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Learning Together

Learning Together


Several times a year, Spertus students from across our academic and professional programs come together for weeklong seminars.

These seminars provide intensive periods of learning—with time carved out in advance from students’ busy professional and family lives. But that’s not all. Seminars are lively, exciting times of creative and intellectual cross pollination. Faculty and students from near and far exchange ideas, debate course content, discuss challenges, share dreams, and build a community of learning.

Since the start of the pandemic, many of our classes (even seminars) have been online. Spertus Institute was a pioneer in distance learning and our academic team brings considerable expertise to students’ online experiences.

But it’s still great to get people together, in real life, when it’s safe to do so.

For our October seminar, 22 students joined us here in Chicago, easing back into classroom learning and giving those who began their studies during the pandemic their first opportunity to meet members of their cohorts in person.

Feedback from our Fall Seminar

Students completed the seminar feeling galvanized, inspired, and with a new sense of camaraderie. We know because they told us. In a post-seminar survey, 90% of participants said they felt energized by the seminar and the great majority felt part of a community of learning.

What did they like best?

  • Being with their cohort—and meeting others
  • Learning together
  • Lively discussions
  • Access to world-class faculty
  • The thoughtfulness of the Spertus staff

Plans for our Spring Seminar

New for this seminar, unique cross-program, cross-cohort mini-courses are being presented on a diverse range of timely topics, all related to the Jewish experience, all taught by talented faculty members at the top of their fields.

Among the mini-courses being offered:

  • What is Jewish Spirituality? with Rabbi Josh Feigelson, Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality
  • People of the Comic Book with New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein
  • Judaism, the Earth, and Climate Change with Dr. Rachel Havrelock, Director, Freshwater Lab at UIC
  • When Change is the Only Constant with Dr. Claire Sufrin, co-author of the award-winning New Jewish Canon
  • Fairytales, Fables & Fantasies in Holocaust Film & Fiction with Dr. Danny Cohen, Professor, Northwestern University, and specialist, Holocaust memory
  • Talking about Jesus with Jews and Christians with Rabbi Dr. Devorah Schoenfeld, Professor of Theology, Loyola University

Top image: MA in Jewish Professional Studies North American Cohort with Spertus President Dr. Dean P. Bell (back row, bright blue mask) and Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Keren E. Fraiman (back row, far left). We’ve been told on good authority that there are big smiles under those masks! Photo by Barry Kafka.




Thursday, February 3, 2022