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The Rabbinic Pastor program (RAP) is a response to the needs of Jewish communities for gifted counselors and ritualists, and a response to the many extraordinary individuals who have a true calling to serve. Throughout the country, and also in Canada and Europe, we hear the plaint of the underserved smaller communities and havurot who need talented leadership but cannot attract or sustain a rabbi, while in larger congregations overtaxed rabbis burn out without assistance. Even with heroic effort one person cannot serve in every possible role. Hospitals and institutions also need chaplains, but few chaplains are Jews, for only a small percentage of rabbis choose chaplaincy as their career.

The Rabbinic Pastor Program reaches out to those whose spiritual longings and gifts draw them to serve in fields that are often associated with rabbinic work. The program stresses rigorous mentorship with rabbinic supervision and a curriculum that includes sophisticated pastoral and liturgical skills. It emphasizes Jewish literacy as well as ongoing personal spiritual and emotional development.

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.

We invite you to learn more about this program and its requirements by looking through these pages, emailing program director Rabbinic Chaplain Shulamit Fagan, and speaking with other students who are currently in the program or who have been ordained.


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