Pluralism. Scholarship. Community.

Since its founding in 1956 as a rabbinical school, the Academy for Jewish Religion has been at the forefront of pluralistic rabbinic and cantorial training.

Latest Torah

by Rabbi Cantor Inna Serebro-Litvak ('16)

There is a beautiful place in the Ayalon Valley - west of Jerusalem - just 25 km away. It is called Latrun. The name Latrun may have been derived from “Le Toron des Chevaliers,” the name of a Crusader castle that once stood there. In modern times the hill is best known as the site of an important battle during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.

by Dr. Yakir Englander

Anyone who has spent several days in the desert knows the nighttime there—the human need to stay close to the nearby camp.

by Rabbi Rena H. Kieval ('06)

“Why? Because, I said so!” Many of us heard those words as children, when we questioned something we were told to do. The reason given was, “Because I said so!” We ourselves may have said those words, as parents or teachers, in our roles as authority figures. This week’s parashah, Behukotai, is named for hukkim, the rules mentioned in the opening verse. According to rabbinic tradition, hukkim are statutes for which there is no rationale. We are to obey them “because God said so.”  The sages of the Talmud note, “And you shall keep my statutes (hukkotai; Leviticus 18:4)” refers to rules which may be challenged, because the reasons for them are not known. They cite a list of examples of such hukkim, including the prohibition against eating pork, against wearing shatnez (garments of diverse fabrics), and the scapegoat of the Yom Kippur Read More >

by Rabbi Susan Elkodsi (AJR '15)

Sylvia, z”l, passed away Erev Pesah at almost 100 years old. Although her loyalty was to the Valley Stream Jewish Center and Rabbi Yechiel, she often told me that I was her “favorite female rabbi.” She was intelligent and thoughtful, often adding her own “midrash” to our texts. She was raised to fight for civil rights, women’s rights and peace, and raised her children the same way. Her insights always added to our discussions.

This Week @ AJR

Monday, Jun 17
  • Student Association Meetinng
    Monday, Jun 17 @ 12:10 pm EDT - 12:45 pm EDT
    Zoom 9

  • Minhah 3:30 – 3:50PM EST
    Monday, Jun 17 @ 3:30 pm EDT - 3:50 pm EDT
    Zoom 9

Tuesday, Jun 18
  • Minhah 3:30 – 3:50
    Tuesday, Jun 18 @ 3:30 pm EDT - 3:50 pm EDT
    Zoom 9

Wednesday, Jun 19
  • Juneteenth Program
    Wednesday, Jun 19 @ 12:10 pm EDT - 12:45 pm EDT
    Zoom 9

  • Minhah 3:30 – 3:50PM EST
    Wednesday, Jun 19 @ 3:30 pm EDT - 3:50 pm EDT
    Zoom 9

Thursday, Jun 20
  • Open Discussion Thursdays: An Opportunity to Talk about the Current Climate
    Thursday, Jun 20 @ 12:10 pm EDT - 12:45 pm EDT

I am interested in…