In 2007, the University of Judaism and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute merged to form American Jewish University (AJU), a higher educational institution that bases itself on a strong mission of scholarship, culture, ethics, leadership, and peoplehood. The two campuses, one in Brandeis and one in Bel-Air, are united in commitment to making this University a thriving center of Jewish community.
Three major lessons imparted at AJU are 1) the importance of taking pride in one’s Jewishness, 2) the need to give back to the community, and 3) the love of scholarship and study. AJU is not only an institution of higher learning but also a training ground for tomorrow’s Jewish American leaders.
AJU offers undergraduate degrees through its College of Arts and Sciences. Students can choose from majors in Pre-Medical, Business, Jewish Studies, Political Science, and more. Graduate programs are also available: MBA in Nonprofit Management, Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Studies, and Master of Arts in Education.
Additionally, American Jewish University offers education for students who wish to become rabbis. The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at AJU was the first independent rabbinical school on the West Coast. The curriculum at Ziegler culminates in the ordination of Conservative rabbis.
AJU boasts several benefits such as an astounding 7:1 student-faculty ratio, over 95% graduate school placement rate, distinguished and accessible faculty, mentor programs, and scholarship opportunities. Financial aid is available for those who are eligible by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
A top priority for American Jewish University is the use of the latest information technology for students, faculty, and staff. The Campus Technology Department is committed to improving the University’s infrastructure and implementing distance learning programs in the near future. In fact, a few classes have already been used as a trial platform to launch distance learning programs.
Students will enjoy the various educational and recreational attractions around campus. One of the institution’s most valuable resources is the Ostrow Library, home to one of the largest collections of Judaica on the West Coast. Some recreational venues include the Platt Art Gallery, Smalley Sculpture Garden, and the Raffel Performing Arts Plaza.
AJU is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students and faculty. Cameras are used to monitor external campus areas and the complex parking areas are patrolled by security guards at night. Within the Residence Halls, each dormitory is well lit, requires key card entry, and has one or two Resident Advisors living within to assist students.
Finally, AJU is a vital source of community learning. Since 1986, over 8,000 students have enrolled in the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program. This program is for students of all ages in the community who are interested in learning more about Judaism. The 18-session course offers Jews and non-Jews a thorough understanding and knowledge of the basic ideas, practices and traditions of the Jewish culture.
The American Jewish University is a University for undergraduate and post graduate students. It is a school for Jews, and non-Jews, the secular and those who would be future rabbis. Perhaps most of all, AJU is a community that encourages study and celebration of one’s culture. American Jewish University continues to touch the lives of many bright young minds, across the country and abroad, who seek an exclusive education in a rich cultural environment.