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, and enhanced with pastoral education and practical rabbinics -- including internships and chaplaincy -- with the goal of providing our students the necessary skills to be confident and compelling spiritual leaders in the Jewish community.
Halakha and Gemara
The Yeshiva trains students in both (a) classical skills required to be posekot –Gemara, Rishonim, Tur, Beit Yosef, Shulchan Aruch and contemporary teshuvot - and (b) pastoral Torah—required to be effective spiritual counselors. These two components are equal in importance and necessary for all graduates. Becoming a religious leader demands a high level of fluency in Halakhik literature as well as a well-developed sense of what it means to be present for another individual or the community at large.
Textual competencies require deep knowledge of the following areas of Halakha: Nidda, Shabbat, Kashrut, Aveilut, Beirut, Berachot, Tefila, Beit K'nesset, Moadim.
This type of understanding is gained through an immersion in the sugyot from the Gemara as well as the sweep of Halakhic literature to this 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. This type of appreciation is only possible to develop over the course of many years of learning.
Competence in Pastoral Torah requires integrating a compassionate presence with a broad education and a myriad of skills that are developed through both experiential and academic learning. The four-year curriculum combines clinical knowledge and Jewish text to help students identify and build resources to support the psychological phenomena that they are likely to encounter in their communal settings.
Visiting Scholar Opportunities and Internships
Outside the classroom, students are featured as Scholars-in-Residence at synagogues, participate in panel discussions, and engage in teaching opportunities. Yeshivat Maharat has a comprehensive internship placement program providing students with practical experienceworking in synagogues, schools, and communal organizations. Learning in the field will benefit both students and the community while also opening up communities to the idea of Orthodox women in spiritual leadership positions.
The Yeshiva staff is fully committed to advocating on behalf of graduates 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, high schools and community organizations:
- Congregation Shaar Hashomayim
- Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue
- B'nai David Judea
- Congregation Beth Israel
- Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
- Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
- Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah
- Midreshet Ein Prat
- Hartman Girls High School
- Mt. Freedom Jewish Center
- Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis