Nowhere in North America can women enjoy greater range and depth of Torah study than at Yeshiva University's Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies, which offers the country's largest and most diverse undergraduate Jewish studies program for women. Our program is designed to expose students to the beauty of Torah study and the richness of Jewish tradition. We offer valuable training in rigorous thought, exposure to research methods and opportunities for independent work. Students learn across a curriculum that includes courses in Bible, Hebrew language, Jewish history, Jewish philosophy and Judaic law.
Regardless of focus, all students engage with the textual analysis of Jewish works in the Hebrew and Aramaic originals, through hakhanah, chavruta [study partners] and shiurim [lectures]. The structure of the learning and committed faculty result in genuine relationships that personalize, deepen and distinguish each student's education. The Jewish studies faculty are not only accomplished scholars and moral exemplars; they provide guidance on how to live an ethical life.
Jewish Studies on Campus
The Jewish Studies requirement on campus consists of six semesters of Core studies and fourteen additional credits in a medley of Bible, Hebrew, Jewish History, Jewish Philosophy and Judaic Studies courses. For more information about courses in each department, please visit their individual pages at right. You can find information about major requirements and the general Jewish Studies requirement on the "Requirements" page of each department.
Mechina Pathways Program
Mechina Pathways—a track within the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies—is a two-year program designed for women students at Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business who are new to Hebrew language and textual study. Over four semesters, students receive a comprehensive introduction to Jewish studies through stimulating and intellectually challenging classes, teachers and extracurricular program. Our goal is to enhance our students' level of skills, knowledge and commitment.
A weekly chavruta program pairs women in the program with more advanced students. Learning takes place in a beautiful and new beit midrash [study hall], where students benefit from a true Jewish learning environment. Yemei iyun [festive days of learning] are among the many special offerings that keep the focus on Torah, fellowship and growth. We encourage students to ask questions, think for themselves and develop their own paths to Jewish knowledge and observance.
The program brings together students from across North America and around the globe. Women participate in inspirational Shabbat celebrations and enjoy hospitality in the homes of mentors, teachers and community leaders. Students also visit sites of Jewish and general interest in New York, one of the world's great centers of Jewish life.
The curriculum for Mechina Pathways is divided into three primary components:
- Introductory Bible courses focus on textual and analytic skills combined with traditional Jewish philosophy and values. Courses include Personality Development in the Book of Genesis and Birth of a Nation: Introduction to the Book of Exodus.
- Introduction to Judaism and Jewish law courses allow students to gain an overview of basic Jewish law, customs and culture, as well as the values and philosophy they contain. Topics include Shabbat, Jewish holidays, Kashrut and lifecycles.
- Introduction to Hebrew provides a primer on Hebrew language—conversational Hebrew as well as biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew—to deepen students' understanding of Jewish textual studies.
After the first two years on campus, students are integrated into the regular Jewish studies courses of Stern College for Women or Sy Syms School of Business. These offer all levels of study.