Scholarship applications for Spertus fall graduate fellowships now open

With support provided by a generous outside donor, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership is able to provide scholarships—through Midcareer Fellowships—to qualified students who begin the innovative Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies (MAJPS) program this fall.  

Fellowships are available for employees of Jewish agencies and organizationswho have at least three years of experience and a commitment to continuing their work in the Jewish community. Fellowship funds are limited and will be awarded to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies  program brings together Jewish professionals from a wide range of organizations to study the issues most important for those who work with and for the Jewish community. Participants are able to both advance their careers and enhance the contributions they bring to Jewish agencies and institutions.

The program’s cohort-based learning model fosters the development of a network of professional colleagues. Mentoring by local Jewish leaders allows opportunities for one-on-one advisement on areas of personal strength and fosters the integration of theory and practice. Participants graduate having grown personally and professionally, having cultivated critical leadership skills, built strong communal links, and gained real insight into how to meet Jewish community needs.

Dr. Dean P. Bell, Spertus Institute dean and chief academic officer, says the fellowships address a critical need. “The experience of our graduates proves that committed professionals working in today’s Jewish community benefit greatly from the relevant leadership training provided by this program,” he said, “but in the current economy, the nonprofit agencies and organizations for which they work just don’t have the funds available to subsidize this kind of high-level, individualized professional development.”  

This opportunity comes at a time when trained Jewish professionals are in high demand. A recent report by the Bridgespan Group estimates that 75-90% of Jewish nonprofits will need new executive leadership in the next five to seven years. The study cautions that without field-wide professional development programs committed to educating Jewish leaders, the demand for new executives will be difficult to meet. (For summary see Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders for Jewish Nonprofits, April 22, 2014,

“The participants in today’s Spertus Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies program will be driving the kind of vibrant Jewish organizations needed for our community’s future” said Dr. Bell.

The full cost of the two-year-long program is $16,500. Midcareer Fellows will receive a tuition reduction of 45 percent ($7,425) bringing the cost of the entire program to just over $9,000. Additional scholarship support may also be available.  Full information can be found at The deadline for priority consideration is July 15, 2014.

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