Course Proposal FAQ


What types of topics are covered in NHC Summer Institute courses?

Courses at the NHC Summer Institute deal with a wide variety of Jewish subjects and themes: text study, religious life, spirituality, contemporary issues, history, literature, art, music, meditation, and many more. The Course Committee aims for a balance of topics and styles of courses. Teachers should expect a diverse group of students with differing viewpoints, and should be open to lively discussion in an environment that promotes openness and mutual respect. Course enrollment is generally capped at twenty to ensure a participatory atmosphere.

Courses may not be not restricted by gender, age, religious practice, or ideology. Some courses may require specific background (such as Hebrew reading skills, previous experience studying Jewish texts, or the ability to read music); please describe the expectations clearly in your application. Proposals to teach specific liturgical skills (e.g. reading from the Torah) are not generally accepted.


When do NHC Institute courses meet?

Most courses meet for four 90-minute sessions (Tuesday-Friday), either in the morning or the afternoon. Participants select their courses when they register for the Institute. The Course Committee will consider proposals for courses that will meet in an extended format of four 2½- hour sessions, occupying the adjacent morning or afternoon workshop time slot. This format may be appropriate for courses that involve intensive individual or group work. If you wish your proposal to be considered for extended format, please indicate this and explain this when you complete the course submission form; we also need to know whether and how you would teach the course in the regular format.


Who are Institute teachers?

Teachers at the NHC Summer Institute reflect the diversity of our community, representing a wide range of ages, professions, and home communities. We try to select a mix of those who have taught at NHC events in the past and those who are new (or relatively new) to the NHC.


What level of text study background can I assume?

Text-study courses are divided into three categories:

  1. Advanced Text courses usually require experience with traditional text study and ability to read texts in their original language (usually Hebrew and/or Aramaic), and they may presume familiarity with other source material.
  2. Intermediate Text courses assume some familiarity with traditional text study but don’t require participants to work independently in Hebrew/Aramaic. These courses generally provide texts in translation but may also refer to the original languages.
  3. Text for Everyone courses provide all sources in translation and do not assume any previous experience with text study.


What makes a good course proposal?

We encourage you to propose topics that you have found to be of special interest in your local havurot, minyanim, or other learning contexts. Propose a course you’re passionate about; make it something unique that you’re likely not going find anywhere else. Please provide details of what you plan to cover during the four sessions.

As a guide you may wish to view these proposals from Liora Halperin, Marisa Harford, and Noam Sienna, all accepted in 2015 and 2016, to get a sense of the depth and detail that the Course Committee expects. You may also wish to view the list of courses offered at last year’s Institute. To request a conversation with a member of the course committee before submitting your application, contact us at


Do I have to pay to attend Institute if I am teaching a course?

Institute teachers receive a credit for free tuition, room and board, and program admissions to the Institute. If you are co-teaching a course with another person, each of you will receive half credit. Single-room supplements, extra fees for special services, and travel costs to and from Hartford are the responsibility of the registrant; however, you can apply for a travel grant if necessary. NHC membership dues are required of all registrants, including teachers.


What is the policy on photocopies?

Teachers are responsible for providing their own photocopies of course materials. You are welcome to email the course participants in advance so that they can either print their own materials or use digital devices, but you should still provide at least some copies. We cannot guarantee whether photocopiers will be available at the University of Hartford.


How do I submit a course proposal?

Please submit your course proposal using this online form: You may submit up to two course proposals for consideration. Please complete the online form in its entirety for each course you are submitting. If you’ve taught at three consecutive Institutes, we ask that you take a year off before submitting a proposal again. Please contact us by email at if you would like to discuss a specific course idea or have questions about submitting your proposal online. Thanks for submitting your course proposal as soon as you can.


What are other ways that I can teach at Institute?

Anyone attending the Summer Institute is welcome to teach a one-hour workshop on any relevant topic. (Signup is available during registration.) Additionally, you can apply to be the Liturgist-in-Residence and will shortly be able to apply to be a Timbrel Artist-in-Residence or Hollander Social Justice Fellow.


When will I be notified if my course was accepted?

The Course Committee will notify you of the status of your proposal by January 31, 2018. Teachers of accepted courses will be asked at that time to confirm their participation in the 2018 Institute.

The Course Committee generally accepts 24 courses and 4 alternates, just in case we need to replace a course because a teacher is unable to attend the Institute. In recent years, we have received over 50 course proposals, so we regret that we cannot accept them all. Should your class not fit into this year’s mix, we may suggest that you resubmit the course for a future Institute, or offer a scaled-down version as a workshop. We welcome your suggestions and appreciate your understanding that not all proposed courses can fit into a given year’s program.

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