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Application Instructions

At the current time, no further Certification applications are being accepted.


1. Application Part One- Click here to start.

 The first part of your application includes a few simple questions about your contact information and educational background.  Please start your application a few weeks ahead of the deadline: At the current time, no further Certification applications are being accepted.

2. Preliminary Consultation

As part of your application process to becoming an educational leader through HUC-JIR, we encourage you to speak with a professional in the Department of Admissions and Recruitment or the Coordinator of the Certificate Program. This informal, preliminary consultation is a way for us to get to know you better, for you to ask your questions and be sure now is the right time for you to apply to HUC-JIR. Simply email to set a date and time.

3. Recommendation Letters

Good references come from individuals who know you well enough to give the Admissions Committee input on your candidacy and reflect on specific experiences you have had that make you a strong candidate. Please use the Reference Letter Request Form to submit the names and contact information of your references. HUC-JIR will not accept more than four letters of reference. The individuals you list as references will receive an email from HUC Admissions informing them that you have requested they write a letter of reference on your behalf. It is recommended that you are in touch with your chosen references prior to filling out this online form to alert them that they will receive this emailed request.

 Please allow each reference enough time (at least one month) to complete his or her letter of reference. If you wish to substitute, delete, or add references after you have submitted their names in the online Reference Letter Request Form, you must report this in writing to the National Office of Recruitment and Admissions by emailing

References for Applying to the Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults

  • One Academic Reference: from an individual who can describe you as a learner: someone who has been your teacher in a formal or informal setting. On our online form, this is labeled as “Academic”. The context should be one in which the teacher could observe your intellectual capacities and your ability to engage in serious Jewish and/or professional studies.

  • One Professional Reference: from an individual who can describe you as a Jewish professional; someone who has experienced your leadership over time within a Jewish context, e.g., a supervisor, clergy member, lay leader, teacher, or participant. On our online form, this is labeled as “Professional”.

Confidentiality of References

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, provides students the right to inspect their records. This includes letters of recommendation submitted in the application process. HUC-JIR carefully reviews all letters of reference. However, we find that letters written in confidence are most useful in assessing a candidate’s qualifications and promise. By using the Reference Letter Request Form, you are automatically waiving your right. Please contact with any questions or concerns.

4. Permission to Apply and Participate

A letter from your current supervisor must be submitted granting permission to apply and to participate in all aspects the program, should you be accepted.

It should state: “(Your name) has permission to participate in all aspects of the Certificate Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults at HUC-JIR. This includes the time needed to attend all intensives, institutes, and online learning sessions.” This letter should be emailed directly from your supervisor to  This letter is in addition to the two letters of reference required for your application. 

5. Transcripts

Please request transcripts 60 days before the application deadline. Transcripts need to be received in order to schedule an interview. 

Please provide us with one copy of an official transcript from all of the following:

  • The college from which you graduated as well as any other colleges you attended. (This includes any school at which you took a college-level course for transfer credit.
  • Any graduate schools where you have been enrolled, as well as schools where you have taken graduate-level classes.
  • Any “Year Abroad” programs or other foreign study. (If grades from international programs are recorded on your college transcript you do not need to submit a separate transcript.)

Have your schools mail the transcripts directly to:

National Office of Recruitment and Admissions
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
For international applicants: year-by-year records from colleges and universities attended are required. The record must indicate the number of hours per week devoted to each course, grades received for each course, and degrees awarded, with dates the degrees were conferred. This information must be provided in English. If this information is not available in English, it is the applicant’s responsibility to have it professionally translated and certified before it is sent to HUC-JIR. If grades are not determined on a 4.0 scale system please include guidelines in English from the school that explain the grading system.

6. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International applicants for whom English is not the first language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in approximately 100 centers outside the United States. See the information available at: Please note that the TOEFL exam is not a substitute for the GRE. The TOEFL school code for HUC-JIR is 1291.

7. Part 2 of the Application

Part 2 of your application is more in depth and contains program-specific questions.  All application materials, including Part 2 of your application, letters of references, transcripts and test results, must be received by the deadline in order to be offered an admissions interview.

8. Personal Statement

In no more than six double-spaced, typed pages and respond to the following questions:

  1. Describe an experience in which you played a leadership role in a Jewish institutional setting (broadly defined). Reflect on what you learned about yourself and how you relate to others when exercising leadership. What questions do you have about leadership as a result of the experience you have described and analyzed?

  2. Select one or two big issues that you believe are confronting the Jewish community today. Discuss why the issue is important and what effect it potentially has on the vitality of the Jewish community. How do you think working with adolescents and emerging adults can help address this issue? What have you done to explore the complexity of this issue?

9. Resume

A standard C.V. or resume.

10. Photo

A simple portrait to help us recognize you when you visit and maintain our campus security.

11. Portfolio

Another element of your application is your portfolio, consisting of three items that represent the work you have accomplished with adolescents and/or emerging adults. Examples of this may include (but not be limited to) a curriculum, program write-up, bulletin or newspaper article, website, Twitter stream, or Facebook event. Please elaborate (no more than one double-spaced page) why you chose to include the pieces in your portfolio, and explain their purpose and use if they are not self-evident in the piece itself. If in a suitable electronic format please submit this with your resume and admissions essays in one single file in Part 2 of your online application. If your portfolio is in a format that is better suited for mail, please send it to: Certificate Program in Jewish Education, National Office of Recruitment and Admissions, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220.