Application Instructions - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Application Instructions

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1. Application Part One

The first part of your application includes a few simple questions about your contact information and educational background. The application for 2021 will be available in the summer. If you have any questions please contact

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 Executive MA in Jewish Education 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 Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education

  • One Supervisor Reference: You must have one reference from a supervisor in a Jewish educational setting.
  • One Professional Reference: You must have one reference from a professional source. Someone who has experienced your leadership over time, e.g., a lay leader, teacher, or staff member.
  • One Academic Reference: You must have one reference from an educational source. Someone who has been your teacher in a formal or informal setting. 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.

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. 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:

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.

5.  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.

6. Part Two of the Application

We will send you access to Part 2 after your Preliminary Interview is complete. It will contain more in depth and 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.

7. Personal Statement

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

  1. Why did you choose to become a Jewish educational leader?
  2. Why are you interested in pursuing a masters degree at this point in your career?
  3. Discuss your intellectual, religious and spiritual development as well as the life experiences that have led you to make these decisions. Please include your personal reflections on your strengths as a Jewish educational leader and the challenges you have faced in this role.

8. 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.

  1. Select a particular Torah portion that is meaningful or challenging to you. What impact does it have on how you think about Judaism and/or the Jewish community? What are the essential ideas you would want to convey to others?
  2. Select an issue that you believe is confronting Jewish education. Discuss why this issue is important and what effect it potentially has on the vitality of Jewish education. What have you done to explore the complexity of this issue?

9. Resume

A standard C.V. or resume.

10. Hebrew Proficiency

The Executive MA program in Jewish Education requires that students complete one year of college-level Modern Hebrew before graduating from the program. The requirement can be fulfilled by prior completion of one-year of college-level Modern Hebrew included on the applicant’s transcript, passing the Hebrew Proficiency Examination administered by HUC-JIR Hebrew faculty, or satisfactorily passing an approved course of study prior to graduation from the program.