From political and financial scandals to rapid progress in biomedical science and technology, the complex issues of modern society are, at their core, issues of ethics and moral concern. Now more than ever, we require a solid understanding of how ethics can inform our discussions and decisions about the critical questions of the day.
At The Jewish Theological Seminary, we learn, discuss, and debate Jewish ethics through critical study of traditional texts and classics of Jewish philosophy, and deep engagement with history and Jewish life. We serve a broad array of learners by providing them with the tools to understand, apply, and live the Jewish moral tradition in their homes, communities, and places of business.
The goal of this program is twofold:
• to educate students in the tradition and historical development of Jewish ethics through intensive text-based study
• to help students identify ethical issues in their own lives and apply Jewish moral perspectives to those issues
The Graduate School of JTS provides Jewish Ethics students the opportunity to participate in a breadth and depth of courses unlike that of any other ethics program.
The curriculum offers concentrations in:
• Business Ethics
• Medical Ethics
• Environmental Ethics
• Legal Ethics
• Body and Sexuality in Judaism
• Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Defining Parameters of Property Rights
• Market Meets the Rabbis: Jewish Thought and Business Practices in the 21st Century
• Jewish Reproductive Ethics in Culture and Text
• Feminist Jewish Ethics
Learn more about the Jewish Ethics curriculum.
What can you do with an MA in Jewish Ethics?
With an MA in Jewish Ethics, you will be thoroughly prepared to confront ethical problems in your professional life.
• The MA in Jewish Ethics can be combined with a professional degree in medicine, law, or business so as to foster more ethical practices in these fields.
• An MA in Jewish Ethics prepares you to serve on a hospital bioethics committee and teach in your firm's business or legal ethics program.
• Students and activists from the burgeoning field of environmentalism will also find a degree in Jewish Ethics hones their skills, and provides them with the tools of Jewish thought to advance their arguments and goals.
• An MA in Jewish Ethics can also be used as a stepping stone toward advanced graduate work in Jewish studies, philosophy, ethics, and religious studies.
• Graduate-level study of ethical issues is beneficial to one's personal life, as well.
Dr. Alan Mittleman
Alan Mittleman is professor of Jewish Thought at JTS. His teaching focuses on the intersection between Jewish thought and Western philosophy in the fields of ethics, political theory, and metaphysics. Learn more about Dr. Mittleman, or listen to Dr. Mittleman's Library Book Talk on A Short History of Jewish Ethics.
Dr. Stefanie Siegmund
Dr. Stefanie B. Siegmund, who is the first person to hold the Women's League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies, is associate professor of History and chair of the program in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies at JTS. Learn more about Dr. Siegmund.
Ethical Conversations at JTS
JTS is committed to having conversations on ethical issues in today's world. Through hosting and sponsoring public events, students are able to discuss diverse perspectives on a myriad of pertinent contemporary issues. Check out a few of the following:
"What Is Life Worth? Tailoring the Law to Meet the Challenges of Unique Catastrophes"
"Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders"
"Aging in America: Second Career / Post Career"
"Yours? Mine? Ours? Economies for a Sustainable Earth"
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Admissions and Application