This award aims to increase the students’ linguistic abilities in order that they can engage with the Jewish corpus as well as further develop their exegetical and hermeneutical skills. In this year this process is deepened even further as students are challenged by ever more complex texts, both rabbinic and biblical.
An additional focus is the time spent examining the changing historical contexts which impacted on Jewish religious civilisation as attention is paid to the cross-fertilisation which occurred between Muslim, Jewish and Christian theology. Finally, the degree focuses on the students’ understanding of Jewish liturgy both historical and new, and How new liturgy can be created.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies 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
For rabbinic students who are continuing to Ordination: completion of the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1 and Part 2;
Two years of higher learning at a commensurate level at another institute of higher learning or seminary. This is at the discretion of the Admissions Board.
For prospective students registering for the award
- A first/second class BA honours degree in Hebrew and Jewish Studies or a first/second class honours degree in Theology or Religious Studies or related subject and a demonstrable facility with Modern and Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.
- Students whose mother tongue is not English are expected to meet a minimum level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or Level 6.5 International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
- 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.
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 essays, presentations, set exercises, textual analyses, and papers.
This course will introduce students to the life and thought of Moses Maimonides (Rambam). It will convey awareness of his systematic halakhic achievement, his Islamic philosophical sources, and his deep and lasting influence. It will encourage appreciation of the radical character of his ideas about the nature and attributes of God, creation, providence, prophecy, evil, and the goal of human life. Maimonides has remained the most influential Jewish philosopher, whose ideas have been the subject of energetic scholarly debate from his own time until today. At stake in this debate have been questions about the influence of outside philosophies on Jewish thought, the freedom of expression allowed to challenging ideas in a rabbinic community, and the relative importance of the contemplative life within a practical halakhic framework.
This module aims to develop students’ awareness of the historical contexts in which Jewish thought developed in the middle ages. It will consider the development of a variety of streams of Judaism in the Islamicate and in Christendom, and will aim to introduce students to various ideological approaches to their history.
This module consists of intensive in-class, supervised study of rabbinic language and literature at an advanced level. Students will study a variety of genres of rabbinic literature including Mishna, Tosefta, Midrash and Babylonian Talmud. They will be introduced to the Palestinian Talmud and to a wider range of secondary literature, Students will acquire skills for higher level research related to rabbinic sources. Attention will be paid to developing the ability to conduct independent research with the aim of building a founding for research at MA level.
The Biblical Book of the Psalms is a core text for those studying at Masters level in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, as well as for those studying for the rabbinate. A literary approach to the Hebrew text of selected Biblical Psalms will be studied with appropriate contemporary scholarly materials as well as rabbinic and medieval Jewish commentaries. Students will learn to locate the Psalms within their Jewish liturgical and, where relevant. pastoral context.
Prophetic literature has an abiding relevance and meaning for modern Jews, and especially for rabbis. The intention of this module is to enable students to study the prophetic texts in a scientific and text-critical way combined with reflective time to consider the impact of such material on them as individuals and the sort of rabbis they hope to be, and to be able to teach them from a sound, scholarly base. Passages will be selected from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, Nachum and Zechariah. These will be discussed in terms of their ongoing theological and/or spiritual influence.
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. This module will introduce students to the major medieval Jewish biblical commentators included in the traditional Mikra’ot Gedolot and their exegetical works. Students will also be given an understanding of the cultural and historical milieus in which the commentators lived and worked, the different motivations that defined their approach to the biblical text, and their distinctive exegetical methods. 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 teaching and preaching.
In the course of any given year a rabbi will have need of the right collection of readings and prayers for occasions which fall outside of the parameters of the established liturgy. In such circumstances a combination of the traditional and the creative will meet the need. This module is designed to introduce students to the range of creative material that is available for use in a Progressive Jewish liturgical context, to review theological and ideological implications of creative material, and to assimilate the ways in which other Progressive movements have utilised creative material in their own liturgies.
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.