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Semikha Program Application

process and content

 

Whether semikha has been a life-long dream or a recently realized opportunity, we are excited to welcome you to the Yeshivat Maharat application process. The application process will enable us to get to know you and will also allow you to reflect on where you have been, your interests and passions, and where you would like to see yourself professionally. Prospective students who are not certain about pursuing semikha may also consider Yeshivat Maharat and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s joint Beit Midrash Program. The first stage of the application process is to schedule a conversation with Dr. Katie Light Soloway, Director of Recruitment and Admissions. Details for the entire process are below. 

 

Applications are due February 11, 2022 

 

  • Intake Conversation: Our students range in age and background, are committed to Orthodox Judaism, proficient in Jewish text study, and aspire to serve as clergy in a variety of settings. If you are interested in applying to Yeshivat Maharat, please contact our Director of Recruitment and Admissions, Dr. Katie Light Soloway at  klightsoloway@yeshivatmaharat.org to schedule a conversation. The link for accessing the written application will be shared with applicants following the intake conversation.
       

  • Written Application:  The written application for semikha programs consists of four essay questions: 

  1. Biographical narrative: Please reflect upon your spiritual autobiography from childhood until this point. Please consider and incorporate several of the following points: What people, institutions, and experiences have had the greatest impact on your Jewish identity? Which Jewish communities and ideologies have you explored? Who are your rabbinic role models and mentors? What books have stimulated your intellectual and spiritual growth? (500-750 words)

  2. Please describe an experience of kedusha in your life. (100-250 words)

  3. Please describe an experience where you were proud of the leadership skills you displayed and why. (100-250 words)

  4. Please share your professional vision. What are your professional goals in the rabbinate? What is your vision for the Jewish community and how do you see yourself actualizing that vision? What potential strengths and weaknesses do you bring to that leadership? (250-500 words)    

 

Please note: The application software does not have the capacity to save your entries while you are working on the application, only upon submission. Therefore, we recommend that you write your essays in another document and copy and paste them into the application when you are ready to submit.  

  • Supplementary Application Materials: In addition to essay questions, applicants are required to submit the following to admissions@yeshivatmaharat.org:

  1. A current resume      

  2. Two letters of reference: one personal and one professional/ academic. The applicant will need to provide the names and email addresses of the referrers in the written application. Admissions staff will then send a link to referrers to upload a letter of recommendation.      

  3. College transcripts and, if applicable, graduate coursework transcripts. If the applicant’s college or university charges for official transcripts, unofficial transcripts are acceptable.      

  4. Photo of applicant      

  5. Application fee of $50 payable here

  • Learning Skills Assessment (LSA): As part of a comprehensive application process, each admissions candidate will be evaluated on text skills. Once the written application is submitted, Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Jeff Fox will schedule an evaluation. Rabbi Fox will email one Gemara and one Halakha text to the candidate to prepare. The candidate will have 30 to 60 minutes to prepare the texts, and will then meet with Rabbi Fox on Zoom to learn through those texts. Applicants will be evaluated on their comprehension of language and terminology, argument structures, and related concepts external to the texts. Rabbi Fox will then recommend a placement level based on the applicant’s performance.  

  • Admissions Committee Interview: Once the completed application has been received and processed, the candidate will be invited to an interview with our Admissions Committee. 

Yeshivat Maharat is committed to training women to play a leading role in shaping the Jewish future.  Applicants recognized for their high potential and accepted to study at Maharat will receive a full scholarship that covers the cost of tuition, plus a living stipend. ​​

If you have any questions about the application process, are ready to schedule an initial conversation, and/or would like to visit classes either in-person or remotely, please email the Director of Recruitment and Admissions Dr. Katie Light Soloway at klightsoloway@yeshivatmaharat.org

If you have any questions regarding your application or supplemental materials, please email us at admissions@yeshivatmaharat.org.  

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