MBA Core Courses

HS 215 Corporate Finance
HS 245 Economics
HS 248 Financial Management
HS 250 Financial Accounting
HS 251 Managerial Accounting
HS 252 Strategic Management
HS 254 Human Resources Management
HS 258 Operations Management
HS 285 Marketing
HS 299 Team Consulting Final Project

See the Heller MBA website for course descriptions

Ed.M. Courses

Students choose nine courses that fall under the following categories:

Vision and History of Jewish Education;Design and Pedagogy; Understanding Learners and Learning; Internship and Guided Practice; Jewish Historical Sources; Elective; Culminating Research Project

See the course list here

MPP Core Courses

HS 303 Historical and Contemporary Developments in Social Welfare
HS 332 Research Methods and Evaluation
HS 336 Capstone Seminar
HS 341 Public Finance
HS 372 Economic Theory and Social Policy
HRNS/HS 404 Regression Analysis
HS 405 Econometrics
HS 472 Policy and Program Implementation
HS 532 Social Policy Analysis

See the Heller MPP website for course descriptions

NEJS Courses

NEJS 231 Graduate Proseminar
NEJS Final Project or Thesis

Students choose an additional 7 courses from among a large selection of 100-level and above courses.

See the NEJS website for course descriptions

Academic Courses

Jonathan D. Sarna, Hornstein Program, Brandeis University


All Hornstein students earn a Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Leadership and one additional degree:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA),
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP), 
  • Master of Arts in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, or
  • NEW! Education Master in Jewish Educational Leadership

The Hornstein Program takes place over 21 months: two academic years (fall and spring semesters) and half the summer in-between. Students must be on campus and physically present for all classes, including for the Heller summer courses.

Courses for the Hornstein MA in Jewish Professional Leadership are listed below. Courses for the second degrees—MBA, MPP, NEJS MA, or Ed.M—are listed to the right.

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HRNS 231b - Jewish Community in Historical Perspective - Jonathan Sarna
This course uses history to shed light on the issues and challenges facing the contemporary American Jewish community.  It asks how the community assumed its current shape, and uses a series of historical case studies to examine past crises and the lessons that might be learned from them. The goal of the course is to help students craft a "usable past" – one that employs the hindsight of history to understand the present and help plan the future. 4 credits.
HRNS 237b - Organizational Behavior in Jewish Nonprofits - Mark Rosen

Integrates contemporary management theories, case studies, experiential exercises, and traditional Jewish teachings to provide frameworks and skills that help students to understand, predict, and influence individual and group behavior in Jewish nonprofit organizations. Topics covered include motivation, trust, ethics, group dynamics, decision-making, power, conflict, influence, negotiation, lay-professional relations, leadership, organizational culture, and organizational change. 4 credits.

HRNS 241a - Skills and Techniques in Jewish Fundraising and Philanthropy

Provides a conceptual framework and develops a community organizing approach to implementing fundraising campaigns for Jewish communal enterprises. 4 credits.

HRNS 246a - Statistics for Jewish Professional Leaders - Len Saxe, Matt Boxer, Fern Chertok

Provides an introduction to statistical thinking and analytical methods. Focus is on understanding statistical reasoning and interpreting analyses. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics applied to understanding survey research, evaluation, and policy studies relevant to Jewish organizational leadership. 4 credits.

HRNS 247f - Evaluation for Jewish Professional Leaders - Len Saxe, Matt Boxer, Fern Chertok

Provides participants with an understanding of the basic concepts of evaluation research and their application to Jewish communal policy. Emphasizes methodological issues and their application to social interventions and program delivery using exemplars from the Jewish communal sphere. 4 credits.

HRNS 297a - Professional Field Experience - Mark Rosen

Students work 150-250 hours under the mentorship of a leader in a Jewish nonprofit organization. Placements are carefully designed to advance professional leadership skills and match students' interests and career goals. Each student is advised by a faculty member and by Hornstein's Director of Fieldwork. 2 credits.

HRNS 350a - Myra Kraft Seminar in Israel - Janet Aronson and faculty

An intensive examination of contemporary issues in Israeli society and its relationship with Diaspora communities. Held on campus during fall semesters and in Israel during winter break. 4 credits.

HRNS 380a - Proseminar: Issues, Structure and Perspectives of the American Jewish Community - Ellen Smith

This seminar provides entering students with an introduction to key issues in American Jewish communal life. The course provides students with the basic background, major themes, and shared readings that serve as a foundation for Jewish professional life. 4 credits.

