Introduction

American Jewish University is a thriving center of Jewish resources and talent built upon the mission of Jewish Learning, Culture, Ethics, Leadership and Peoplehood. In 2007, the University of Judaism merged with the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, creating a landmark entity, from then on known as American Jewish University. This new organization now boasted two campuses, a single vision and a shared future. Today, American Jewish University is one of the largest and most innovative Jewish institutions in the country. intro 2 (img)

Heartened by our vibrant Jewish community, we continue to add faculty, expand our curriculum and develop innovative academic programs that prepare undergraduate, graduate and rabbinical students for rewarding lives – as leaders in the Jewish community as well as society at large. Our graduates are making a difference in the world.

Our role as a leadership training ground is matched by our commitment to provide the broader community with a variety of substantive educational experiences. Our lectures, symposia, special institutes, center for continuing education classes and a wide array of cultural offerings are enhancing thousands of individuals’ understanding of Judaism, and expanding their knowledge about the history, traditions and languages of this glorious ancient heritage.

While American Jewish University takes pride in the histories of both the University of Judaism and Brandeis-Bardin, each founded in the 1940’s, we are also looking to the future. Both campuses are replete with exciting possibilities that serve to further the promise and potential of the millions of Jews in this nation.

The Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI) invites young Jewish adults, ages 18 to 26, to think deeply, express creatively, and live fully. Through artistic expression, dynamic learning, spiritual reflection and nature exploration, BCI programs give these young adults the unique opportunity to be immersed in the diversity of Jewish culture, to envision their own Jewish life, and to connect to all aspects of the community, both small and large. Some participants come from other countries such as The Ukraine, Argentina and India, and BCIers will learn from, and interact with, some of the world’s finest Jewish scholars and artists.

Camp Alonim is a cross-denominational camp for children ages six through thirteen. We strive to spark a love for Jewish culture, tradition and community in our campers by exposing them to a multitude of ways to be Jewish.

We are an American Jewish University for the entire community: college students, graduate students in business, education and arts, aspiring rabbis, Jews of every age, belief, background and denomination, and non-Jews as well. We invite you to learn more about our wealth of programs, how we are impacting the world and how you, too, can become a part of our extended community.

Academic Program

College of Arts and Sciences: Serious scholarship and innovative curricula place this academic program among the most vibrant in the nation. Thanks to small classes where students can explore their intellectual passions, and professors who are highly regarded in their respective fields, our undergraduate program continues to earn plaudits for a variety of outstanding majors in the following departments:

Bioethics and Natural Sciences (pre-medical education)Behavioral SciencesLiberal StudiesBusinessLiterature, Communication & MediaJewish StudiesPolitical Science

The university’s graduate programs also command considerable attention: Intro 1 (img)

Graduate School of Nonprofit Management: Our MBA and Master of Arts programs are ably training professionals for leadership roles at a variety of cultural, social service, educational and religious institutions.

Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Studies: This new program was created to train graduates for positions within the professional leadership of Jewish communal institutions.

Rabbinical Management Institute: A ground-breaking program that offers rabbis training in the skills that today’s rabbis need to handle the challenges of complex institutions such as executive leadership, marketing and public relations and nonprofit law.

Graduate Center for Education The Graduate Center for Education at American Jewish University prepares educators to create and articulate a compelling vision for Jewish education and apply the knowledge, skills, creativity and leadership needed to bring that vision to life. AJU’s Familian and Brandeis-Bardin campuses provide a natural laboratory for innovation, experimentation and integration of experiential and traditional education.In addition to the full-time two year M.A.Ed. program, GSE also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching through an innovative two-year program that enables working educators to receive this degree specializing in Jewish teaching without leaving their current positions.

The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies: This thriving program culminates in the ordination of Conservative rabbis. Established in 1996 as the first independent ordaining institution on the West Coast, it has attracted some of the best and brightest men and women from across the country.

We have had the privilege of educating scores of intelligent, gifted young people who have gone on to some of the nation’s top graduate schools and successful careers in every professional sector. They carry with them the lessons and worldview that has been imparted at American Jewish University:

  • The importance of taking pride in one’s Jewishness
  • The need to give back to the community
  • The love of scholarship and study

While we celebrate our position as a premier institution of higher learning, we also look forward to shaping the minds of future generations of American Jews. Through rigorous academics, exceptional mentors and an environment that welcomes diversity of thought and expression, we serve as an outstanding training ground for tomorrow’s Jewish American leaders. intro 3 (img)

AJU is also a source for community learning:

  • Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the ethical and religious implications of the Holocaust, which impacts our understanding of divinity, humanity, responsibility, identity, and mankind’s capacity to do evil.

Whizin Center for Continuing Education: American Jewish University boasts one of the largest adult education programs in the nation, with many courses in a wide range of disciplines. Other community education programs include:

  • Dortort Program for the Arts: Designed to deepen the theatrical experience offering a range of live performances from comedy to Broadway
  • Gittelson Program in Business Ethics: Offering courses in business ethics for lawyers and accountants as well as a variety of classes in ethics for AJU
  • Wagner Program: A two-year Human Services Training Program that prepares participants to become trained paraprofessional counselors
  • Making Marriage Work: Offers seminars for couples who are at various stages of their married lives
  • The Schurgin Road Scholar Program: A low-cost, short-term residential program of study for people age 55 and older

Jewish Television Network (JTN) is the first community broadband television network to feature a mix of news, entertainment and culture, celebrating the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience.

Miller Introduction to Judaism: Since 1986, over 8,000 students interested in learning more about Judaism have enrolled in the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program. The 18-session course offers Jews and non-Jews a thorough understanding and knowledge of the basic ideas, practices and traditions of the Jewish people.

Other Resources

  • Ostrow Library: Over 120,000 volumes. The library contains one of the largest collections of Judaica on the West Coast.
  • Gindi Auditorium: Home to numerous concerts and other programs.
  • Platt Art Gallery: Hosts many major exhibitions annually.
  • Smalley Sculpture Garden: The setting for an important collection of work.
  • The House of the Book and Raffel Performing Arts Plaza are outdoor and indoor venues.

David Shapiro Memorial Synagogue: Designed by award winning architect Paul Murdoch, this beautifully designed worship space also includes stained glass windows created by artists David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback.

Conference Centers: Our campuses offer members of the community a splendid setting for their life-cycle celebrations such as weddings and B’nai Mitvzahs, and outdoor fun such as hiking, camping, horseback riding and ropes courses. intro 4 (img)