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core semikha program

The core maharat semikha program

Taught over four years, the program combines the traditional Orthodox semikha curriculum focused on mastery of key sections of Jewish law with insightful pastoral education and practical rabbinic skills   To learn more about our internships, click here

the yeshiva trains students in


(a) Halakha and Gemara — The Belz Center for Halakhic Studies offers the classical skills required for p’sak halakha through mastery of relevant sections of Gemara, Rishonim, Tur, Beit Yosef, Shulkan Arukh and contemporary teshuvot.

(b) Pastoral Torah — Pastoral Torah is a specially designed curriculum that integrates Jewish text with a grounding in the range of mental health experienced in different life situations. Students gain psychological and spiritual insights enabling them to becoming effective spiritual counselors.


(c) Leadership Development — The Lindenbaum Center for 21st Century Rabbinic Leadership equips students with the entrepreneurial skills to drive growth and innovation in various organizations.


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 expertise of the following areas of Halakha: nidda, shabbat, kashrut, aveilut, geirut, berachot, tefila, beit k'nesset and moadim in the Belz Center for Halakhic Studies. Expertise is gained through immersion in the relevant sugyot from the Gemara as well as the sweep of Halakhic literature through the present day. Students are expected to amass a certain level of bi’kiut in reading Gemara as well as know how to learn in-depth.


pastoral torah


Pastoral Torah is a unique integrated pastoral, spiritual, and leadership training curriculum that employs Torah texts alongside contemporary social sciences to grapple with key issues of human life and development, while also developing leadership skills of Yeshivat Maharat students.  Over the course of a career in clergy, one will be called upon to tend to the sick, mediate marital and family disputes, and escort souls through the vicissitudes of life. Pastoral Torah creates a uniquely integrated rabbinate—a rabbinate that joins the head and the heart, that recognizes the life wisdom of Torah and the Torah roots of spirituality and pastoral care. The curriculum helps creates a 21st century spiritual leader that can confront 21st century issues that people face. 


Yeshivat Maharat’s curriculum combines pastoral education with Torah study to provide all essential tools of the future rabbi’s tool box, including: listening skills; showing, not only feeling, empathy; identifying one’s own judgments that may impede a constructive response to a given situation; and knowing when and how to refer to an outside resource. The foremost objective of Pastoral Torah is to help students develop their full potential as pastoral caregivers. There is a gaping need for this in the world of pastoral education; and there is a gaping need for a female spiritual presence in the Orthodox world. 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)

  • Chaplaincy training

leadership development


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. The Lindenbaum Center for 21st Century Rabbinic Leadership enables students to deepen their skills in homiletics, practical rabbinics, entrepreneurship, pedagogy, and adaptive leadership skills.

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