First Person

q and a

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Concord, Mass.
Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

What was your motivation for pursuing a degree in Jewish studies?

I was primarily interested in the textual study of Jewish sources.

dr. richard kradinHow has your Jewish studies degree helped you in your professional life?

In several ways: I have written a number of papers that have adopted principles and sources that I studied at Hebrew College. I have used my education in my teaching and public presentations. And I am currently authoring a text on Jewish mysticism and psychoanalysis.

In your personal life?

My training has deepened my experience as well as my personal practice of Judaism.

Whom or what do you draw inspiration from?

I am inspired by Jewish commentators, especially Maimonides, as well as by the mystical trends of the Kabbalah and Hasidism.

Describe the Jewish studies program in three words.

Educational, inspirational, thought-provoking.

Did you have a favorite class or professor?

Very difficult question. I enjoyed the thoughtfulness of Barry Mesch, the relentless pursuit of knowledge of Rabbi (Reuven) Cohn, the profundity of Rabbi (Arthur) Green, the creativity of Rabbi (Nehemia) Polen, and I could go on. Frankly, there was nothing that I did not enjoy thoroughly.

What was it like to take an online degree program, and how may that have differed from your expectations?

The online courses require a great deal of time and effort, but they are rewarding with respect to the thoughtful continuous feedback received from one’s peers and teachers.

To whom would you recommend this program?

To any individual, Jewish or not, who wishes to learn more about the history, philosophy and practices of Judaism. 

What advice would you offer students just starting out in the Jewish studies program?

Enjoy the time — it goes quickly — and apply yourself. You will get out of it what you put into it.