The Rabbinical School curriculum begins with an intensive two years focused on cultivating the skills in Hebrew language and the interpretation of classical Jewish texts that will be the foundation for advanced rabbinical studies.
Our vibrant Beit Midrash is an exciting and supportive place to engage with the Torah, while simultaneously building friendships and community. Summer programs like Nishma and Jump Start Israel allow students without established skills in these areas to prepare for our rigorous program.
Study in New York
Students spend the first year of rabbinical school on the JTS campus, deepening their skills in the following areas:
- Bible: a two-semester survey of the Tanakh with the perspective of modern biblical scholarship and the aim of developing a personal and professional relationship with our foundational text
- Talmud: two semesters of intensive study of the Babylonian Talmud with its medieval commentaries
- Halakhah: one semester devoted to the laws of prayer and a second semester devoted to family law
- Midrash: an introduction to the major genres of rabbinic narrative
- Bible Commentaries: one semester dedicated to using the classical Bible commentaries of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Ramban, and others
- Seminar: a weekly gathering that allows students to explore their prayer life, their theology, and their transition to become rabbinical students
- Hebrew: daily study of Hebrew designed to prepare students for advanced study in Israel
Study in Israel
Year two is in Israel, beginning with a special program during the month of Elul. Based at the Galilee’s flourishing Kibbutz Hannaton, our students explore this beautiful and historic region, learning how Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze communities coexist.
After the Tishrei holidays, our fall semester begins at the Schocken Institute, JTS’s campus in central Jerusalem. There we study Talmud, Bible, Halakhah, and other Jewish subjects in a yeshiva-style environment. In the spring semester, half of the courses are taken at our sister school, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary. From midrash to mysticism, all courses infuse the experience of Israel into the conversation.
In addition to classes, our students participate in the yearlong Israel Experiential Program, which is designed to expose them to diverse perspectives in Israeli culture, politics, religion, and ethnicity. Many of these programs are shared with students from other rabbinical schools. The overall objective is to develop one’s personal and professional relationship with Israel, in all of its complexity.
When they return to New York, our students are ready to specialize in their academic and professional training.
Learn about the Iyun program during the last three years of rabbinical study.