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

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Overview of the Course of Study for the Master of Educational Leadership Program (MEdL)

The MEdL program integrates academic and professional studies, equipping students with a vocabulary and toolbox for visionary, relational, effective leadership in Jewish education. The program is designed to tap into and expand each student’s imagination, curiosity, and creativity. Our academic and clinical faculty foster a culture of reflection, inquiry, challenge and support to enrich all learning, which is the hallmark of the HUC School of Education programs. The coursework will relate directly to the student’s graduate residency. 

The course of study weaves together five strands of expertise. Each strand is divided into several courses, some required, and some elective.

● Teaching and Learning (14 credits): Jewish educators design the conditions where learning is optimized for curiosity, deepening understanding, skill-building, growth, transformation, and community building. The courses in the Teaching and Learning strand prepare educators to make learning come alive, to engage in smart, flexible planning, to make use of creative resources, and to design with an understanding of the learners’ needs and their relationship to the subject matter. 

● Aims and Aspirations of Jewish Education (6 credits): Visionary Jewish educators operate with a deep sense of purpose. They aspire to transform learners’ lives and engage learning as a tool for shaping our communities and our world for the better. These courses provide a think tank for educators to investigate the history and current philosophy and practice in Jewish education, analyze trends and ideologies, and imagine what an innovative Jewish educational system for the future might entail.

● Leadership (12 credits): Leadership in Jewish education demands a high level of self-awareness, integrity, and clarity of values. This series of courses explores the personal side of becoming an effective leader, the relational dimensions of leadership, and leading within a particular institutional culture. In this strand educators will also learn about managing complex leadership dilemmas and organizational change. Finally, educators will learn essential skills in administration. 

● Judaic Content (15 credits): The Judaic coursework will give students access to the texts, language, and interpretive skills of the Jewish textual, intellectual and spiritual heritage. Students will deepen their own Jewish literacy in courses on Bible, Midrash, Rabbinic literature, Jewish history, for both their professional knowledge base and their own connection to Jewish texts and tradition.

● Teaching and Learning Labs (Teaching of Specific Content Areas) (4.5 - 7.5 credits): This course of study introduces a series of new electives where students can take deep dives into the classic, current, and creative ways to design effective learning of various subject areas. These subjects include time-honored Jewish academic disciplines such as Bible, rabbinics, and Jewish history. We are also introducing new cutting edge courses on Teaching Israel and Teaching for the New Millennium, which place students in field-forging conversations about cultivating civil discourse, creative thinking, and social justice.

Capstone Seminar (1.5): Students will create their own unique capstone project, a deep exploration and project that reflects their authentic and original work in their graduate residency. The project is designed to be a professional contribution to the workplace and the field which will share the narrative of the graduate’s talent and potential.