M.A. in Jewish Education at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education
START YOUR APPLICATION
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. 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 RHSOE@huc.edu to set a date and time.
If you’ve applied in the past, or are familiar with our application process from years past, you may be interested to know that we’ve changed our process, and we continue to maintain our high admissions standards.
Here are the steps you should take:
First, begin Part 1 of your application for admission. We’ll ask you a few, simple questions about yourself and your educational background.
Then, after you’ve submitted Part 1 of your application, we’ll confirm its receipt and email you instructions on how to start Part 2. Part 2 of the application asks program-specific questions.
There is one application deadline and interview period for the Master of Arts in Jewish Education (MAJE) program.
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 receive an interview. HUC-JIR does not offer rolling admissions.
Personal Statement AND Admissions Essays
As you fill out Part 2 of your online application, you will be prompted to submit your Personal Statement and Admissions Essays. Your answers to the following questions help us get to know you as an individual, a student, a Jew, and a Jewish educator. Your personal statement and two essays, resume and picture should be consolidated into one document that you will be asked to upload.
Personal Statement: In no more than six double-spaced, typed pages, and respond to the following questions:
- Why have you chosen to become a Jewish educator? Discuss your intellectual, religious and spiritual development as well as the life experiences that have led you to make this decision. Please include your personal reflection on the role of Israel and Klal Yisrael in Jewish life today.
Short Essays: Please respond to each of the following questions separately. Limit your response to the two questions to a total of six double-spaced, typed pages.
Select a Torah portion that is particularly meaningful to you as a Jew. In what way does it shape your understanding of core beliefs and values of Judaism? What questions does it raise for you? What particular messages would you want to include in teaching this Torah portion to others?
Identify an event or experience in a Jewish institution in which you were involved as a participant or in a leadership role (synagogue, camp, day school, federation), where a change was proposed and attempted. What strategies did the institutional leader use to bring about the change? Who else was involved? What aspects of the institution supported bringing about a successful change, if that occurred? What aspects of the institution were barriers to a successful change, if that occurred? What insight about leadership and change did you take away that might influence how you see yourself in a leadership role in the future?
In addition to the online Part 1 and 2 of your application, HUC-JIR requires a number of supporting application documents that should be emailed or sent to the National Office of Admissions and Recruitment on the Los Angeles campus. Do not send documents to any other campus or department of HUC-JIR, as this will delay or prevent us from receiving your complete application by the deadline.
Please provide us with one copy of an official transcript from:
- 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 class.)
- 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 the schools mail the transcripts directly to: National Office of Admissions and Recruitment, Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion, 3077 University Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007. Please request transcripts with sufficient time to allow them to arrive by the application deadline.
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.
LETTERS OF REFERENCE
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 will make you a strong candidate.
You must have two academic references. College professors or instructors with whom you have engaged in serious academic study should write the academic references. If you have been out of college more than five years you may obtain academic references from adult or informal education instructors.
Of the remaining two references, HUC-JIR encourages you to submit a Judaic reference from an alumnus of HUC-JIR and a professional reference from a supervisor of your work, paid or volunteer, preferably in a Jewish setting.
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.
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 email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Reminders regarding references:
- 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 Admissions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION (GRE)
All applicants with English proficiency are required to take the GRE General Test. When registering for the GRE, please use the school code number 4349, which directs the results to the National Office of Admissions and Recruitment on the HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus. Do not use the school code number of any other HUC-JIR campus, as this will delay or prevent our receipt of your GRE scores. For GRE information, please see www.ets.org/gre.
We recommend that the test be taken at least four weeks before the application is due to allow time for the scores to be sent to HUC-JIR. GRE scores are only valid for five years. Candidates with a prior degree from HUC-JIR, Ph.D. or Masters degree (post-Bachelor) from an accredited institution that required a GRE score for admission may be exempt from submitting a current GRE score. Please email email@example.com with a request to exempt from this requirement.
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: www.ets.org/toefl. Please note that the TOEFL exam is not a substitute for the GRE.
Use this checklist as a guide to completing your HUC-JIR Admissions Application.
To be completed online:
Additional items (to be sent directly to HUC-JIR Office of Admissions and Recruitment):
National Office of Admissions and Recruitment
- Transcript(s) — undergraduate and graduate school (if applicable)
- GRE score report will be sent automatically to HUC-JIR. Be sure to use school code 4349.
