Yeshivat Maharat Semikha Program
The four-year Yeshivat Maharat Semikha Program combines a traditional Orthodox ordination curriculum focused on mastery of the texts of Jewish law with a robust pastoral education and practical rabbinics program, with the goal of providing our students the necessary skills to be confident and compelling spiritual leaders in the Jewish community.
The Yeshiva trains students in:
(a) Halakha and Gemara - classical skills required to be posekot through mastery of relevant portions of Gemara, Rishonim, Tur, Beit Yosef, Shulchan Aruch and contemporary teshuvot
(b) Pastoral Torah- skills and experience required to be effective spiritual counselors
(c) Leadership Development - fostering the capacity and influence to engage 21st century Jews, including skills in practical rabbinics, entrepreneurship and pedagogy
The combination of these three components positions our graduates to serve as forward-thinking, visionary religious leaders who are grounded and fluent in Halakhic literature and also have a well-developed sense of what it means to be present for another individual or the community at large.
Halakha and Gemara
Students attain deep knowledge of the following areas of Halakha: Nidda, Shabbat, Kashrut, Aveilut, Geyrut, Berachot, Tefila, Beit K'nesset and Moadim.
Expertise is gained through immersion in the relevant sugyot from the Gemara as well as the sweep of Halakhic literature through the present day. The only way to achieve proficiency in Halakha is to master the reading of Gemara. Students are expected to amass a certain level of bi’kiut in reading Gemara as well as know how to learn in-depth, a level of capability that is only possible to develop over the course of many years of learning.
Our multi-faceted Pastoral Torah curriculum prepares students to integrate a compassionate presence with clinical knowledge and pastoral skills to address the many and complicated scenarios and phenomena that clergy face in their work. The components of the program include:
Course 1: Understanding Mental Disorders and Conditions of Psychological Distress (2 year course)
Course 2: Life Cycles, Jewish Rituals, and Psychological Development across the Lifespan (2 year course)
Course 3: Pastoral Case Studies (4 years, runs concurrently with courses 1 and 2 )
Process Group (4 years)
Serving 21st century communities as a spiritual leader requires an ability to think creatively, manage effectively, deliver inspiring divrei Torah, teach thoughtful and informative classes, and lead lifecycle and other events in the life of a congregant. Our leadership curriculum includes homiletics, practical rabbinics, entrepreneurship, pedagogy, and adaptive leadership skills.
Internships and VISITING SCHOLAR OPPORTUNITIES
Yeshivat Maharat has a comprehensive internship placement program, providing students with practical experience working in synagogues, schools, and communal organizations. Learning in the field benefits both students and the community while also opening up communities to the idea of Orthodox women in spiritual leadership positions. In addition to their internships, students are often featured as Scholars-in-Residence at synagogues, participate in panel discussions, and engage in teaching opportunities.
Current and past internship placements include:
The Yeshiva staff is fully committed to advocating on behalf of graduating students and alumnae to place them in positions of leadership in synagogues, schools, university campuses, and Jewish organizations. Our graduates are serving as clergy at the following synagogues, day schools and community organizations: