One legacy, many voices.
Who are our students?
Our students, many of whom are pursuing a second career, are men and women who feel called to serve the Jewish people and who will do so with great depth, passion, and integrity; they come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
How long do the programs leading to rabbinical and cantorial ordination take to complete?
Full time study leading to rabbinical or cantorial ordination is three days per week and usually takes around five years to complete.
How long does the Master’s Program in Jewish Studies take to complete?
Full time study leading to an M.A. in Jewish Studies is designed to take one and a half to two academic years (18 – 24 months).
Do you allow part-time study?
Yes. Many of our students prefer part-time study; many are balancing family commitments and/or economic concerns.
Can I begin my studies as a non-matriculated student?
Yes. AJR allows students with sufficient background in Hebrew to study as part of the Gesher program for non-matriculated study for up to one year.
What prior background do I need before beginning the rabbinical or cantorial program?
All students should be studying Hebrew language, reading Jewish books, and studying Jewish texts as part of preparing to begin rabbinical or cantorial school. A preparatory year, called a Mechina program, which includes Hebrew language, Jewish History, and Text Study, is available for those students who are not yet ready for the regular program. In addition, students should be a part of a Jewish community, and experience the richness of the Jewish community.
What prior background do I need before beginning the Master’s program?
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Since a main focus of the program is the study of sacred text, knowledge of Hebrew is important. The extent to which students enter the Master’s Program with the ability to read unvocalized Hebrew and to understand basic spoken Hebrew will determine how quickly they will be able to take more advanced sacred text courses. A preparatory year, called a Mechina program, which includes Hebrew language, Jewish History, and Text Study, is available for those students who are not yet ready for the regular program.
What about receiving credit for prior education or life experience?
For those with advanced degrees in Jewish studies, Jewish communal service, or significant life experience, an appropriate customized rabbinic or cantorial ordination program can be arranged.
Regarding the M.A. Program, some credit may be given for graduate courses completed elsewhere. See the details in the Student Handbook.
What does it mean to be pluralistic?
AJR believes in a pluralistic approach which cherishes many different approaches to Jewish life as equally valid and acceptable ways of serving God and the Jewish People. We believe that Judaism is richer than any one denomination, and that we all grow as individuals and as Jews by being a part of a diverse community.
Can I still be a part of a denomination and go to AJR?
Yes, many of our students choose to be affiliated before, during, and after their studies at AJR. At the same time, they appreciate all that they learn from the diversity all around them at AJR and feel better prepared to serve the Jewish community thanks to this understanding of Klal Yisrael.
More information and applications:
To receive a brochure or application information call our office at 914-709-0900 or e-mail us.
E-mail specific questions about admissions requirements to the Dean of Admissions.
Can we help you find a rabbi or cantor?
Many of our students and graduates are available for pulpits, chaplaincy, and other community and individual needs. Please e-mail our Director of Placement or phone 914-709-0900, ext. 13.