- TOEFL score report (international students only), sent directly from the testing company.
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
3077 University Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
WHAT WE LOOK FOR
We are looking for highly qualified applicants for all of our programs. HUC-JIR’s student body is diverse and there is no “correct path” to becoming a strong candidate. Each applicant is viewed as a unique individual. For example, a degree in Jewish studies is not required but it is important to have some background with liberal arts classes where reading and writing are emphasized.
You must be able to meet the following requirements by June of the summer you intend to enroll.
- A BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university.
- An academic record reflecting the ability to do graduate work at a 3.0 grade point average or above on a four-point scale.
- Completion of the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- International applicants from non-English speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), now an internet based test (IBT). International applicants must have a working knowledge of English and a score of at least 90 on the TOEFL, with at least 22 on each constituent part.
- Proficiency in Modern Hebrew equivalent to two years of college-level Modern Hebrew as demonstrated by performance on the Hebrew Proficiency Examination given by HUC-JIR at the time of your admissions interview.
- A readiness for graduate study, including the capacity to meet the intellectual, ethical, and emotional demands of graduate school.
- A serious commitment to academic study and the capacity to develop self-awareness.
- An ability to engage in abstract reasoning, to think analytically and conceptually, and to formulate mature judgments.
- An aptitude for clear oral and written self-expression.
- Current policy states that applicants who are married to or in committed relationships with non-Jews will not be considered for acceptance to this program.
THE HEBREW REQUIREMENT
The programs of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education require a Hebrew language proficiency equivalent to two years of college-level Modern Hebrew, as demonstrated by performance on the Hebrew Proficiency Examination.
Admissions decisions are reached independently of the results of this exam. Admitted applicants who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Modern Hebrew may be required retake the exam, attend HUC-JIR’s Pre-Ulpan Hebrew Learning Program on the Jerusalem campus, or defer enrollment to improve their language skill.
Preparing for the Exam
The Hebrew proficiency test consists of three sections: reading comprehension, writing, and Modern Hebrew grammar. There is also an optional biblical text section for applicants whose proficiency exceeds the minimum requirements. Here are some general guidelines for preparing for the exam:
Applicants need to demonstrate that they can:
- Read texts with comprehension texts (with and without vowels) that discuss daily life, describe people and places, narrate past events, and project to the future;
- Recognize and use pronouns with or without pronominal endings;
- Recognize and use nouns in various contexts (in construct forms/smichut, with adjectives, definite and indefinite, singular and plural);
- Recognize and use (with and without vowels) active and reflexive verbs (Pa’al, Pi’el, Hif’il, Hit’pael and Nif’al) to describe past, present and future events;
- Recognize and use subordinate clauses (e.g., because, in spite of, if, then, etc.);
- Demonstrate facility with linguistic elements such as, definite article (Hey), prepositions, prepositional phrases, smichut; and
- Write a simple composition of approximately 200 words on a particular topic.
Below are a few resources to help you prepare for this Hebrew requirement: For an in depth evaluation of your abilities, download the Sample Hebrew Proficiency Examination (the answer sheet excludes the essay). This Examination is of a similar difficultly level to the actual exam but only a quarter of the length. In addition, check out these resources to improve your Hebrew.
Sample Hebrew Proficiency Examination
A personal interview with the Admissions Committee is required as part of our evaluation of your candidacy. This on-campus interview provides the Committee the opportunity to get to know you better and allows you to expand upon the information you have provided in your application.
We reserve the right to deny an interview to applicants who do not meet the admissions standards. Please do not make travel arrangements to a campus until you receive confirmation from HUC-JIR that you have been granted an interview.
ALUMNI-APPLICANT ADVISOR PROGRAM
As an applicant, we offer you the unique opportunity to be paired with an alumnus of your program of interest to advise you throughout the application process. These Alumni Advisors are able to provide you with assistance, counsel and one-on-one attention as related to elements of your application and admissions interview. They can also help you better understand the professional field and how HUC-JIR helped prepare them for their current career.
If you would like to be paired with an Alumni Advisor, please be sure to make this request when speaking with the Admissions professionals or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
BECOMING A NEW STUDENT
In preparation for you pending enrollment as a new student, we highly suggest that you visit our For New Students page that outlines the post-interview/post-acceptance next steps of the admissions process. Key to your preparation will be completing the required Medical Forms and submitting Financial Aid documentation.
START YOUR APPLICATION
Part 1 of the Application