General Curriculum



The curriculum will be designed to provide our musmakhim/ot and thought-leaders with the requisite knowledge and tools to engage in communal leadership and education.  Our fellows will come to us with advanced Torah knowledge and a nuanced grasp of the world. The course of studies will emphasize an attitude of intellectual honesty and openness to the world as much as the content of the subject matter itself.

  • Halakha – The study of halakha is designed to impart an understanding of the fundamental principles of the particular area of study through the central sugyot and important applications. Areas of study: Kashrut, Niddah, Aveilut, Shabbat, Marriage and Divorce, Conversion, Medical and Business Ethics.
  • Public Policy– Issues facing the Jewish People today particularly, but not exclusively, in the State of Israel. Areas of study:  personal status (marriage, divorce, conversion), democracy and Jewish law, minorities in the Jewish state, gender (changing roles of men and women, homosexuality) the status of the State of Israel according to the halakha.
  • Philosophy of Halakha – The principles that govern how the halakha is determined. The study of response literature. Are there moral principles that are independent of the halakha? What is the relationship between the halakha and divine will?
  • Spirituality – The Jewish mystical tradition offers understandings of divine revelation that emerge from our own experience. This perspective is in tune with modern sensibilities while being firmly committed to the halakha. It provides a path to face and grow from the challenges we now encounter.
  • Fundamentals of Comparative Religion – This area of study will provide an invaluable lesson in humility as our students come to appreciate the striving for God in other religions and civilizations.

Units to be covered over 3 year period

1. Comparative Religion

2. Creative Writing

3. Existential Readings of the Bible

4. Medical Ethics and Halakha

5. Business Ethics and Halakha

6. Philosophy of Halakha & Responsa Literature

7. Gender Studies

8. Sociology of the Religious Community- Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Haredim, Secular etc.

9. Psychology, Pastoral Psychology, Recognition of Hazardous Situations

10. Public Policy, Political Thought and Economics

11. Relating to the Other: Non-Jews, Jews who do not observe Halakha, LGBTQ

12. Religious Bureaucracy in Israel

Year 1 – Halakha – Yoreh Deah

Hilkhot Ta’arovot, Basar B’Chalav including the sugiyot of Taarovot and Bitul Yavesh

“Meta-topics”, namely sugyot which govern the application of Halakha in general:

Sfeika D’Orayta L’Chumra, Sfeika D’Rabanan L’Kula, Safek Sfeika, Bitul Barov, Kavua