit for their comprehensive exam.

Before sitting for the comprehensive exam and thereby completing the program, every student must review their list of courses by computer, in order to ensure that everything is ready for a final weighted grade for the degree. Every student must also ensure that the number of the exam (74444) is noted on the study form. Only students who have completed all of their requirements toward the M.A. and who have submitted all of their papers are eligible to be tested.

The purpose of the exam is to measure the student’s ability to deal independently with an issue that is connected to Jewish education in one of the following four areas:

  1. Social Sciences and Jewish Identity.
  2. Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry.
  3. Curriculum and Programming, educator training, and teaching Jewish content.
  4. Philosophy of Jewish Education.

Within several days the student will be directed by the head of the specialization and the academic secretary to one of the faculty members who is responsible for the chosen area (the “chief examiner”) in order to focus the topic of the paper that will be submitted for the exam. Together with the faculty member the student will compose a question or an issue for discussion and will locate relevant literature. The student will then compose a paper that summarizes, in an orderly fashion, the main, relevant arguments that emerge from the literature and then approaches the issue or question in a critical and integrative fashion.

The paper must include at least 10 bibliographic items. (It is important that these items also include literature that is not specifically connected to Jewish education.) The paper must be a work that integrates this literature. In their papers students must present the main arguments that arise from the chosen bibliographic items and must also respond critically to these arguments.

The written paper will be about 10 pages in length (in addition to a bibliography with 10 items). Students must submit the paper to the secretary in 3 copies. A number of days after the submission of the final paper, students will be examined orally based on their papers, in the presence of two examiners.

The chief examiner is involved only in the phrasing of the question or issue. As previously noted, the purpose of the exam is to measure the student’s ability to deal in an independent fashion with an issue connected to Jewish education and to the bibliographic literature the student has chosen.

Track A (research track):

The coursework in this track comprises 16 weekly hours (32 credits). It is recommended that students plan their coursework so that it is completed within two years.

Requirements:

  1. 8 credits (4 weekly hours): Required courses.
  2. 4 credits (2 weekly hours): Research studies (methodology).
  3. An advanced course on research methods.
  4. 20 credits (10 weekly hours): Elective studies. It is possible to take up to 4 credits outside the specialization with the approval of the head of the specialization.
  5. A passing grade (60) in each course, to be determined according to each course’s requirements.
  6. A seminar paper within the framework of the specialization. A seminar paper is an additional, more extensive paper completed in addition to the final paper required at the end of the course.
  7. A final paper (a research-based seminar paper, equivalent to a Master’s thesis). The research paper must include a theoretical component and a research component. The research may be conducted according to any of the accepted research paradigms: analytical, quantitative, or qualitative, or a combination of any of these. An ideal format for a research seminar paper is that of an article intended for publication in an academic journal.

The topic of the research paper will be determined through consultation between the student and his/her advisor. The research proposal will be submitted to the head of the specialization for approval before the research is undertaken. The research paper (including footnotes and bibliography) should be 40–80 double-spaced pages in length. Charts, images, tables, and textual appendices are not included in this page count. Possible exceptions must be approved by the student’s advisor and the head of specialization.

The paper will be read by the student’s advisor and by one additional reader to be determined by the Committee for Advanced Studies. The committee will decide on the second reader only after receiving written confirmation from the student’s advisor that confirms the submission of the paper for evaluation.

The final research paper will be composed in Hebrew. Students who wish to compose their final paper in another language must ask for and receive their advisor’s permission.

The following items should be included in the final paper. It is advisable to check the paper for these items before printing and submitting it.

  • Title page in Hebrew and English, with the following items:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Specialization in Jewish Education

A paper equivalent to a thesis

Paper topic:

Submitted by:

Student number

Advisor:

Submitted in month, year

  • An abstract in Hebrew and in English on a separate page

The paper will be printed and submitted in 4 copies. After the approval of the paper, 2 of the copies will be given to the National Library and to the central university library on Mount Scopus. The research paper, or parts of it, may not be published without the permission of the student’s advisor, and may be published only following the final approval of the paper. Any publication must also note that this was a paper submitted for partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master’s degree.

 

Final Exam: Not required for new students who enroll for the Academic Year 5774-5775 (תשע"ה)

8. When all requirements for the degree have been fulfilled, the student may sit for the final exam.

Before sitting for the comprehensive exam and thereby completing the program, every student must review their list of courses by computer, in order to ensure that everything is ready for a final averaged grade. Every student must also ensure that the number of the exam (74444 + 74449) is noted on the study form. Only students who have completed all of their requirements toward the M.A. and who have submitted all of their papers (including their final research paper) are eligible to be tested.

In consultation with their advisor, students must choose 4 central or particularly interesting bibliographic items from the bibliography of their final research paper that deal with an issue that was not treated exhaustively in their research paper.

The student must write a paper that presents the main arguments in the chosen bibliographic items and the student’s response and critique of them. The document will be no longer than 10 pages.

A number of days following the submission of the document, the student will sit for the oral exam in the presence of two examiners.

Every student is responsible for constructing a study plan that fulfills all the requirements of the Faculty of Humanities, the School of Education, and the Specialization in Jewish Education, according to the year in which the student began his/her studies.

Further information can be found in the Faculty of Humanities course catalog.

Calculating the Final Grade

The final grade in the Master’s is a weighted average of several components, depending on the track chosen by the student:

Track A

35% Weighted average of course grades, according to number of credits per course

15% Seminar paper

35% Final research paper

15% Final exam

Total: 100%

Track B

45% Weighted average of course grades, according to number of credits per course

40% Two seminar papers

15% Final exam

Total: 100%