Personal Reflections on This Year’s Ordination

June 22, 2010 | Filed in: News

By Rabbi Jeff Hoffman, Rabbi-in-Residence

A few days before the most recent AJR Ordination ceremony, I experienced the wide-angled perspective that results from observing the browns, greens and whites of mountains, farmland and ice-fields from 35,000 feet up. I was returning from a brief trip to Israel. During and following Ordination, I experienced it again as I looked at each of the ordinees in a new way. I saw them as much, much more than students who had completed their oral and written comprehensives, their senior projects, their required courses, fieldwork, and so on. The way they had prepared for the ceremony in recent days  “  including a  œspontaneous  visit to the Mikveh for the women  “ and interacted on the stage  “ again, spontaneously, covering their heads with their tallitot, having their presenters first announce them with their new titles in Hebrew  “ pointed to spiritual depth and esprit de corps that can t be tested by any objective instrument.

Since the Ordination, I have been overwhelmed with the soaring intensity of experiencing ten lives changed in such profound ways.

The term  œlife-changing  is not an exaggeration when applied to AJR s Ordination ceremony held on Thursday, May 13th, 2010. The lives of eight rabbis and two cantors  “ all newly minted  “ were certainly changed on that day. The ceremony centers around the stories of each individual student in a way that is rarely experienced in the seminary- or university-world.

To read about this year’s graduates, click here.