||Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
|Director & Dean:
||Rabbi Marcia Prager
|Board of Directors of Study:
||Rabbi Samuel Barth, Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Rabbinic Pastor Shulamit Fagan, Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg, Rabbi Victor Gross, Rabbi Nadya Gross, Hazzan Jack Kessler, Rabbi Daniel Siegel, Rabbi Steven Silvern, Rabbi Shohama Wiener, Rabbi Shawn Zevit (brief bios may be found here)
The ALEPH Rabbinic Program is a non-denominational, highly decentralized program of learning which offers structured guidance and mentorship in pursuing the rigorous studies and practica which can culminate in rabbinic ordination. We are proud that approximately 80 rabbis and scholars from across the denominational spectrum participate in diverse aspects of the training of over 50 students from the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia. Our core faculty includes rabbis and educators known for their scholarship, spiritual depth, passion and creativity. The Rabbinic Program is joined by the Cantorial Program, and the Rabbinic Pastor Program which prepares Jewish Rabbinic Pastors to provide spiritual direction, support, and counseling in chaplaincy and congregational settings.
The ALEPH Rabbinic Program is open to students of diverse backgrounds and from every denomination, either as a supplement to their current or completed studies in another rabbinical seminary, or as their primary location for preparation for an active rabbinate.
The ALEPH Rabbinic Program blends a variety of modalities of learning, including our own retreats, seminars and tele/video-conference courses, along with other distance learning programs and courses and coursework undertaken in universities, colleges, synagogues and seminaries to which a student has access, supervised by each student's Director of Studies. Students in the ALPEH Rabbinic Program program are called upon both to master Jewish text and traditional modalities of learning and prayer, and to engage their creativity in the exploration of new ritual, art, music and prayer. Active engagement in the unique Jewish Renewal approaches to spirituality, celebration, prayer, learning, community-building and tikkun olam brings students and prospective applicants to the forefront of Jewish creative life.
The ALEPH Rabbinic Program is built upon the pioneering work of the visionary catalyst of Jewish renewal, and ALEPH founder, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Growing out of the process whereby he trained and ordained a close circle of talmidim in the late 1970's and 1980's, the ALEPH Rabbinic Program has emerged as a substantial and well regarded seminary.
The Purpose and Goal of the ALEPH Rabbinic Program
The foundation and center of the Rabbinic Program is the Mystery we name God. We understand Judaism to be the individual and collective responses of Jews throughout our history, both in thought and deed, to the ongoing manifestations of the Divine. In studying religious texts, Jewish history, and the visions and values of our spiritual leaders, we are concerned with how the Divine has been and is now being revealed through Jewish experience. And we are equally concerned with how we—as individuals and as communities—respond to Divine revelations in our solitude, in our relationships and in our work.
We expect students to become masters of tradition, in continuous dialogue with our ancestors. But we keep in mind the teaching of the Ba'al Shem Tov: "We say, 'Eloheynu v'elohey avoteynu' (and now imoteynu) in that order because our first concern is with how we experience the Divine." We have faith that the still, small Voice will direct our students in each present moment – as we continually experience Divine direction - im b'kolo tish'ma-u, if we choose to hear. We pray that they listen, and in their pursuit of Torah, learn how they are being called to the task of integrating spiritual and moral treasures from our heritage into their own lives, that they become messengers to those who seek to drink from the Living Water. Keyn y'hi ratzon.
Our work is the spiritual renewal of Judaism. Jewish tradition has remained spiritually vibrant throughout millennia of sweeping economic, social, intellectual and political changes because of the astonishing creativity of the Jewish people. We place ourselves firmly within that tradition of creativity, renewal and change which is as central to our people as is our deep loyalty to the traditions of the past. Our work reflects a commitment to egalitarian and participatory models of community, and an affirming ecumenical spirit grounded in familiarity with, and respect for, the wisdom of other spiritual traditions as well. Rabbis completing this program will be Jewish teachers and leaders, artists, healers, and spiritual guides who model a life-path of personal growth and self-awareness A decision to apply to this program should emanate from a deep desire to heal our planet, to build new models of community, to live a deeply spiritual Jewish life, to serve the Jewish people and to reach towards God.
The Board of Directors of Study (the Va'ad) endorses the
ETHICS STATEMENT OF THE VAAD OF THE ALEPH ORDINATION PROGRAMS and requires teachers in our ordination programs to provide the Dean with
a STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE. Additionally, the Va'ad encourages all of our students to obtain a
STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE (downloadable in .pdf form) from each of their teachers who are not associated with our ordination programs.
Membership in OHaLaH ALEPH
Rabbinical students are eligible for membership in OHaLaH: Agudat HaRabbanim L'Hithadshut HaYahadut – Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal. This pan-denominational rabbinical association provides continuing education, professional support, ethical guidance and supervision, and collegial fellowship for qualifying rabbis, cantors and rabbinic pastors. http://www.ohalah.org
Program of Study
4 Worlds - 7 Midot