The Jewish Theological Seminary of America is an academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism and academic scholarship in Jewish studies. The seminary consists of five schools: the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, The Graduate School, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, The Rabbinical School, and the H.L. Miller Cantorial School & College of Jewish Music. The seminary promotes faith in the Jewish cause and educates the religious, educational, academic, and lay leaders of tomorrow for the Jewish community and Jewish practice worldwide.
Through the efforts of two rabbis and a group of Sephardic lay leaders, the Jewish Theological Seminary was founded in 1886 with the mission to preserve the knowledge and practice of historical Judaism. The first class was held in New York City’s oldest congregation, the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue. Over the coming years, fundraising and volunteer efforts helped to expand the program onto a campus and evolve the center into a collective seminary of multiple schools. The seminary then began to outreach its bounds to touch communities around the world in places like Isreal and Moscow. Up until the present, the seminary has become the most extensive academic program of advanced Judaica in North America.
The William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education offers a Master of Arts in Jewish Education program over distance learning through online courses. Other available online courses include Foundations of Jewish Education, Leading and Managing Jewish Nonprofit Organizations, Jewish Identity in a Social Context, Introduction to Bible, Skills for Teaching, Teaching Prayer, Curriculum & Instruction in Jewish Educational Settings, and Doctor Seminar I.
Enrollment is very small, with only 544 students attending the seminary, however, the seminary maintains a fantastic student to faculty ratio of 8 to 1. Popular fields of study at the seminary are Jewish/Judaic Studies, Rabbinical Studies, Religious Education, and Religious/Sacred Music. Tuition for undergraduate students comes out to 14,200$ a year full-time and 750$ per credit hour part-time. Graduates pay a cost of 21,200$ a year full-time and 1,000$ per credit hour part-time. The strong majority of students are receiving financial aid at the seminary with almost all of it coming from institutional sources.
The seminary sets its mission on a set of Jewish principles, scholarship in service to Judaism and the Jewish community is one of them. The seminary also promotes excellence in teaching and learning as being of the utmost importance above all; synergy and partnerships bring in new types of students from many different areas which helps to satiate the outreach efforts from the seminary to the world.
JTS is also committed to serving adults with knowledge and experience through a plethora of innovative programs, helping to form a decisive and accountable voice for Conservative Judiasm on pluralism on a range of topics. The community shares many aspects with modern society and makes Judaism come alive for the newer generations to come in order to bring the richness of culture and the practice of religiosity into the twenty-first century.