Are You Ready to Begin?
You have Jewish commitment and a vision of leadership, so are you ready to begin rabbinical school? That depends. Becoming a rabbi should grow organically out of the Jewish life you’re already living. Practically, this means some people feel ready to apply the same year they first contact us, while others take a few years to prepare. Please review the following goals and consider where you are on your path to JTS.
Learn modern Hebrew.
You will need the equivalent of at least two years of high-quality, university-level Hebrew to begin our program. We suggest that you seek out the best classes and tutors in modern Hebrew where you live, and contact us for a comprehensive list of our Hebrew Study Resources. You can also study at JTS for a summer or consider an ulpan in Israel.
K’neh l’kha chaver—קנה לך חבר—Find a study partner and keep learning.
Studying Jewish texts in a beit midrash is central to the JTS rabbinical education, so it’s important to have experience with classical Jewish texts before you begin. To support this learning, we’re proud to offer Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study in the JTS Beit Midrash. Other formal and informal opportunities emerge all the time and we can help you identify them. Making Torah study a fixture in your life is an important practice to establish on your path to rabbinical school.
Immerse yourself in Jewish communal life and practice.
Organize your life around Jewish time, expanding your practice to include mitzvot you’ve not previously adopted. Become familiar with the approach in Conservative and other traditional egalitarian communities. From scholarship to periodicals to community programs and classes, sharpen your insight into the concerns and developments in the contemporary American Jewish community.
Aseh l’cha rav—עשה לך רב—Find a rabbinic mentor (or mentors).
Reach out to a rabbi to ask questions, get reading lists, and receive practical guidance and instruction. Confer with rabbis in every role where you might find them. Find out what rabbis do all day.