Jewish Learning Fellowship

WashU Hillel's Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF) is a 10-week experiential, conversational seminar (with two class options for Spring 2019) 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!

This class has no grades & no papers - because we know you have enough homework! Just enjoy great discussions for an hour and a half over 10 weeks, and 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! All experience levels are welcome. 

Apply below by Sunday, January 27. We have limited spots available, and applicants will be interviewed and accepted on a rolling basis - so apply ASAP! 

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 applications for our Spring 2019 cohort have closed. Check back in Fall 2019 for your next chance to participate!

Spring 2019 Classes

JLF 1.0: Sex, Love, & Romance - Toward a Post-Modern Jewish Ethic
Stipend: $200
Facilitated by Campus Rabbi Jordan Gerson & Program and Engagement Associate Leah Rose Staffin
Tuesdays 5:45-7:15pm at Hillel starting 2/12 (check our FAQ for entire schedule of class dates & events)

For many of us, sexuality and intimacy are some of the issues that matter most, but around which we receive the least guidance.  This seminar will explore the ethics of gender, sexuality and intimacy in the Jewish tradition. The richness of this conversation has analogues in countless other topics and themes of human experience.  We hope to explore the ideas of gender, sexuality, intimacy and sexual ethics in a broad range of sources in Jewish thought. This semester, we will aim to explore sexual ethics and the ever-elusive notion of intimacy in a way that honors our minds and bodies and respects our position as modern, thoughtful adults.  Our approach is inclusive, open-minded and non-judgmental. 
This class is open to all Jewish students! 

JLF 2.0: Big Israel Questions
Stipend: $300
Facilitated by Campus Rabbi Jordan Gerson
Wednesdays 5:45-7:15pm at Hillel starting 2/12 (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 Birthright alumni, Jewish ISBA / Onward Israel alumni, graduates of our JLF: Life’s Big Questions fall 2018 seminar, and Jewish board members of WIPAC, WSI, and J Street U.