Centre for Continuing Education

Ethics of Jewish Living Course 1

Jewish Culture. Learn about Jewish Culture with us.

Learn about Jewish culture the smart way with Jewish Culture courses at the University of Sydney.

In partnership with the Department of Hebrew, Biblical & Jewish Studies
Course materials developed by The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning - a project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For specific enquiries regarding the program, please contact Hinda Young on 0432 567 917 or email.

This interactive course, developed and led by the Melton Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a comprehensive series of text-based lessons. Understanding Jewish ethics is the essence of understanding Judaism. Participants will explore how Judaism views human behaviour and debates practical dilemmas in life. The course is organised thematically and has been tailored to suit the interests of Australian learners.

Course Content

  1. Equity and Justice (Moral Awareness within Judaism)
  2. The Significance of Human Life
  3. The Imitation of God
  4. Personal Virtues
  5. For You, or For Me
  6. Jewish Approaches to Making Ethical Decisions
  7. Power of the Spoken Word
  8. Donating Organs During One’s Life
  9. Donating Organs after Death
  10. Suicide
  11. Honouring Aging Parents
  12. Sexual Desire and the Institution of Marriage
  13. Ethics in Marriage
  14. Ethics in Divorce
  15. Homosexuality

Course Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will:

  1. Be able to recognise that there is a unique Jewish approach to Ethics which is based on a 4,000 year tradition
  2. Learn that Jewish ethics is inseparable from Jewish law – ethical questions require a legal response
  3. Be able to identify different schools of thought within the Jewish ethical tradition and know where they diverge from one another
  4. Gain an appreciation of the complexity of grappling with ethical questions and will recognise that not all ethical dilemmas can be 'solved'

Course Delivery

Seminar with group discussion.


Participants are required to bring their own Tanakh (Bible) to each session. Any scholarly translation is acceptable. Two recommended editions: the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh and the New Revised Standard Version Tanakh.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion