Many students take on part-time rabbinic employment during rabbinical school. The Department of Professional and Pastoral Skills offers a course entitled Supervised Rabbinic Field Work. Supervised Rabbinic Field Work focuses on theoretical perspectives, practical methods, and material resources that are central to a rabbi's functioning. Students are encouraged to raise their concerns regarding the full spectrum of rabbinic practice in a group, which is attentive to building skills, addressing struggles, and strengthening rabbinic identity. They develop skills necessary for high functioning as reflective practitioners. In order to take this course, students need to have an ongoing rabbinic role in a congregational setting, totaling at least a 100-hour commitment. There is a limited amount of reading assigned in response to issues that surface in the supervision, but the primary work will be in reflecting on the practical experiences that the students are having out in the field. They will be required to submit final papers, which focus on integration of learning and evaluation of practice.
The Rabbinic Residents program, offered through the Joint Placement Commission of the Rabbinical Assembly, utilizes the talent and energy of our outstanding rabbinical students and brings much-needed leadership to small and underserved Conservative/Masorti congregations. Each year, many small congregations in our Movement struggle to maintain a caring and active Jewish community without the leadership of a rabbi. For decades, rabbinical students have gained vital experience and provided a service of immense value to our Movement by serving these congregations on a part-time basis. Under the auspices of this program, rabbinical students have the added advantages of mentorship through the Rabbinical Assembly and a highly favorable standard compensation designed to help defray living costs during rabbinical school.
Students will serve a congregation one or two weekends per month and will receive a compensation of $600 to $700 per weekend plus reimbursement of travel and other related expenses. During a two-day yom tov, rabbinic residents are compensated for “time and a half,” or $1,200 to $1,400. Students will be expected to arrive in the community on Friday afternoon before Shabbat and to leave by approximately noon on Sunday. Leading services, preaching, teaching, reading Torah, and leading programs will be among the standard duties. The Rabbinical Assembly will provide a standard contract, executed between the student and the congregation, fully outlining duties and responsibilities.
Rabbinical students entering year four or five who demonstrate adequate skills and experience to lead a small congregation on a visiting basis are eligible to apply. The Deans' Offices of The Rabbinical Schools and the Rabbinical Assembly will determine eligibility, based on the student's application and rabbinical school record. Students in the program will be under the supervision of Rabbi Julie Schonfeld and will receive ample opportunities for professional guidance and feedback. Rabbinic Residents are required to enroll in PRO 6405: Supervised Rabbinic Fieldwork.
Interested students should submit a cover letter and resume to:
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld
Director of Rabbinic Development
The Rabbinical Assembly
All rabbinical students are welcome to apply for any of the available pulpit positions advertised through the Rabbinical School Placement Service. All students on the eruv-rav listserv automatically receive these listings. The student in charge of the RSPS is always happy to discuss available positions with rabbinical students who are interested. If you have any questions you may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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There are a number of summer internships listed in the Directory of Resnick Internship Placements Sites. There are also some established paid internship programs that will be of interest to JTS rabbinical students even prior to their internship year. Please see the Resnick Internship Site for more information.
Seminary Summer with the Interfaith Worker Justice, a full-time summer internship program, begins with a week of training on practical issues affecting workers in America today, exploring the connection between religious traditions and workers' rights. This is a strong training program. Placement is possible at sites throughout the country. The application deadline is March 1.
Chaplain Candidacy Program with the United States Military offers paid summer military chaplaincy training programs through the different branches of the armed forces. Visit Military Chaplain Association, US Army Chaplain, or Navy for more information.
The Rabbinical Student Fellowship at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a full-time, social justice–oriented summer internship combines supervised placement at a community-based organization amd Beit Midrash–style Jewish study and sessions, led by local Chicago rabbis and educators, on integrating social justice into synagogues, Hillels, schools, and organizations. Deadline for applications: February 2008.
The Auschwitz Jewish Center (AJC) Institute's Student Scholarship Program is an eight-week summer program in Oswiecim, Poland, which offers a unique opportunity for select graduate students to learn firsthand about the rich, vibrant life of Jews in prewar Poland, and develop projects and conduct programs on behalf of the center. Fully funded by the State Department, interns receive a $1,500 stipend. For more information, visit Auschwitz Jewish Center. Deadline: March 2008.
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