The Jewish Theological Seminary invites you to study with us in


an intellectual journey through Jewish history and thought that fosters a sense of being at home in Jewish culture, religion, text, and civilization.  

From Creation to the Cairo Genizah, from Maimonides to Hasidism, Context explores the development of Jewish belief and practice and illuminates Jewish interaction with surrounding cultures. Over the course of two years, you will encounter the sweep of Jewish history and the major texts of the ancient, medieval, and modern periods.  

Context students encounter the richness and diversity of Jewish civilization through the close reading of core texts under the guidance of expert faculty. Discover the meaning of these texts in their original settings, how they have been received and interpreted, and their continuing importance today.

Each Context unit is taught by a different member of JTS's outstanding faculty, who combine top-level scholarship with a demonstrated passion for teaching Jewish texts.  

Share the journey with other adult learners from diverse backgrounds who are committed to serious Jewish study. Context classes evolve as vibrant learning communities that support and sustain each participant's dedication to understanding the Jewish past and exploring its meaning for our lives today.

New cycles of the two-year Context program begin in the fall, with registration opening in the previous spring.

Context Two-Year Program Details and Tuition (2016-2018) >>

Read a summary of the two-year curriculum (PDF)

Apply for the program >>

For more information, contact Lynn Feinman at (212) 678-8821 or

Here's what students have to say about their Context learning experience:  

"Context is nourishment for the brain and the soul."  

"My Context classmates were serious-minded, insightful, and eager to delve into new material. Although we came from various Jewish educational backgrounds, there was a high degree of mutual respect and a true sense of accomplishment via the collective learning process."  

"Context added layers of intellectual and emotional meaning to my Jewish life, and gave me the opportunity to study with the most knowledgeable and inspiring teachers that contemporary Jewish scholarship can offer."  

"Context is a bountiful feast for the mind taught by professors who enlighten and inspire."