Jewish Learning Fellowship

WashU Hillel's Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF) is a 10-week experiential, conversational seminar for students looking to deepen their understanding of Judaism on their own terms. We're interested in asking big questions. You know, the big stuff - like:
Who am I?
What values am I committed to and why?
How do I heal a broken world when Chem 111 is taking over my free time?

The Jewish Learning Fellowship adds two critical components to Jewish study: It builds a cohort of Jewish students within each class who create community, and it teaches classical Jewish texts by drawing on your own life experience and intuition.

We make no claims about the "right" way to practice or not to practice Judaism. Our job is to help you explore the tradition in a safe space and find your own place, on your terms. And, make some cash!

These classes have no grades & no papers - because we know you have enough homework! Just enjoy great discussions for an hour and a half over 10 weeks, participate in a special Shabbat dinner during the semester, and celebrate in an hour-long Siyyum (Closing) Graduation Ceremony with the JLF community (find the dates in our FAQ). 

No prior Jewish learning or background is required for 1.0 courses! All experience levels are welcome. 2.0 courses require previous completion of a 1.0 level course.  

Applications are OPEN!.  We have limited spots available, and applicants will be interviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, so get your application submitted early!  Scroll down to apply!

Have questions? Want to know the requirements for the classes? Check out our FAQ - if that didn't help, email

WashU Hillel's JLF is funded in part by Hillel International and Mosaic United.

JLF 1.0: Life's Big Questions: or, how to get more out of college through Judaism!
Stipend: $250
Mondays 5:45-7:15pm at Hillel starting 9/9 (check our FAQ for entire schedule of class dates & events)

College is often the first time that we get to decide who we want to be in a lot of our identities.  For the first time, we're on our who do we want to be?  What communities am I a part of?  What do I want to do with my life?  What is my religion?  Do I need one?  What do I really want to learn and why?  Who do I want to hang out with?  While these are universal questions, we believe they can be illuminated through the unique light of Jewish traditions.  In this seminar, we will explore what it means to be a twenty-something (or almost) Jewish individual in the world.  We will try to explore the often complex questions with which we are faced upon our arrival  at college in a way that enables us to find our own answers, but also to ask even more big questions.

This class is open to all Jewish students! 

JLF 2.0: Big Israel Questions
Stipend: $250
Facilitated by Campus Rabbi Jordan Gerson
Wednesdays 5:45-7:15pm at Hillel starting  (check our FAQ for entire schedule of class dates & events)

How is our connection to Judaism incorporated into how we engage with the concept of a shared Jewish homeland?  How do we create a morally just society and for whom are we responsible? How do we balance compromise and self-preservation? How do we live with intention and in tension with multiple truths? All eligible students are encouraged to join in discussion as we look into classical and contemporary teachings as a lens to understand peoplehood, advocate for Israel, engage in constructive conflict, and live lives guided by Jewish values.

This class is open to graduates of any of our previous JLF: 1.0 classes.


Courses for Spring 2020:
JLF 1.0: Life's Big Questions
JLF 2.0: Life's Big Questions


First Name
Last Name
What class are you applying for?
If you are applying for JLF 2.0: Big Israel Questions - are you eligible for this course?
If you are applying for the "Big Israel Questions" class, please also share your Israel story.
Have you participated in Birthright Israel?
How did you hear about JLF?
Which, if any of these, have you participated in previously? Please check all that apply.
Please know there are no wrong answers - we are just getting to know you!
In addition to occasional emails from the JLF team, would you be interested in receiving emails about future Jewish opportunities for young adults from Hillel's funders?