Home » Institute for Prospective Rabbinical Students – Schedule

Institute for Prospective Rabbinical Students – Schedule

This is a sample schedule of what you can expect at Institute. Please contact Rabbi Melissa Heller, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, for the 2019 Schedule.



Regular College Programming Open to Early Arrivals

8:30-9:15 a.m. Learners’ Minyan
  Choice of Regular Classes:
8:30-11:20 a.m. Medieval Core Civilization
9:30-11:20 a.m. Biblical Core Civilization
9:30-11:20 a.m. Mekhinah Tanakh
11:30-12:45 p.m. Community Limmud: Faculty and Staff Spiritual Journeys 
  Options for Institute Participants:
12:30-1:00 p.m Registration/Building Tour
12:45-1:25 p.m. Lunch
  Optional Lunchtime Program: Student-Led Torah Study of Parshat Hayei Sarah


Official Start to the Institute Programming

1:30-2:15 p.m. Welcome and Introductions
2:30-3:20 p.m. Our Approach to Rabbinical Education
3:30-3:45 p.m.  Mincha or free time
4:00-5:45 p.m What Brings Us Here? Sharing Our Journeys toward the Rabbinate and Our Hopes for the Institute
6:15-7:15 p.m.     Dinner at the home of home of Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., President
7:15-8:15 p.m. President’s Shiur


8:15-9:20 a.m. Shacharit 
9:20-9:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast Available
  Choice of Regular Classes or Attend Special Sessions:
9:30-11:20 a.m. Option 1 Choice of Regular Classes
  Mekhinah Rabbinic Hebrew
  Theologies of Exile and Return
  Option 2 Special Sessions:
9:30-10:20 a.m. Opportunities for Spiritual Growth During Rabbinical School
10:30-11:20 a.m. Panel on Internships, Field Experience & Supervision
11:30-12:25 p.m. Lunch with Faculty
12:30-1:20 p.m. Your Choice – Observe Regular Classes or Attend Special Sessions:
  Option 1 Regular Class
  Mekhinah Modern Hebrew
  Option 2 Special Session
  Engaging Ethics at the College
1:30-3:20 p.m. Your Choice – Observe Regular Classes or Attend Special Sessions:
  Option 1 Choice of Regular Classes
  Tefillah Shiur
  Exploring Theology of Liberation
  Option 2 Special Sessions
1:30-2:20 p.m. Training Rabbis for a Multifaith World
2:30-3:20 p.m. The Reconstructionist Rabbinate – Paths and Opportunities
3:30-3:45 p.m. Mincha or free time
3:45-4:30 p.m. Social Activism, Community Organizing and the Rabbinate 
4:45-5:45 p.m. “What’s It Like?” Student-Facilitated Breakout Groups
6:00-8:00 p.m. Dinner in Mount Airy with students at Malelani Cafe or free time 
  Night owls can continue the fun after dinner and check out  favorite area hangout spots. Enjoy!


8:45-9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast Available
9:00-9:45 a.m. Shacharit
10:00-11:00 a.m. Breakfast Discussion on “RRC, Reconstructionist Communities and the Wider World”
11:05-12:00 p.m. Affording a Rabbinical Education – How Students of Diverse Backgrounds Make it Work
12:05-12:45 p.m. “Preparing for Shabbat” Torah Study
1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch and Panel with Reconstructionist Rabbis
2:15-3:15 p.m. Closing Program and Evaluation
3:15 p.m. Free Time and Return to Hosts
4:24 p.m. Candle-lighting


Shabbat (Optional student-led programming)

On Friday night, Institute participants are invited to join students for Kabbalat Shabbat, dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m. at the home of a current student in Mount Airy.

On Saturday morning, participants are invited to join their hosts at nearby congregations for Shacharit and then enjoy lunch with small groups of students and Institute participants. Everyone will reconvene as a group Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. for Seudah Shlishit (the third Shabbat meal) and Havdalah.

After the Saturday evening program, Institute participants will be free to explore Philadelphia on their own or may return to their hosts’ home for some downtime. Participants traveling by air or rail should arrange their own transportation to the airport or train station on Saturday night or Sunday morning.


Scheduling One-on-One Meetings

To schedule a one-on-one meeting with Rabbi Heller, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, see the sign-up sheet, which will be posted when you arrive on Wednesday. Feel free to bring a list of any (all!) individual questions you might have.

We ask that Philadelphia area participants give distance travelers first opportunity to sign up (we are happy to schedule one-on-ones after the Institute with those living locally).

If you cannot find a time to meet with Rabbi Heller while you are here, there are some opportunities to meet with senior faculty of the College who are also ready to respond to your questions and eager to know you better: Elsie R. Stern, Ph.D. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D., Director of Spiritual Direction Program and Rabbi Amber Powers, Executive Vice President.

Also, Rabbi Vivie Mayer, Director of the Mekhinah Year and the Beit Midrash and Tamar Kamionkowski, Ph.D., Professor of Bible, will be available during the Institute for brief one-on-one advising sessions with participants. We strongly recommend meeting with them if you have any questions regarding your Hebrew language skills.

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