4 Leading Jewish Institutions Of Higher Education In The U.S.

Ambitious students don't have to choose between pursuing their faith and getting a college degree. There are many schools combining religious study with broader programs in the humanities and sciences at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In no particular order, here are some Jewish colleges and universities you should consider.

Starting off our list at #1 is Yeshiva University. With four campuses in New York City, its undergraduate schools, including health, business, and women's divisions, offer a dual curriculum comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts and sciences courses.

Yeshiva also maintains a number of programs for graduate students. These include the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies, and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. The university is also home to Cardozo Law, one of the best-known programs of its kind in New York.

For #2, we have Hebrew College. Founded in 1921, it aims to combine the serious academic study of Judaism with graduate, community, and youth learning, as well as professional development programs. Rooted in the Hebraist-Zionist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it maintains a deep commitment to the Hebrew language.

The school features a five-to-six year rabbinical training program, introducing students to the essential texts of today's rabbinate. Hebrew College also offers a degree for cantors, providing attendees with a comprehensive curriculum featuring vocal work and religious studies.

The #3 entry is Philadelphia's Gratz College, the oldest independent and pluralistic college for Jewish studies in North America. Founded in 1895, it maintains graduate and undergraduate degree and certificate programs, as well as learning opportunities for adults and teens.

Many of Gratz's programs reflect the college's historic focus on Jewish studies and education. With a broad commitment to the intellectual and professional growth of its diverse constituencies, the school strives to offer access for students everywhere to become leaders in their professions and communities.

Finishing up our list at #4 is American Jewish University, which has two campuses in Los Angeles County: one in Bel Air, and the other in the Simi Valley area. Founded in 1947, A.J.U. was developed following the vision of Dr. Mordecai Kaplan, author of Judaism as a Civilization, who advocated for the creation of an educational institution incorporating diverse elements of Jewish civilization and culture.

The Ziegler School at A.J.U. was the first independent rabbinical educational institution on the West Coast. It was conceived to train a new generation of Conservative rabbis to address the spiritual needs of a changing North American Jewry. Additionally, there are graduate centers for nonprofit management and Jewish education.