Alongside these modules, students are expected to have a number of placements in congregations. During year 1 students will have two placements – 1. An teaching internship (one semester) and 2. an apprenticeship during the High Holy Days (HHD). During this apprenticeship students will be assigned to a rabbi to shadow their preparation work and service leading during the HHD period.

In years 2-5 students will be placed in a congregation during the HHD. In some instances this will be to lead services on their own in the community, in other instances it may be to do work specifically directed by a senior rabbinic colleague or movement representative.

In addition to HHD placements, in years 2 or 3 students have a short apprenticeship with a rabbi in a congregation. The apprenticeship lasts not longer than three months and consists, in essence, of “shadowing” the rabbi to whom the student is assigned. The usual apprenticeship consists of 10 “sessions” spread over three months. This apprenticeship will take place in either year depending on whether the student participates in the Israel semester.

In years 4 & 5 students will be placed in congregations for the entire year. Students are expected to complete, on average, 8 sessions in year 4 and 12 sessions in year 5 for each of the 10 months at their placement.

In general, students will be placed under the tutelage of a senior rabbi, who can supervise their work during the year 4 Internship. During year 5 students may be on their own or working as part of a team at a larger community. Where students are on their own in a congregation, in general it is the responsibility of the movement that hosts them to ensure adequate support, although the Van der Zyl Head of Vocational Studies or the Dean may also provide some limited support.

In addition, each student will be offered to be supported by a mentor. It is envisaged that the mentor will continue to be available for the student for the first two years post-Ordination, or longer as mutually agreed.

Years Apprenticeships, Internships and Placements
First Year
  1. High Holy Day Apprenticeship
  2. Teaching Internship
Second Year
  1. High Holy Day Placement
  2. Rabbinic Apprenticeship*
Third Year
  1. High Holy Day Placement
  2. Placement – Jewish Care/Norwood Programme
  3. Rabbinic Apprenticeship*
Fourth Year
  1. High Holy Day Placement
  2. Rabbinic Internship
Fifth Year
  1. High Holy Day Assignment
  2. Rabbinic Secondment (Congregational, Movement or other)

* An apprenticeship is taken either in second or third year.