Cantorial Course Requirements

The sequence of courses in professional skills will equip rabbis and cantors alike to meet the challenges inherent in every field of the contemporary rabbinate and cantorate. Counseling classes develop the ability to listen and respond carefully, and also to appreciate when an expert therapist should become involved.

Through sequence courses in education and communication, students learn to teach and “preach” in a manner that is responsible to the values of Torah and is also appreciative of the realities of contemporary Jewish life.

Courses in contemporary liturgy and congregational dynamics begin to train our graduates in the process of transformational change. They will be able to help a congregation or agency develop a vision for the future and to begin the process that will actualize this vision.

AJR Cantorial Program Course Requirements

The following chart describes the courses and distributions required for cantorial ordination. Certain courses in each subject area are specifically required. Otherwise, there are distribution requirements indicating the number of courses to be completed in each subject. There may be additional requirements regarding the methodologies or approaches that should be represented among the courses within each subject area, as well as the level of study that should be attained within each subject.

CANTILLATION (6 credits)
Introduction to Cantillation (2 credits)
Shalosh Regalim (1 credit)
Esther (1 credit)
Eichah (1 credit)
Yamim Noraim (1 credit)

CONTEMPORARY REPERTOIRE (8 credits)
Friday Evening (2 credits)
Shabbat Morning (2 credits)
Yamim Noraim I (2 credits)
Yamim Noraim II (2 credits)

JEWISH STUDIES (48 credits)
Core Concepts – 4 semesters
Hebrew I (8 credits)
Hebrew II (8 credits)
Introduction to Bible (2 credits)
Parashat Hashavua (2 credits)
Personal Theology (2 credits)
Introduction to Liturgy (2 credits)
Shabbat Liturgy (2 credits)
Festival Liturgy (2 credits)
Liturgy of Yamim Noraim (2 credits)
Tefillah and Seminar (4 credits)
Introduction to Halakha (2 credits)
Introduction to Mishnah (2 credits)
Spirituality Elective (2 credits)
Jewish History (4 credits)
Pluralism (2 credits)
Contemporary Denominations (2 credits)

NUSAH* (29 credits)
Introduction to Modes (1 credit)
Shabbat I (4 credits)
Shabbat II (4 credits)
Yamim Noraim I (4 credits)
Yamim Noraim II (4 credits)
Yamim Noraim III (4 credits)
Shalosh Regalim I (4 credits)
L’Hol and Minor Festivals (4 credits)

PROFESSIONAL CANTORIAL CURRICULUM (17 credits)
Choir (8 credits)
Conducting (1 credit)
Introduction to the Cantorate (1 credit)
Music of the Life Cycle (1 credit)
Cantorial Recitative (2 credits)
Diverse Musical Traditions (2 credits)
Music History (2 credits)

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS (22 credits)
Musical Skills I (0 credits)
Musical Skills II (0 credits)
Musical Skills III (2 credits)
Counseling I (2 credits)
Counseling II (2 credits)
Intro. Homiletics (1 credit)
Life Cycle I (2 credits)
Life Cycle II (2 credits)
Hospital Chaplaincy (1 credit)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah (2 credits)
Empowering Community through Singing (Guitar) (2 credits)
Fieldwork Support Seminar (4 semesters, no credit)
Education I (2 credits)
Education Elective (2 credits)
Education Through The Arts (2 credits)

ELECTIVE STUDY (2 credits)

TOTAL: 132 credits

*All nusah classes meet twice weekly, with one didactic session, and one ‘lab/coaching’ session to review and hone the application of the material covered. Attendance at both sessions is required.