HRNS 399a Capstone - Ellen Smith and faculty

The final course in the Hornstein curriculum, the class transitions Hornstein learning to the coming professional workplace in the Jewish community through faculty "last lectures," critical assessments of current issues, and student presentations. 2 credits.

Culminating Project

During the final Hornstein semester, each Hornstein student completes a culminating project which integrates the knowledge and skills gained in both of the degree programs. Students work with advisors from both degree programs. 2 credits.


HRNS/HS 232a Team Consulting Project Workshop - Larry Bailis, Carole Carlson, Ellen Smith
A series of sessions designed to provide students with the team building and consulting skills necessary to meet the team consulting projects client needs and provide them with tools that will be useful throughout their careers. Several sessions will enable teams to share their experiences with other teams and problem solve as a group. Course taken in conjunction with HS 299 Team Consulting Final Project.


Dual MA/MPP students must meet the MPP second-year capstone requirement and will generally focus their papers on Jewish community-related policy. Students will demonstrate the ability to define and diagnose public policy situations, collect relevant information, perform logical analysis, develop alternatives, and make compelling recommendations; and to organize and communicate information clearly to a variety of audiences through formats including verbal presentations, policy briefs, and statistical charts, graphs, and tables.


Students may choose among three capstone options:
1. Write an MA thesis.
2. Complete a significant final project.
3. Take an oral examination (NEJS students0


HRNS 205f - Summer Camp: The American Jewish Experience - Joe Reimer

How did American summer camps evolve? How did American Jews appropriate this form for their communal needs? How did leadership develop and what are the pressing issues of today? These questions will be examined from historical, educational, and managerial perspectives.

HRNS 206b - Informal Education in Jewish Settings - Joe Reimer

This course is an exploration of what we mean by ‘informal education’ and how serious Jewish educators have brought "informal education" and "experiential learning" to settings as diverse as summer camps, Israel trips, arts programs, and community service initiatives.

HRNS 230f - Managing Jewish Nonprofits

Virtually all of the work of the modern Jewish community is done through nonprofit organizations. This course is designed to acquaint Hornstein students who are not enrolled in the Heller MBA program with the most widely-used concepts, tools, and practices utilized by managers in the Jewish nonprofit sector. Topics covered include mission development, governance, strategic planning, human resources, financial resources, marketing and communications, and performance management.

HRNS 239b - History and Philosophy of Jewish Philanthropy and Fundraising
Utilizing classical texts to illuminate the history and values of tzedakah, this course explores different presentation techniques employed in the contemporary Jewish communal setting. Students learn how to bring enduring Jewish values to bear upon the different tasks involved in the process of fundraising and development in Jewish organizational life.
HRNS 243b - Financial Resource Development for the Nonprofit Agency

Explores the strategic approach to funding the nonprofit agency with an emphasis on major gifts management. Students learn the process of planning, developing and soliciting leadership support through readings, lectures, guest speakers, case studies, simulations, and role plays.

HRNS 248f - Jewish Texts for Professional Leaders - Joe Reimer

An introduction to Jewish text study in English on themes from Biblical, rabbinic, medieval and modern sources. Students will gain appreciation for how these texts grapple with key question still alive for world Jewry.

HRNS 298a Advanced Professional Field Experience
For Hornstein students who wish to pursue an additional elective field experience beyond the requirement of HRNS 297b. Students work a minimum of 125 hours in a Jewish nonprofit organization, and are required to conduct a literature review and submit a related paper that is connected to their fieldwork project. Fieldwork projects are carefully designed to provide students with practical experience as well as guidance and mentoring from experienced Jewish professionals. Each student is advised by the Director of Field Experience Programs. 2 credits.
Relevant graduate-level courses in other Brandeis University departments may count as elective courses with permission of student's advisor and the Hornstein director.

Want to delve into a topic not offered by one of our electives? If so, you might consider organizing an elective "Readings Course" with a Hornstein professor or other interested faculty member.

Two- or four-credit readings courses can be taken during the fall, spring, or summer semesters for one to five students. Students may take up to two readings courses during their time at Hornstein. Just remember to plan well in advance of the semester in which you'd like to take the course.

For more information, contact Ami Blaszkowsky or Claire Purgus in the Hornstein office.