RRC’s curriculum cultivates the competencies that 21st century rabbis need to help individuals and communities use the riches of Jewish tradition to make meaning, connect to the holy and bring themselves, their communities and the world to greater justice and peace.
Most students study for five years in the rabbinic program. Students entering the College with excellent potential for service to the Jewish people and limited Hebrew skills will begin their studies in the Mekhinah program, described below. Students entering RRC with significant prior learning often accelerate the program. RRC works individually with students upon admission to develop a course of study that best meets their personal and professional goals.
The Mekhinah year is required for students entering the College with excellent potential for service to the Jewish people and limited Hebrew skills. Mekhinah students undertake intensive study of Hebrew language and literature, devote substantial time to the study of Jewish practices — the halakhah of customs, ceremonies, life-cycle events and calendar — and participate in a learners’ minyan. Upon successful completion of the Mekhinah year, students advance to the core program.
Core Program, Years 1-3
In the first three years of the core program, students focus their studies on three millennia of Jewish beliefs, texts and traditions — and their continuing evolution.
Through seminar and beit midrash learning, students engage in study as both an intellectual and spiritual practice, combining the strengths of cutting-edge academic scholarship and traditional learning. In these years, students also begin to develop practical rabbinic skills through coursework, service-learning and supervised rabbinic fieldwork. For more information, please visit the Field Experience page.
All students also participate in RRC’s summer term Israel program. While in Israel, students engage in experiential and academic learning to better understand the religious, cultural and political role of the land and state of Israel over the course of Jewish civilization and to learn first-hand about the complexities of contemporary Israel and Israeli society.
Core Program, Years 4-5
The final two years of the curriculum center on immersive field education, offering geographic flexibility and a diverse range of possibilities. During these years, students build the skills and wisdom that lie at the heart of rabbinic leadership through intensive supervised internships in a range of rabbinic settings — congregations, campuses, chaplaincy settings, educational institutions and other organizations. Academic study continues uninterrupted through synchronous and asynchronous online courses and hevrutah study. Fourth- and fifth-year students come to campus twice per year to participate in school-wide immersive retreats.
Throughout the program, students participate in davening, communal spiritual practice and schoolwide learning while in residence at RRC and during semi-annual schoolwide retreats. Students also have the opportunity to study at partner institutions, such as Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Council for Relationships.