Maharat is a Hebrew acronym which represents the core values of Maharat as an institution and of our graduates.
MANHIGUT מנהיגות LEADERSHIP
HALAKHA הלכה JEWISH LAW
RUCHANIYUT רוחניות SPIRITUALITY
TORAH תורה JEWISH TEXT
Maharat was founded in 2009 as the first yeshiva to ordain women to serve as Orthodox clergy, after the ordination of Rabba Sara Hurwitz by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. By providing a credentialed pathway for women to serve as clergy, we increase the community’s ability to attract the best and brightest into the ranks of its rabbinic leadership. In addition, by expanding the leadership to include women, we seek to enliven the community at large with a wider array of voices, thoughts and perspectives.
Now in its 14th year, Maharat has graduated 58 women who are serving as clergy in synagogues, schools, hospitals, universities and Jewish communal institutions. There are 60 more students in the pipeline preparing to change the landscape of Orthodox Judaism and the community at large.
View and download our Strategic Plan for 2021-2024 HERE
Maharat ordains women with semikha so they may serve Jewish communities as fully credentialed spiritual and halakhic leaders. Ordination is granted after a rigorous course of study and demonstrated command of Jewish law, Talmud, Torah, Jewish thought, leadership and pastoral counseling. Graduates of Maharat are conferred with “toreh toreh” – a decisor of Jewish law, giving psak halakha. We encourage our graduates
to use the professional title most appropriate to them, in consultation with the communities they serve.
Our graduates are impacting thousands of Jews through teaching, delivering sermons, answering sensitive halakhic and ethical questions, officiating at lifecycle events, and providing pastoral counseling. Over 50 communities have benefitted from our students and graduates, including shuls, schools, Hillels and communal organizations.
Our students and graduates can be found giving divrei Torah and teaching, officiating at weddings and funerals, counseling couples in times of need, visiting patients and families in hospitals, standing next to women as they say kaddish or supporting a new mother during her son’s bris.