Schechter Rabbinical Seminary
The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, affiliated with the Masorti/Conservative Movement in Israel and with the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, trains educational and spiritual leadership for positions in Israel. Young men and women, whose serious Jewish scholarship is fused with a deep dedication to social action and respect for the diversity of spiritual expression, are providing a model for tolerant, inclusive and passionate Jewish commitment for Israel's non-Orthodox majority.
Israeli Rabbinic Program
Since 1988, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary has ordained 82 Israeli rabbis who have taken their place as leaders in Israel and throughout the world. They are addressing growing educational and spiritual needs, as spiritual educators in TALI schools, in the advocacy of women's religious rights, in communities and Conservative congregations serving new immigrants and veteran Israelis, and in congregations abroad. The students become proficient in all aspects of Jewish studies, including Bible, Rabbinics, Jewish Thought and Jewish History. As future communal leaders, they also study education, psychology counseling, and not-for-profit management and participate in practicum training during each year of study.
MISHLEI - New Bet Midrash Program
Two years ago the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary launched a new Bet Midrash program - Mishlei. Today, 21 students are enrolled in this innovative two-stage track of study, designed to expand the student body and broaden the pool of students trained to take on leadership roles within the Masorti Movement. The new Mishlei framework for rabbinic studies offers students a two-year program which meets two full days a week and combines Bet Midrash (chavruta study) with academic study leading to an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. The second stage of the program offers an additional two years of study which culminates in rabbinic ordination. Scholarships and stipends are available to those students who enter the second phase of study.
Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellowship Program
The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary has taken the lead in spearheading a comprehensive plan to empower spiritual leadership in Israel. With the support of the Legacy Heritage Fund, the Seminary selects outstanding rabbinical students to become Rabbinic Fellows, committed to building new community Batei Midrash (Learning Centers) in Israel. The Program, which offers a three-year scholarship for rabbinic study and supplementary training, prepares rabbinical students to enhance the quality of life in towns and cities throughout Israel, and provide a new model for developing Conservative/Masorti communities. The Rabbinic Fellows are involved in fieldwork in communities, schools and healthcare facilities, under professional supervision. Legacy Rabbinic Fellows are currently working in Holon, Petach Tivkah and Ra'anana.
Six years ago, Schechter pioneered the first accredited chaplaincy program in Israel with Cecil Asekoff, the National Association of Jewish Chaplains, and Rabbi Zahara Davidovich-Farkash, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the generous support of the New York Federation. To date, 20 professionals have completed 1/2-1 unit in Clinical Pastoral Education. Students and graduates of the program are working in the Asaf Harofe Hospital Oncology and Dialysis Departments in Rishon Lezion, Rambam Hospital in Haifa, HMO Home-care units and a senior citizens home in Jerusalem. Students attend an intensive summer chaplaincy program which combines fieldwork with classroom lectures by Schechter faculty and guest lecturers.
Overseas Program for Visiting Rabbinical Students
"The Israel Experience" is an integral curriculum component of all rabbinical schools affiliated with the worldwide Conservative Movement. Established in 1990, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary has served as an academic and cultural base for rabbinical students learning for a year in Israel. The program hosts students from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Seminario Rabinico in Buenos Aires and other theological institutions in Europe and the Americas. In 2012-13, 22 overseas students are studying at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary.Reflecting the professional concerns of the Rabbinate in North America, the programs maintain the highest academic standards with emphasis placed on Talmud, Halakhah, and Bible. All students receive an intensive Hebrew language program.
Students learn about modern Israeli society through social action programs. They may tutor Russian or Ethiopian school children, assist in hospitals, become involved with a political, cultural or educational organization, or create a project tailor-made to their particular interests. Learning experiences with several of Israel's Conservative/ Masorti congregations provide overseas students with useful contacts and ideas for trips with their own future professional constituencies. The students are also encouraged to attend plays, concerts, dance performances, and to initiate visits with friends and relatives.
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