Mission: Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs include films, speakers, seminars, concerts, and exhibits—at the Institute’s Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online.
Target demographics: Adults of all backgrounds
Geographic areas served: Chicago area - and throughout North America
Programs: Masters of science in nonprofit management (msnm): the msnm program is geared toward adult learners. The program emphasizes the acquisition of practical skills. The program introduces students to the essential skills required of nonprofit managers and leaders today, with particular emphasis on critical thinking, communication, planning and financial oversight.
judaica degree programs (masters' and doctoral): the masters-level programs in jewish studies and jewish education are sequenced, content specific, coherent curricula that seek to communicate to students the evolving structure and nature of jewish civilization, the fundamental religious and intellectual outlook of this civilization, the contributions of jewish civilization to human civilization and the inspiration it can provide for students to lead a life that embraces and continues to explore the jewish heritage. Doctoral-level programs are designed for jewish professionals seeking increased understanding of the jewish experience and academic grounding in jewish thought and practice.
master of arts in jewish professional studies (majps): the majps program is a model of learning and training for jewish professionals, offering core courses in judaica topics that are most relevant to jewish communal life today, essential professional training, as well as individualized study to advance students' personal and professional interests. The program is run on a cohort basis, offering the opportunity for students from a wide range of institutional and professional backgrounds to network and learn from one another and create a vibrant community of practice.
Last year I saw a staged reading here of Winter Miller's 'In Darfur" in conjunction with the American Refugee Committee. It was the play's introduction in Chicago (before it was presented by TimeLine Theatre) and this was a wonderful venue in which to see it. The play and the discussion that followed still resonate with me. Spertus is definitely worth checking out as a place to see interesting programs on important subjects.
I walk by Spertus every workday. I rarely see anyone walk in or out. I can't believe this place is still being funded by anyone and its difficult to understand how it can justify its continued existence.
The organization made the completely irresponsible decision to build a $55 MIllion facility that is relatively useless from a programmatic perspective. As it is, the building is either closed or devoid of activity most days.
Looking at their website, there seems to be almost no programming to speak of anyways. Despite its claims to offer innovative Jewish cultural and educational programming, events are few and far between. It seems to be little more than an expensive rental facility for parties and corporate events and a glorified gift shop.
Rick Carter - I wish you would come inside Spertus instead of just walking by. Many of our programming takes place on Sundays and in the evenings, so if we're quiet when you walk by, might just be that your schedule and ours don't overlap.
Contact me if you'd like to come to a Spertus program as my guest.
Spertus Director of Marketing & Communications