American Jewish University
The American Jewish University, formerly the separate institutions University of Judaism and Brandeis-Bardin Institute, is a Jewish, non-denominational and highly eclectic institution in Los Angeles, California. Its largest component is its Whizin Center for Continuing Education in which 12,000 students are enrolled annually in non-credit granting courses. A prominent program of the Center is the university’s annual speaker series, featuring luminaries like Tony Blair, Colin Powell, and other political and diplomatic leaders.
The University of Judaism was founded in 1947. The spiritual founder was Dr. Mordecai Kaplan, a Jewish thinker and philosopher whose goal was to create an institution representing the diversity of Judaic expression in the United States. Initially a project of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles, the UJ became an independent institution in the 1970s. It became officially non-denominational with the ascension to the presidency of Dr. Robert Wexler in 1992. Dr. Wexler was preceded in the presidency by Dr. Simon Greenberg (1947—1963) and Dr. David Lieber (1963—1992).
In March 2007, officials from both the University of Judaism and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, an education and camping organization in Simi Valley, announced the two parties would merge into a new organization called the American Jewish University with UJ President Dr. Robert Wexler at the helm.
The academic program itself at the College grants the Bachelor of Arts degree. The core curriculum consists of over half the required credits during a student’s time at the College, and consists of the study of Western, non-Western, and Jewish civilizations, foreign language studies, arts, science, math, and computer study. Several academic majors and minors are offered including:
Bioethics, Business, English and Literature, Jewish Studies, Journalism, Liberal Studies, Literature and Politics, Media, Communications, Political Science, Behavioral Sciences (Psychology), and U.S. Public Policy
The Lieber School of Graduate Studies offers programs in Nonprofit Management and Jewish Communal Studies. Students may earn a Master of Business Administration degree in Nonprofit Management, or students who have already earned a Master of Arts degree in some other field may earn an M.A. in Nonprofit Management.
The Fingerhut School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Education degree, in which students can choose to focus on Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, or Jewish Educational Foundations. The Fingerhut School of Education also offers a M.A.Ed. focusing on Experiential Jewish Education.