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Jewish Communal Leadership Program

The Jewish Communal Leadership Program, offered by the University of Michigan School of Social Work in partnership with the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, presents a distinctive educational opportunity for MSW students committed to helping Jewish communities meet 21st-century challenges while also addressing broader social concerns. Students combine study of community systems, theories of social change, and Jewish history and community, with training and experience in community organizing, non-profit management, dialogue facilitation, and coalition building within and across groups.

Approximately six incoming On-Campus MSW students will be selected to participate in the program each year. JCLP graduates currently serve in Jewish and nonsectarian organizations across the United States and abroad. Alumni are employed as chief executives, program developers, fundraising professionals, therapists, community outreach directors, and educators.

Specialized JCLP Courses


  • Four-term Integrative Jewish Leadership Seminar and 15 credits of Judaic Studies

Possible JCLP Course Options

  • American Jews and Social Justice
  • American Jews Since 1945
  • Detroit: Race, Religion, and Ethnicity in the 20th Century
  • From Ghetto to Suburb: Jewish Urban Experience
  • Global History of the Jews of Spain
  • History of American Jewish Women
  • Introduction to Jewish Civilizations and Culture
  • Jewish Mysticism
  • The Arab-Jewish Conflict in the Middle East
  • The Life and Times of Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Training in Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation 

Special Field Placements

JCLP students choose from a broad array of supervised fieldwork opportunities in local and national agencies. International summer placements via the University of Haifa are also available.

Program Requirements

  • The JCLP is a demanding five-semester (twenty month) on-campus program which combines MSW requirements, 15 credits of Judaic Studies, a four-semester professional development seminar, and involvement in community programming. Students benefit from close faculty advising and an extensive alumni network.
  • In consultation with JCLP's Director, each JCLP student will choose and follow one of the SSW curricular pathways. The JCLP seminar and JCLP public programs focus on macro communal questions and concerns.
  • All students complete a Certificate in Jewish Communal Leadership.
  • Generally, JCLP field placements are two days a week during the first winter and second fall term, and four to five days a week during the spring/summer term. Some students pursuing national or international summer field placements will begin local field work during the first fall term. One-half of field placement credits must be with an agency within the Jewish community.
  • JCLP students can complete dual M.A. programs which are available in Jewish Studies, business, public policy and other fields.


  • All potential On-Campus MSW students interested in the challenges and needs of 21st-century Jewish communities are invited to apply.
  • Application deadlines: December 1, 2023 (early application), February 1, 2024 (priority), March 1, 2024. To guarantee full consideration, please apply by the December 1 deadline. Applications received after December 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.
  • Deferred admits planning to enroll in fall 2024 must submit their special program application by November 1, 2023.
  • Financial need will be considered in the review of special program applications.
  • Your MSW application must be complete by the scholarship application deadline.
  • If you would like to apply to the Jewish Communal Leadership Program, then please answer "yes" to the question, "Do you plan to apply to an SSW Special Program?" found on the Financial Assistance page of the MSW application and then select the Jewish Communal Leadership Program checkbox. The JCLP application pages will be added to the end of your MSW application.
  • Call (734) 936-0961 if you are unable to submit the application via the MSW application system.

Begin MSW Application

JCLP staff are always happy to speak to potential applicants! For more information about the Jewish Communal Leadership Program and for application materials, visit JCLP’s website or contact the Office of Student Services and Enrollment Management at (734) 936-0961 or [email protected].

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