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The Shul atrium balcony


What is CYSCJS?

Chaim Yakov Shlomo College of Jewish Studies (CYSCJS), established in 2004, is an intensive academic institution which will grant smicha (rabbinic ordination), which is linked to the Master of Hebrew Letters (M.H.L.) degree, and a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters (B.H.L.), a degree designed for lay professionals in the Jewish community.

The M.H.L. Smicha Program (Master of Hebrew Letters) is open to students with very substantial traditional Judaica background. It is a post-yeshiva graduate program. The Yoreh Yoreh ordination, or ordinary rabbinical ordination (for men only), is the culmination of a one-year, four-quarter intensive program which focuses on traditional studies but which includes modern skills needed for a successful career in the Orthodox rabbinate.

The B.H.L. (Bachelor of Hebrew Letters) is a four-year program of four or five courses per trimester for twelve trimesters or 144 credits. The program encompasses several types of learning: traditional lectures, tutorials (hevrusa learning), individual study, and use of the web as a learning tool.  In addition to a firm knowledge base about Judaism, students will be qualified as a “para-rabbi” and prepared to work as a Jewish professional in synagogues, day or supplementary schools, or the Jewish community service worlds as highly qualified leaders for the Jewish community.

The D.H.L. (Doctor of Hebrew Letters) is open to very advanced, exceptional students only.  The student will work primarily with a mentor, a senior member of the CYS College faculty, as well as in several tutorials (small group learning), directed readings and independent studies, will develop and teach a beginning-level course at CYS College under the direction of the Academic Dean, and will develop a doctoral project proposal, conduct original research, and present his or her findings to the College. The D.H.L. degree will be awarded upon recommendation by the mentor and a majority vote of all College faculty.  The D.H.L. builds upon proficiency in Talmud and Judaic Law and assumes appropriate spiritual qualities and personal development to become a leader of a community or a teacher, and to conduct independent research in topics of Jewish Studies.

Mission Statement

The Chaim Yakov Shlomo College of Jewish Studies (CYSCJS) has been established to:

  • Provide the highest level of academic training and mission orientation to qualified rabbinical scholars to answer the need for Jewish leadership on a global basis;

  • Provide adequate knowledge and information in a condensed manner to qualified lay leadership to answer the need for educating lay leadership; and

  • Enhance the spiritual level of the local community, which is designated as a pilot community in promoting Jewish education and Torah values to be emulated.



CYSCJS is named in honor of Chaim Yakov Shlomo Garfunkel, a respected and successful businessman who loved and supported Jewishness.

The Chaim Yakov Shlomo College of Jewish Studies, INC is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Florida, filed electronically on June 26, 2019, effective June 25, 2019. It was previously a subsidiary of The Shul of Bal Harbour, Inc. (incorporated April 14, 1983)

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