Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies Part 2

This award builds upon the general knowledge and expertise amassed during the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1 and will focus on specific primary source texts, such as Biblical, Rabbinic, liturgical and theological material. The modules taught will expose students to deeper levels of study, especially with regard to Bible, rabbinic literature and theology. In particular it will enable students to demonstrate higher competencies in textual analysis of segments of rabbinic literature.

The Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 2 will be awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits. There are 315 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.

To read the Programme Specification please Click Here

Entry requirements

For rabbinic students who are continuing to Ordination: completion of the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1;


One year at an institute of higher learning or seminary commensurate with the level of the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1 and at the discretion of the Admissions Board.

For prospective students registering for the award

  1. First/Second class BA honours degree (in exceptional cases, mature students who can demonstrate equivalent experience may be considered).
  2. 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 IELTS, band 6.
  3. Students must provide evidence of a level of proficiency in biblical Hebrew and Aramaic equivalent to a year’s study at university as well as level Gimmel (level 3) in Modern Hebrew.
  4. Students may be invited for an interview to determine the range and depth of their previous reading in an area of Jewish Studies which they have explored.

An additional programme specific entry requirement for Rabbinic students is completion of the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1 or a year at an institute of higher learning or seminary commensurate with the level of the Graduate Diploma in Jewish Studies, Part 1 and at the discretion of the Admissions Board.

Applicants 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.

Click here for Assessment Regulations.

Click her for MDX Academic Regulations

Module Descriptions

This module is designed to allow the student to engage with the Aramaic sections of the Babylonian Talmud with confidence and fluency.   The student shall be prepared for professional and academic work in Babylonian Talmud, acquiring the necessary practical skills in unpointed reading, vocabulary, and grammatical and structural analysis.  Students will gain familiarity with legal technical terminology in Western Aramaic as well as the famous Aramaic narratives.  The study of this body of Aramaic literature will allow the student to engage in more advanced work in Babylonian Talmud.

This module is designed to engage students with the liturgies of the British Progressive movements, the history of their development and their contemporary usage. It will enable them to use the prayer books with confidence, possess an understanding of their construction together with a strong academic and spiritual connection to their contents.

Leo Baeck College trains its graduates to serve as congregational rabbis; as such it is essential that among their core skills set is a knowledge of approaches to the text of the Hebrew Bible over the centuries, particularly those of the medieval commentators, of whom Rashi is the leading example, and of the major trends in modern biblical criticism up to the present day. Facility with and knowledge of this material will be a significant attainment in the context of their professional lives as well as being a source for the Bible teaching that they will do on a regular basis.

Leo Baeck College trains its graduates to serve as congregational rabbis; as such it is essential that the core building blocks of their training include a strong and nuanced awareness of the importance of the Pentateuch. This is the classical Jewish text with which they will engage during their working lives and as such they must have a relationship with the text that is intellectual, spiritual and emotional. The purpose of this module is to begin the development of this relationship.

The ‘Historical’ / Early ‘Prophetic’ Biblical Books, because of their different location within Jewish and Christian editions of the Bible, reflect two radically different approaches to their interpretation. While they raise important questions about the historicity of the events they describe, they also offer examples of sustained Hebrew narrative writing and character development. Covering the rise and fall of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, they are also key texts in the formulation of later messianic expectations regarding the relationship of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

This module is an intensive approach to rabbinic literature, which offers thorough, intensive training in the area of rabbinic language and literature in order to bring the student from the introductory level through to a level where s/he may engage in independent study and research. Students will study a wide range of rabbinic sources, with a focus upon the more demanding genres of Midrash and the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, as well as the later developments in the legal codes, further developing the necessary skills to read, translate, analyse and critique rabbinic sources. Students will also be expected to develop clear scholarly arguments in relation to modern scholarship in the field. Acquisition of skills related to primary and secondary sources will allow the student to engage in further study at more advanced levels.

This module serves as an introduction to the history of the Rabbinic period, roughly covering the time from the destruction of the Second Temple until the final redaction of the Babylonian Talmud (approx. 70CE-700CE). 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 module will use an integrative approach combining traditional historiographic methodologies with insights from the social sciences, including sociology and anthropology. We will discuss to what extent Rabbinic Judaism arose as a direct response to the destruction of the Second Temple. We will also explore the ways in which Rabbinic Judaism adapted to new historical circumstances through a continuation with the past and a radical innovation upon it. Additionally, the module will focus 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. Differing political and social conditions in Palestine and Babylonia will be analysed to account for some of the distinctions in Judaism’s development in both regions. Various sources used for the reconstruction of Rabbinic history will be introduced, including archaeological evidence.

Through a number of differing but not unconnected hermeneutic ‘lenses,’ this module will consider rabbinic thinking about God, the relation between God and Israel, and associated questions. How do we go about understanding the thinking of the ancient rabbis in these areas and their often seemingly idiosyncratic modes of expression? The student will be taught to be able to discern their coherences, which are not systematic but organic, and also to consider our contemporary relation to rabbinic reading, thinking and imagining. This module is a theological introduction to subsequent intensive readings in Midrashic and Talmudic texts, while also providing a clearer understanding of what a textual tradition might be and how to engage with it with clarity and precision.

Kabbalah is in the news, with prominent celebrity adherents, while members of Hasidic communities are frequently shown on our TV screens as archetypal Jews. But what lies behind these two separate, but related, movements in Judaism? How did they arise in the course of Jewish history? What are the unique ideas that make Jewish mysticism so attractive? We will examine key examples of kabbalistic and hasidic literature, with the aim of answering these questions, and of exploring some of the ways that Jewish mystical ideas may be used in personal spiritual development, even by non-kabbalists and non-hasidim.

A key skill in Jewish communal leadership is to be able to understand the broader context in which Jewish communities are situated. This module will draw on sociological and historical perspectives to examine contemporary Jewish communities and the challenges facing them. In addition, it will equip students with the conceptual and methodological tools necessary to critically evaluate research and policy-making in their own communities.

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Application Process

Download Application Form


Sandy Potashnick

+44 (0)20 8349 5622

Application Deadline

30 June in the year preceding admission

Course Team Leader

Rabbi Mark Solomon