Mission and Goals

The HEGIS Code (Higher Education General Information Survey) for the Academy for Jewish Religion is 2299.00.

Mission Statement

The Academy for Jewish Religion serves the needs of the Jewish community by ordaining rabbis and cantors and training Jewish leaders who combine their mastery of the intellectual and spiritual richness of our tradition with openness to its application in the pluralistic, contemporary Jewish community, and an awareness of living in the presence of God.

Institutional Goals

  1. Students will demonstrate recognition of the legitimacy of multiple points of view and approaches, both historically in the Jewish tradition and in the interplay of contemporary Jewish movements and schools of thought.
  2. Students will demonstrate competencies in critical thinking, written and oral communication, problem solving, and a basic use of technology.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate self reflection as a means for developing personal Jewish values and a sense of mission in the service of the Jewish community as well as applying Jewish values to the general community.
  4. The Academy for Jewish Religion, as an institution, will be committed to serving the Jewish community and providing knowledge of Jews and Judaism to the general community.
  5. Students will demonstrate mastery of core knowledge of Jewish tradition, ritual, language skills and an understanding of contemporary issues in Jewish study.
  6. Students will demonstrate an awareness of contemporary issues in Jewish life and a willingness and ability to apply their learning to addressing those issues.

Rabbinical Program Goals 

  1. Students will demonstrate recognition of the legitimacy of multiple points of view and approaches, both historically in the Jewish tradition and in the interplay of contemporary Jewish movements and schools of thought.
  2. Students will demonstrate competence in Jewish texts, history, and culture. This encompasses competence in traditional and academic approaches to reading and interpreting biblical, rabbinic, liturgical, and philosophical texts.
  3. Students will demonstrate competence in reading and comprehending ancient, medieval, and modern texts in their original languages of Hebrew and Aramaic.
  4. Students will demonstrate competence in the professional and pastoral aspects of their clerical roles. This encompasses core knowledge of counseling, education, the role of music in Jewish liturgical chanting (nusah and trope), and the skills to officiate at worship services and life cycle events.
  5. Students will demonstrate knowledge of contemporary American, Israeli and world-wide Jewish communities – including the roles of the rabbi and the cantor –and a range of skills to creatively address long-standing issues as well as the most recent developments.
  6. Students will demonstrate engagement in the development of their identity as spiritual leaders and spiritual seekers in the Jewish community.

Cantorial Program Goals 

  1. Students will demonstrate recognition of the legitimacy of multiple points of view and approaches, both historically in the Jewish tradition and in the interplay of contemporary Jewish movements and schools of thought.
  2. Students will demonstrate mastery of the range of Ashkenazic nusah and trope systems for all services and familiarity with Sefardic nusah.
  3. Students will demonstrate mastery of contemporary repertoire and approaches to Jewish liturgy.
  4. Students will demonstrate strong musicianship skills.
  5. Students will demonstrate core knowledge of biblical, liturgical, and rabbinic texts.
  6. Students will demonstrate competence in classical and modern Hebrew language.
  7. Students will demonstrate competence in the professional and pastoral aspects of their clerical roles. This encompasses core knowledge of counseling, education, the skills to officiate at worship services and the skills to officiate at life cycle events.
  8. Students will demonstrate knowledge of contemporary American, Israeli, and world-wide Jewish communities – including the roles of the rabbi and cantor – and a range of skills to creatively address the most recent developments.
  9. Students will demonstrate engagement in the development of their identity as spiritual leaders and spiritual seekers in the Jewish community.

M.A. Program Goals

  1. Students will demonstrate recognition of the legitimacy of multiple points of view and approaches, both historically in the Jewish tradition and in the interplay of contemporary Jewish movements and schools of thought.
  2. Students will demonstrate core knowledge of biblical, rabbinic, and liturgical texts and contemporary scholarship in these areas.
  3. Students will demonstrate competence in classical and modern Hebrew language.
  4. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the most recent trends and changes in the contemporary Jewish community.
  5. Students will demonstrate competence in academic research (including library skills) in order to produce and present graduate level academic, practical, or educational work.