Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement (IFJE)
The IFJE program enables Jewish professionals of all denominations to acquire the theoretical education and practical skills necessary to provide inclusive and supportive scaffolding in the growing population of interfaith families.
- Understand Today's Reality: Effective Jewish engagement of interfaith couples and families requires specialized knowledge about the relationship between intermarriage and gender; the influence of culture on interfaith marriage; denominational similarities and differences; and the ability to translate knowledge into action that suits the needs of a wide variety of constituencies.
- L'dor V'dor...from Generation to Generation: What we do today will shape the future of Jewish life in America. Clergy, educators, leaders and practitioners all play key roles in both outreach and engagement of families; success helps to strengthen and enhance Jewish peoplehood, community and values, improving the world from generation to generation.
- Skills and Tools: Real-World Application: Students gain insight on the best practices for outreach and engagement, applying what they have learned in class to their professional lives and fieldwork.
Who Should Apply?
The IFJE program provides clergy, educators, community leaders and outreach practitioners with the knowledge and innovative skills to support the growing population of interfaith familes, engaging them in Jewish life. Candidates range from early career educators who are choosing to focus in this area as they begin their professional employment, all the way to experienced clergy, heads of school, and community directors who have interfaith families in their congregations and schools. Learn more about the current student cohort.
Two Paths of Study
- Master in Jewish Education with IFJE Specialization. Students who specialize in IFJE within a Master of Jewish Education program. The 36-credit degree, which includes supervised field experience, may be completed in two years as a full-time student or in three years as a part-time student. Learn more about our MJEd program.
- Certificate in IFJE. Students who choose to work toward a certificate in IFJE may apply those credits toward the Master of Jewish Education degree.
All courses are available online except for the Summer Weeklong Residential Seminar.
Biblical, Rabbinic and Contemporary Perspectives on Intermarriage and Conversion (online, Fall 2017)
Faces and Fictions of Intermarriage (online, Spring 2018)
|Weeklong Residential Seminar (residential, Summer 2018)||3
|Jewish Intermarriage in the Modern American Context (online, Fall 2018)||3
|Models and Methods for Serving Interfaith Families (online, Spring 2019)||3
|MJEd candidate are also required to write a publishable thesis and complete field experience|
The Student Experience
Students join a dynamic community of online learners from around the country and world in an interactive virtual classroom with Hebrew College faculty. The program utilizes the Schoology cloud-based learning platform. Weekly classes are asynchronous to accommodate individual schedules, work, and family responsibilites.
Application Requirements & Deadline
Application deadlines for Master’s Degree and Certificate programs are May 15, 2017 for fall admission and Nov. 15, 2017 for spring admission. Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis, though financial aid awards may be more limited for late applications. Requirements include:
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university
- Completed application and fee
- Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate study
- One letter of recommendation
- Two reflective essays
- Interview, in-person or by phone
- Application review is ongoing
Merit-based scholarships are available for up to 65 percent of the cost of tuition (three year maximum).
For admissions questions or information, please contact the Admissions Office or Dr. Keren McGinity at the email below.
"I am really enjoying the class so far and the readings are fantastic. In one week, we've covered more material on intermarriage than I got in six yearsof rabbinical school." (Rabbi Steven Abraham, Beth El Synagogue, Omaha, NE)