Welcome to ITJ-DL: Introduction to Judaism Distance Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

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Does ITJ-DL do conversions?

 No. ITJ-DL strongly believes that those joining the Jewish people need to work with a “local” rabbi and have a “local” Jewish religious community in which they join. Thus, there is a requirement for all students taking the Basic course to have a local rabbinic/Cantorial sponsor who is directly associated with a Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Renewal congregation. 


  • If you are not Jewish and taking this course there is a requirement that you meet with the rabbi/cantor prior to the start of the course and at least 2 other times during the course and once at the end. The first meeting needs to be an in-person meeting. The other meetings can be using FaceTime or Skype.  
  • If you are Jewish and taking this course there is a requirement that you meet with the rabbi/cantor prior to the start of the course and at least 2 weeks prior to the end of the course. 

Why must I have a “local” rabbinic/Cantorial sponsor to enroll and learn in the “Basic” course?

 Whether born Jewish, someone exploring Judaism for their own, or someone wanting to learn about Judaism to support their Jewish family members, all students in the “Basic” course need to have a “local” sponsoring rabbi/cantor associated with a temple/synagogue.
 

A key aspect of Judaism is peoplehood and community. Rabbis and cantors (and in some very small Jewish communities rabbinic students) directly associated with temples/synagogues are the learning link into the Jewish people and the Jewish community. Those involved in creating ITJ-DL strongly believe that learning to live a Jewish life requires a mentor in the process, specifically a rabbi or cantor associated with a congregation. And that part of the mentoring process is meeting with the rabbi/cantor throughout the course.

Will ITJ-DL help me find a “local” sponsoring rabbi/cantor so I can enroll in the Basic course?

 Yes. If you do not already have a sponsoring rabbi/cantor ITJ-DL will be glad to work with you to find a rabbi/cantor directly connected with a Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Renewal congregation. 

When ITJ-DL uses the word “local” what do you mean?

This course is designed for students in the US and Canada (plus US military personnel). “Local” will vary. 

  • If a student lives in a large metropolitan area, such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, etc, local means a rabbi/cantor in a congregation that you can drive to within 30 minutes. 
  • If a student lives in a smaller metropolitan area with a Jewish community over 25,000,  local means a rabbi/cantor in a congregation that you can drive to within 45 minutes or an hour.
  • If a student lives in a small non-metropolitan area with a small Jewish community (i.e. only one congregation) local means local means a rabbi/cantor OR rabbinic student in a congregation that you can drive to within 90 minutes.
  • If a student lives in a rural area with no Jewish community local means local means a rabbi/cantor OR rabbinic student in a congregation that you can drive to within 3 hours.

How Much Does the Course Cost?

Upfront Registration - $540

Complete Course (90% of work done) – course fee refunded ($90)

Total Cost of Course when completed: $450