Course of Study - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Course of Study

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The New York School of Education Masters in Religious Education program is a three year full-time program, beginning with a year spent at the Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR. The next two years of study are divided between core and elective courses necessary for all candidates for graduation.

The New York School of Education also offers a part-time option for students to complete the necessary courses for the Masters in Religious Education.


First Year: The Year-In-Israel Program
The Year-In-Israel program includes the study of Hebrew language, extensive reading in the Hebrew of the classical texts of Judaism, and the study of the history and contemporary realities of Israel. Courses in liturgy and modern Judaism introduce the student to the thought and practice of the Reform movement.

Students also participate in a year-long education course. The seminar-style course introduces students to the big questions in education and Jewish education including: What is education? What is the relationship between society and education? What are the current and emerging trends in Jewish education in North America?

Students also look at the challenges of Israel education and develop their own personal vision for Jewish education.

Second Year: Fall Courses

Course Course Name
Bible 421 Survey of Tanakh
HIS 411 Survey of Jewish History I
SOE 411 Human Development
SOE 401 Teaching and Learning/Clinical Field Work
JLL 401 Hebrew
SOE 571 Finding Family (Elective)

Second Year: Spring Courses

Course Course Name
Bible 422 Prophets and Megillot
HIS 412 Survey of Jewish History II
SOE 402 Clinical Field Work
SOE 431 History of Jewish Education in America
SOE 572 Ideologies of Jewish Education
JLL 401 Hebrew
SOE 542 Resilience of the Soul (Elective)

Third Year: Fall Courses

Course Course Name
BIB 430 Teaching Bible to Adults
RAB 412 Introduction to Midrash
SOE 422 Curriculum & Evaluation
SOE 421 Change Leadership
SOE 592 Teaching the Jewish Calendar (Elective)
SOE 403 Clinical Field Work
RAB 401 World of Rabbinic Literature (P-T Student only)

Third Year: Spring Courses

Course Course Name
RTE 413 Modern Jewish Thought
SOE 462 Teaching Tefillah
SOE 445 Professional Learning
SOE 412 Organ, Dyn & Change
SOE 404 Clinical Field Work
Ind Study Capstone
Elective Sociology of Adolescents and Emerging Adults

Academic Advising
All entering students are assigned to a faculty advisor, who serves as the hub connecting to all of the student’s activities. Students and advisors meet a few times throughout the academic year. Students have the opportunity to discuss their course registration with their advisor in advance of each semester.

Capstone Project
The capstone experience is meant to be an in-depth academic experience that enhances the students’ knowledge of the process of curriculum development. During the final semester MARE students and rabbinic students pursuing the education degree develop their area of interest and present their capstone to the NYSOE community. During the fall semester, Curriculum course students begin the process and submit their proposal with supporting bibliographies to their capstone advisor.

The Capstone product is a substantive curriculum guide. Possible designs might be: a semester in a congregational school, a year-long family education program, an 8-week module in a day school or adult education class, or a 4-week summer camp session. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the student’s ability to translate content knowledge into rich learning experiences through curriculum planning and design. Below are the guidelines for preparation of the capstone project.

Senior Education Practica
Each third year student will present their capstone project to the larger SOE community. The presentation will include:

  • An introduction to the study and summary of the pedagogic reasoning behind the selection and significance of this topic in Jewish education;
  • Teaching a 20 minute lesson or segment; and
  • A student facilitated discussion of the presentation.

After the practicum, students will meet with their capstone advisor to review the video of the presentation and debrief the session together to explore what was successful and what might be have been done differently. Students will then submit a two- page reflection sharing what they have learned from the process.

MARE Praxis Seminars
Each month all NY School of Education students and faculty gather for a seminar to introduce students to the New York Jewish community and to explore areas of interest in the larger Jewish educational landscape. Guest presenters bring their field expertise and offer students the opportunity to learn about the latest educational research and exciting new education initiatives.

Joint Degree Opportunities
Rabbinical/Cantorial Ordination and the MARE Program: Current rabbinic students in their third year of the rabbinical program can apply to the one-year education program. They then take a year off from the rabbinical program to study education and receive a MARE degree at the end of that year. After three years in the rabbinical program, these students have completed the core Judaica studies courses (also required for education students) and spend the year focusing on the education core. They are placed in a “leadership” internship, where they experience the work of an educational leader such as: supervision of teachers, curriculum writing, running faculty meetings, attending board meetings, meeting with parents and lay leaders, working on budgets, etc. Joint rabbinical program students must also complete a curriculum capstone project. They have education faculty as academic mentors and meet regularly throughout the year to discuss application of their learning to the field. Cantorial students can also apply to the one-year education program, after their fourth year of the cantorial program. Completing the same requirements listed above for the joint rabbinical program which enables cantorial students to receive the MARE degree.

Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and the MARE Program: For students who wish to combine the study of Jewish education with an emphasis on Jewish communal service, the Joint Master's program allows students to earn two separate degrees. In addition to the three years of the M.A.R.E. program, joint Master's students spend the summer after the Year-In-Israel program and the summer between the New York academic years studying at HUC-JIR's Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. The clinical placement during the second year of study involves work in a communal agency, and during the third year involves work in an educational setting. Students must complete a capstone project for each program.