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.
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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
- First/Second class BA honours degree (in exceptional cases, mature students who can demonstrate equivalent experience may be considered).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This module builds upon students’ previous study of other dialects of Aramaic (Biblical, targumic) and convey the distinctiveness of Babylonian Jewish Aramaic. Students will be introduced to the grammar and syntax of Babylonian Jewish Aramaic as found in the Babylonian Talmud through inductive study of mainly aggadic passages.
Students will be prepared for professional and academic work in Babylonian Talmud, acquiring the necessary practical skills in unpointed reading, vocabulary, and grammatical and structural analysis. 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.
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. In this module students will study selected passages from the Early prophets (neviim rishonim) using appropriate contemporary scholarly methodologies and rabbinic and mediaeval Jewish commentaries.
This module is an intensive approach to rabbinic literature, which offers thorough 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 the primary genres of rabbinic literature, including Mishna, Tosefta, Midrash, Babylonian Talmud, an introduction to the Palestinian Talmud and a wider range of secondary literature. Students will acquire skills in reading, translation, commentary and analysis of rabbinic sources with the aim of building the foundation for research at more advanced levels.
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. Classes will be devoted to close readings of midrashic and aggadic texts, with attention to the work of modern Jewish thinkers who have attempted to engage with rabbinic theologising through explication and interpretation.
The approach of this module will be historical and theological, emphasising the development of Jewish mysticism through its various stages, from Hekhalot/Merkavah mysticism through classical theosophical Kabbalah, the Zohar, Cordovero, Lurianic Kabbalah and Hasidic thought. Students will be introduced to main concepts of Kabbalistic and Hasidic though and develop skills in reading and understanding Kabbalistic and Hasidic texts in translation. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the relevance and resonance of Kabbalistic and Hasidic ideas for their own spirituality and for the enrichment of contemporary Progressive Judaism.
While the key texts for rabbis are the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic literature, much less attention is paid to the texts that link these two corpuses together. This module will explore the diverse writings which emerged in the Second Temple period between the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple (circa 516 BCE) and its subsequent destruction by the Romans (68-70 CE).
This module is designed to introduce students to the liturgies of annual and life‐cycle events, focusing on their theological and historical implications. It will help students understand the liturgy in terms of its history, showing how it illuminates belief in relation to annual and life events. Particular attention will be paid to the theological implications of the sacred narrative.
This module introduces rabbinic exegesis through the study of set texts from a range of halakhic, aggadic and homiletical midrashim. Attention will focus on topics such as the history of rabbinic Bible interpretation; the middot (hermeneutical rules); the literary forms used in midrash; and the development of exegetical traditions found in different works, including other rabbinic texts and the targumim. Students will be equipped for independent study of midrash including the use of manuscripts, crucial texts and reference works. Students will also be encouraged to make the study, interpretation, and dissemination of midrash a key part of their professional life.