This programme combines Jewish Studies with Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew Language acquisition. The programme aims to facilitate the achievement of fluent Hebrew and Aramaic reading and general competency. In addition to intensive language study there are introductions to key subject areas such as the history and structure of liturgy, critical approaches to the Pentateuch, introduction to rabbinic literature, Rabbinic history, and general methodology.
The Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1 will be awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits. There are 360 contact hours. It can be studied either full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).
This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.
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- First/second class honours degree.
- Students whose mother tongue is not English are expected to meet a minimum level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), band 6.
- Students must provide evidence of having completed Ulpan (Hebrew Language School) level Gimmel by the time they enrol for the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1.
- Students may be invited for an interview to determine the range and depth of their previous reading in an area of Jewish Studies in which they have explored their own interests.
Prospective students over the age of 21, who do not satisfy the normal entry requirements, may be admitted to a programme or subject provided that they can submit evidence of previous serious study and demonstrate the capacity and attainments to pursue successfully the proposed programme.
Teaching and Assessment
A variety of teaching methods including tutor led, group work and independent study will be used. Types of assessments include: examinations, essays, presentations, textual analyses, sermons, short tests, designing a service.
This two semester module is designed to help students develop confidence and fluency in reading and interpreting the Hebrew Bible. Students will acquire necessary practical skills for professional and academic study, including reading pointed and unpointed texts, grammatical analysis, translation and commentary. Students will gain familiarity with a range of Biblical styles and genres and learn how to effectively use the full range of grammars, aids and reference works.
Cantillation is the traditional mode for public reading of the Torah in Hebrew. Following the cantillation accents closely leads to accurate reading and the music conveys nuances of meaning more fully. .As well as adding a musical dimension, the cantillation accents outline the syntax of the biblical text and are the basis of different types of commentaries: plain, midrashic and kabbalistic. Awareness of the particular function and context of each accent is necessary for understanding and uncovering meaning in the text.
The aims of the module are:
- to transmit the cantillation system so students will be able to read and chant the Torah accurately, as well as to teach it to others effectively.
- to teach Torah commentary that is based on cantillation accents.
Rabbinic language and literature is a particularly challenging field of study for the beginner, and the pedagogical approach of regular, intensive study that is guided, supervised and regularly assessed is designed to develop the level of familiarity required for more advanced study and research.
This intensive introduction to rabbinic literature will enable students to gain familiarity with the major genres and works of rabbinic literature, in particular Mishna, Tosefta, Midrash and Babylonian Talmud and secondary literature in the field. The module will also enable students to acquire skills for reading, translating, commenting on and analysing rabbinic sources.
This module serves as an introduction to the historical development of the rabbinic movement from its roots in the Second temple period until the Geonic period. As a large portion of the material studied as part of the Leo Baeck Rabbinic Programme focuses on rabbinic texts, this module is essential in contextualising those texts and understanding the social setting in which they emerged. Furthermore, as the precursor to modern-day Judaism, the study of Rabbinic Judaism is key to the understanding of Judaism today.
The uses both traditional historiographic methodologies and literary approaches to explore the ways in which rabbinic Judaism adapted to new historical circumstances. Additionally, the module focuses on the social structures and tensions internal to Rabbinic society and the interaction with groups outside it all of which influenced the way rabbinic Judaism took shape.
This module is designed to introduce students to the traditional daily, weekly, and major festival prayers, and to outline their history, the links between their constituent parts and the approaches taken by principal schools of commentators. Services will be read not as assemblages of discrete elements, but as parts of a larger narrative continuum. Attention will be paid to liturgical history, and to the ways prayers illuminate belief and relate to daily, weekly, annual and life events. Texts will be studied in Hebrew and in translation, emphasising differences in regional tradition, local custom and progressive revisions. Particular attention will be paid to the theological implications of the sacred narrative.
This module focuses on critical approaches to the Pentateuch. It aims to provide students with a broad understanding of key theories of biblical criticism as well as historical, literary, feminist and post-modern approaches.
The aim of this module is to provide a foundational knowledge of Aramaic language and grammar, enabling students to understand its role and impact in the history of early Judaism. Students will be introduced to Aramaic epigraphy, archival sources, biblical, targumic and Qumran Aramaic.