AJR's community of learners.
The AJR Student Association is a student-organized, student-run body that is dedicated to enhancing the students experience at AJR. An integral part of AJR, the Student Association is comprised of both rabbinical and cantorial students, reflecting the Academy’s pluralistic vision that rabbis and cantors are equal partners in spiritual leadership. The Student Association is recognized by the Administration as the students representative within the AJR community. As such, the Student Association nominates one student to serve as the student representative on the Board of Trustees (Sally Shore-Wittenberg). In addition, one cantorial and one rabbinical student serve as liaisons from the student association to the administration, to raise issues generated by the student body regarding their experience at AJR. This year’s liaisons are Jerry Blum (cantorial) and Aaron Marsh (rabbinic).
The Student Association, which meets monthly on rotating days of the week from 1:00-1:30 p.m., is governed by a slate of officers and committee chairs, drawn from both the cantorial and rabbinical programs, who are elected at its April meeting. In order to further the activities of the Association, each student is asked to pay annual dues at the beginning of the fall semester. These dues allow the Student Association, among other things, to co-sponsor the Hannukah party and the Purimspiel, to provide bottled water, disposable cups, teas, coffee, etc. and a photocopy machine for the students use in the lounge, to make a gift to the school honoring the name(s) of the person(s) receiving the Student Service Award, as voted by the Association, and to purchase kanfot for each member of the ordination class. An additional small charge is levied for the annual use of lockers (see Geoffrey Brown), which were purchased by the Association.
Among the other activities the Student Association undertakes each year are: Tzedek Projects; Gemah (Trisha Arlin), which keeps the community informed on a weekly basis, circulates a mishaberakh list and sends notes and contributions when warranted; and Interseminary Dialogue (Gerry Ginsburg) a monthly discussion among students at several seminaries in the New York area, both Jewish and non-Jewish, on a topic related to the year s theme. Each participating seminary hosts one monthly session.
For new students, the first year can be somewhat confusing. The Student Association participates in the “new students welcome” session at the beginning of the year to explain who is who, and who does what. But the Student Association does not leave you hanging after that. Our madrikh chair, Barbara Paris, provides a student mentor for each new student to whom they can turn for information.
In addition, we have an information sharing program available to provide a guide to on-line resources that can help you in your journey at AJR. Please contact any officer below for information.