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The Program

Required Courses (may vary depending on the program):

CS 427 Evolution and Structure of the American Jewish Community (2)
This course provides an historical and sociological understanding of the foundations of the contemporary American Jewish community. Through interactive discussions, lectures and readings, students study models of community organization, the evolution of American Jewish institutions and ideas of communal responsibility.
CS 484 Biblical and Rabbinic Sources (3)
This course in Jewish texts explores what it means to “read Jewishly” through a survey of Biblical (Torah, Prophets, and Writings) and Rabbinic texts, including selections from the Mishnah and Gemarah (Talmud), Midrash, Rashi and Commentaries, Codes and Responsa literature (Halachah), liturgy and classical Kabbalah. Relevant secondary sources are also studied to provide historical, theological, and literary context.
CS 519 Elements of Organizational Management (2)
This class follows-up on CS 544 by providing a more detailed focus on management and organizational skills with an emphasis on specific applications to the field of Jewish communal service. Among the disciplines introduced are nonprofit law, governance and accountability, as well as financial management, budgeting, and human resources and personnel practices.
CS 521 Major Trends and Ideas in Jewish History (3)
This course surveys major themes of Jewish history from Biblical and Ancient periods to modernity. Topics include: national origins, Diaspora community, religious development, relations with non-Jews, the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, cultural differentiation, and patterns of migration and communal life.
CS 523 Leadership in Jewish Communal Service (2)
This course explores the literature on leadership, along with examining Jewish sources and values relating to the concepts of leadership. Students are introduced to experts in the field of leadership and are given the opportunity to engage in exercises designed to experiment with and apply such leadership skill-sets as motivation and persuasion, risk-taking, time management, negotiation and mediation, and problem-solving.
CS 531 Fundraising and Financial Resource Development (3)
This is a practice-oriented seminar on fundraising for Jewish nonprofit organizations, exploring both theoretical frameworks and practical techniques within the context of a Jewish value system and contemporary dynamics in Jewish philanthropy.
CS 540 Introduction to Jewish Communal Institutions (3)
This seminar is a full-day experience for first-year students that includes substantial time outside the classroom visiting Jewish communal agencies, religious institutions and other organizations in the LA area in order to understand and critically analyze the organized Jewish community.
CS 544 Organizational Development (2)
This seminar provides an understanding of the impact that organizational culture and climate have on the functioning and performance of Jewish nonprofit organizations. Students learn to develop business, marketing and public relations plans, and create and manage a balanced budget. Using organizational theories that have application in nonprofit organizations, students learn problem-solving and decision-making skills, how to develop meaningful lay-professional relations, effective team-building and models of collaboration.
CS 545 A/B Field Practicum (1/1)
This course provides students an opportunity to discuss with their peers and instructor specific issues, problems and experiences they have encountered in their field placements. The practicum also allows the instructor to pose social work principles and Jewish ethical considerations that are associated with community and clinical work. Students have maximum opportunity to secure answers to dilemmas and concerns confronting them in a professional setting.
CS 551 Academic Writing Seminar (0)
Written communication is critical to success in Jewish communal work, both as a graduate student and as a professional in the field. The Academic Writing Seminar is designed to enhance students’ skills and help them develop their academic written communication style. This four session seminar is required for First Year students.
CS 562 Jewish Social Research: Trends and Analysis (3)
This class is designed to expose students to qualitative and quantitative approaches to social science research on issues of contemporary American Jewish identity, community, and institutions. Students are expected to become critical consumers of research on contemporary American Jews and to obtain the skills and experience necessary to conduct their own research. Students will be introduced to the Capstone Project requirement and will have an opportunity to begin their research.
CS 579 Judaism - Philosophy, Rituals, and Practices (3)
This course looks systematically at texts and themes from the Biblical period to the present. Studies focus on textual and historical material from the major periods of the Jewish experience. An emphasis is placed on the manner in which prayer, study and observance affect the personal and communal life of Jews.
CS 590 Collaborative Communication for Jewish Professionals (2)
This course provides both the theory and practice of effective communication in the management and leadership of Jewish communal organizations. It combines lectures, assigned readings, and group discussion with individual and team presentations built around workplace scenarios. Special emphasis is placed on the values and processes of working in teams and the practices of building productive relationships with others, be they peers, colleagues, supervisors/supervisees and lay leadership.

Electives (Not All Offered Every Year):

CS 510B Encounter Seminar (2)
The Tuesday “Lunch and Learn Encounter Seminar” is required for all students and can be taken for credit once during the course of studies. Recent themes have included “Presenting Culture: (In) Forming Jewish Identity” and “Trends in Jewish Philanthropy.”
CS 513 American Jewish Language and Identity in Historical Context (3)
Around the world, wherever Jews have lived, they have distinguished themselves linguistically from their non-Jewish neighbors. They have spoken languages as diverse as Arabic, Spanish, Persian, and Malayalam and infused them with distinctly Jewish features, such as Hebrew and Aramaic words and elements of other Jewish languages. American Jews are no exception to this linguistic trend. This class compares and contrasts “American Jewish English” with Diaspora Jewish languages throughout history, and it explores the linguistic diversity among subgroups of American Jews, especially according to denomination, Jewish education, region, ancestral origin, and orientation towards Israel.
CS 564 Jews and American Popular Culture (2)
American Jews have both shaped and been shaped by popular culture. This course looks first at the ways in which individual Jews have contributed to the American experience; and then at the varied reflections or representations of the Jewish experience in American literature, the visual and performing arts, film, radio and television.
CS 567 Conflict, Civility and Community in the Talmud (2)
This course explores the ways in which Talmudic discourse can inform our understanding of civil discourse within a community. Both legal and aggadic passages are studied and analyzed to draw out models of constructive and destructive debate. The study highlights the Talmud's focus on process and its affirmation of the validity of multiple approaches to problems.
CS 572 Jewish Experiential Education (2)
This class provides an in-depth investigation of the educational theory behind Jewish experiential education. The course examines the similarities and differences between formal and informal education, as well as the application of informal education in camp, community center, youth group, museum and family education settings.
CS 592 Jewish Nonprofit Management in the Digital Age (3)
This course explores the recent and emerging trends in technology and communications and their implications for Jewish nonprofit professionals and educators. The rapid developments and new directions in the use of the internet, computers and mobile devices have dramatic implications for many of the core issues in Jewish life, including the nature of personal identity, community and the transmission of knowledge. Rather than being a course on technology, this elective examines the sociological, psychological, organizational and philosophical implications of these technologies, with an eye towards giving students the tools needed to respond to future technological advances as they emerge. In that sense, this course is less about the current platforms being used than about being able to respond to the next ones on the horizon.
CS 599 Supervised Independent Study (2/3)
Students can propose an independent study of topics and issues related to the field of Jewish nonprofit management in consultation with the faculty member directing the study and with the approval of the Director of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management.