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James Striar School of General Jewish Studies

Education Built upon Relationships for Life

Yeshiva University's James Striar School of General Jewish Studies is for students less familiar with Hebrew language and textual study, who desire a broad-based Jewish philosophical and textual education. It confers the Associate of Arts degree.

Led by a dynamic and caring faculty combined with daily mentoring from rabbinical students, this program nurtures and supports its students. We enable motivated young men to discover and reclaim their heritage through stimulating and intellectually challenging courses in Jewish studies.

Our faculty and staff believe the key to a successful Torah learning experience is creating a warm relationship between students and teachers. To help create such a bond, we guide each student toward an individualized course of study. To register, students meet with the Director, who evaluates the student's skills and interests and then pairs him with teachers.

Class are small and intimate. Teachers serve as advisers on an ongoing basis. Many share their phone numbers with their students, and all treat students with respect, concern and regard. Many teachers live on campus and on a regular basis open their homes to host students in the program. The regular off-campus weekend retreats also provide opportunities for students to learn from teachers and friends in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

To earn an Associate of Arts degree in Judaic studies from the JSS Program along with a bachelor's degree from Yeshiva College or Syms School of Business, a student must fulfill a six-semester residence requirement in the JSS Program.

The program's curriculum emphasizes fundamental proficiency in classical Jewish texts, courses in Hebrew language, Jewish history, Talmud, Hasidism, Ashkenazic and Sephardic laws and customs, mysticism, Jewish ethical movements and Jewish philosophy and thought.

We encourage students to ask questions and develop their own paths to Jewish knowledge and observance.

Students must register for the Weekday Service course and at least 18 credit hours within the program each semester. The cumulative index of these courses will transfer as three HES credits in the student's college record. If a student registers for 21 credit hours in a semester, the courses will transfer as four HES credits. Upon successful completion of coursework, a JSS student is able to:

  • Read classical Hebrew texts on his own
  • Decipher any page of Talmud
  • Read and analyze Rashi's commentary to the Bible
  • Display mastery of a broad range of traditional observances and customs


Our Yeshiva aims to provide a positive learning environment where each student can reach his full potential in Torah study. We provide varied learning programs, reflecting the diverse interests and skills of our students, along with an outstanding array of Roshei Yeshiva, Rebbeim, faculty, mashgichim and administrators who are concerned about the Torah growth and personal welfare of each student. Our faculty and administration alike are accessible to students to discuss their individual needs and concerns.

Progress in Torah learning is achieved through consistent effort, patience, a modicum of struggle, and keeping to a set schedule.  In fact, the word “Yeshiva” means to sit—in a beit midrash or a classroom; without disciplined regularity there cannot be growth. To that end, we have formulated an attendance policy to further these aims and to be of assistance to students who are having difficulty meeting these expectations.

  1. Students are expected to attend all classes and to be present promptly on time.
  2. Two-three weeks into the semester attendance lists are compiled and submitted to the office.
  3. Students missing more than two periods of class per week are contacted by the office.
  4. Attendance is then reviewed two weeks later. If the student’s attendance has not improved since the warning, he must meet with a UTS administrator.
  5. Students are able to accrue up to four absences for courses that meet twice a week and eight absences for courses that meet four times a week without penalty.
  6. Beyond the allowable number of absences the instructor can lower a student’s final grade.
  7. Ten minutes late is the equivalent to ½ absent, twenty minutes late is the equivalent to absent.
  8. Students are expected to give their full attention to the class. Students that are texting or surfing the web during class will be marked absent.
  9. If a student is absent more than 50% of the course, an automatic grade of “G” is recorded and the student does not pass the course.
  10. Students with a final semester GPA below 2.0 are subject to probation.
  11. Two semesters in a row of probation are grounds for possible dismissal from the university.


Students must maintain a minimum cumulative average of 2.0 (C). To remain at Yeshiva University, students must maintain a satisfactory academic level in the Mechinah Program. Failure in any course in the program results in a student being placed on Judaic Studies probation for the next semester.

A student on probation in the Mechinah Program must pass all his Judaic Studies courses. He may not accept employment outside Yeshiva University, and he may not participate in extracurricular activities that might distract him from his studies.

If the student does not fulfill these terms, he may be dismissed from the Mechinah Program and Yeshiva University.

Students applying to Yeshiva College or Syms School of Business also apply to a Jewish studies morning program and may choose the James Striar School.

You may obtain complete information about the application process from the Office of Admissions.

If you have questions about the James Striar School in particular, please contact us. We are happy to help in any way we can.

If you would like to receive by mail a complete information package, including information on housing and financial aid, please fill out this form.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the JSS Program. We look forward to hearing from you. 

James Striar School
Yeshiva University
Wilf Campus – Glueck Center, 6th Floor
515 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
Telephone: 212.740.4264
Fax: 212.740.1654

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