RRC’s rabbinical program centers on nourishing and rigorous Jewish learning and immersive and intensive field education. The curriculum is distinguished by the unique Reconstructionist understanding of Judaism as a dynamic civilization characterized by vibrant diversity and ongoing change. As a result, the RRC course of study is expansive, dynamic and flexible, engaging students both in and out of the classroom.
Joel Hecker, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, offers advice to students studying at RRC.
In your first years as a student, you will study with classmates in Philadelphia, becoming deeply rooted in three millennia of Jewish beliefs, texts and traditions — and their constant evolution. Through seminar and beit midrash learning, you will experience text study as an intellectual and spiritual practice, that helps us make meaning of our lives and draw near to the holy.
From the outset of your journey, you will put ideas into practice through on-the-job training. As you grow spiritually and intellectually, you will be part of a community that is grounded in Jewish tradition and striving toward greater holiness, peace and justice. During your third year, you will travel to Israel to immerse in the nation and region’s complicated, dynamic, heartbreaking and inspiring realities. As you grow spiritually and intellectually, you will be part of a community that is grounded in Jewish tradition and striving toward greater holiness, peace and justice.
Your final years of the program will be centered in immersive field education internships, offering geographic flexibility. Through intensive placements in a range of rabbinic settings — congregations, campuses, chaplaincy, religious schools and organizations — you will build the skills and wisdom that lie at the heart of rabbinic leadership. You will lead services and life cycle rituals, provide pastoral care, teach and participate in the ongoing day-to-day life of diverse communities. Through intensive supervision and ongoing coursework, you will reflect on and grow from work experiences, while continuing to deepen your engagement with Torah. While in the field, academic study will continue uninterrupted through online courses and hevrutah study. Each year, all students will gather in Philadelphia for immersive retreats and workshops to reconnect and learn together.
Your emerging rabbinate will be enhanced by our groundbreaking social justice organizing and multifaith studies programs, as well as our renowned Center for Jewish Ethics.
Deeply rooted in Torah and tradition, you will be equipped to respond to the experiences and needs of today’s vibrant and diverse Jewish communities and to meet the wider world’s urgent need for moral leadership.