Students spend five years at the College training for the rabbinate. The depth and intensity of the programme is a reflection of the centrality of the College in the life of the Progressive Jewish world in the UK and Europe. From the Progressive perspective, Judaism and Jewish religious culture are continually evolving and developing. The burden of the direction of this evolutionary development is carried to a very large extent by the rabbis – traditionally the spiritual leaders of the community. Therefore rabbinic formation needs to be rich and diverse and necessarily encompasses many disciplines.
General criteria for admissions:
- Appropriate motivation for undertaking the rabbinic programme
- Academic ability to complete the programme
- Willingness and potential to grow and develop through the programme
- Religious commitment and personal integrity
- Dedication to the principles of Progressive Judaism
- Intellectual maturity
Specific criteria for admissions
- Prospective students must have achieved Ulpan Level Beit* by the time they are accepted for interview following their application to the College. All students must have completed Ulpan Level Gimmel* by the start of their first academic year.
- Award of a BA degree of a good standard (2:1 or higher) or the academic equivalent.
- Students must be willing to spend time in a programme in Israel.
- Prospective students must have Jewish status, as recognised by a Beit Din of the Liberal, Masorti or Reform rabbinate or an Orthodox Beit Din and to have held that status for a minimum of five years prior to entry.
- Prospective students must provide the names of two referees one of which should preferably be their community rabbi. Rabbis serving Leo Baeck College as faculty members may fulfil this role in exceptional circumstances.
- Prospective students must be a minimum of 21 years of age at the time of application.
- Prospective students are expected to have been active in Jewish community life prior to application. They must demonstrably live a committed and active Jewish life, personal and either synagogal or some other Jewish grouping, according to the following criteria:
- Membership of a local Liberal, Reform or Masorti Synagogue, or if from the USA, Reform, Reconstructionist or Conservative Synagogue, or European equivalent
- Regular attendance at Shabbat, Festival and High Holy Day services
- Regular home observance of the major festivals and occasions in the Jewish year
- Engagement with educational programmes organised within a local synagogue or in the wider Jewish community
- Involvement in at least one Social Action project or similar activity within the ambit of the Jewish community
- Prospective students for whom English is not a first language must obtain a minimum level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF) or level 6 International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Following admission to the College, prospective students will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (previously CRB), either centrally or by the first congregation they work for, as they will be working with children and vulnerable adults in congregations.
*The level of Modern Hebrew (level Beit and Gimmel) follows standards defined by the ulpan run at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Haifa University.
The structure of the Rabbinic Programme is as follows:
(One Semester, unless otherwise indicated)
|Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies 1 (Level 6)
|Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies 2 (Level 6)
|Postgraduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies (Level 7)
|M.A. in Applied Rabbinic Theology (Level 7)
* Assessed as part of the degree course. For module descriptors please refer to the Course Handbook for the MA in Applied Rabbinic Theology
** The apprenticeship is taken either in year 2 or
*** a full half day for both semesters, equivalent to two full year modules)
This is an intensive programme requiring students to attend College up to four days a week, in addition to apprenticeships, internships and placements.