You are here

Jewish Living: Core Course for Spertus DSJS Students

Jewish Living: Core Course for Spertus DSJS Students

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 to Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This Spertus Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies
core course is taught via web conferencing.

It is open to Master's students with permission from the Provost.
Master's students should contact Dr. Dean P. Bell at

Wednesdays, October 14, 21, and 28 and November 4 and 11, 2015
5:30 to 7:30 pm Central Standard Time via iMeet

Course Tuition
$1200 at the doctoral level ($400 per quarter-hour credit)
$1050 at the master's level ($350 per quarter-hour credit) 
A registration fee of $25 is also required.

Register Now!

This course addresses one of the fundamental questions that has permeated both the history of Judaism and the history of the Jewish people: How does a Jew live as a Jew? 

What exactly is Jewish living? How is being Jewish and embracing Judaism articulated in a person’s life? What is distinctively Jewish about how a Jewish person lives?

Throughout history, the ways Jews have understood Judaism, Jewish identity, and the role of Jews in society has affected their behavior and shaped their lifestyles. This is true of individual Jews and members of a wide variety of Jewish communities, from the beginning of Jewish history and around the world. Such behavior relates to religious observance including lifecycle practices, holiday observances, rituals and ceremonies, observance of Jewish law, and the rationales for religious observance (ta’amei ha-mitzvot). It influences moral behavior, family structure and familial relationships, economic endeavors, sociopolitical activities, gender issues, and the relationship between Jewish leadership and the community.

In this course, taught by Rabbi Peter Knobel, students will grapple with how Jews have addressed these and related questions both in thought and behavior.

Rabbi Peter KnobelRabbi Peter Knobel is senior Rabbi of Beth Emet: The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois, where, since 1980, he has encouraged interaction between clergy and congregants with the goal of infusing Jewish meaning into the lives of individuals and the community. Rabbi Knobel has taught extensively at a number of colleges including Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Yale University, New Haven College, the University of Connecticut, and Spertus, on subjects ranging from Biblical Aramaic to Jewish mysticism to Israel in Christian thought and Jewish Bioethics. He also has authored and edited numerous articles and publications in the areas of Jewish Bioethics, Liturgy, and Zionist Thought and is the editor of Gates of the Seasons: A Guide for the Jewish New Year. MORE>


At Spertus Institute, we embrace the idea that the wisdom of Jewish thought and the richness of Jewish experiences inform Jewish society and Judaism today. Our programs encourage personal reflection. Students grapple with Jewish ideas in the service of their personal, professional, and communal advancement. Learn more >

Image at left

The Raising of the Law in the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam, Jacques Emile Edouard Brandon, 1867, Spertus Collection. Find out more >