Gesher is the Hebrew word for bridge, and our Gesher program is a bridge toward matriculation.

Individuals who are deciding whether to pursue a full course of study leading to ordination or graduation may enroll in regular AJR courses as non-matriculated students for up to two trimesters. We encourage Gesher students to participate in AJR community activities including the fall Retreat and the spring Intensive. This experience allows inquiring students to determine whether AJR is the right learning environment for them. Credits taken as a Gesher student will count towards course requirements for those who matriculate.

“The depth and thoughtfulness of the approach to Jewish study at AJR drew me in after I sampled classes through the Gesher (non-matriculated) Program. After I matriculated, I began truly to appreciate how AJR’s commitment to pluralism also provides me with incredible breadth of learning. At every juncture, I have received loads of practical, spiritual and emotional support from the faculty. I feel blessed to be a part of AJR.”
– Dr. Rachel Posner, Rabbinical Student

Admission to the Gesher program is based upon an interview with the Dean of Admissions, and may include an interview if requested by the administration. All applicants must also take our Hebrew Placement Test.

Participation in the Gesher program does not represent admission to, or preference in admission to, the ordination or graduate programs. Those registering for classes understand and agree that AJR reserves and retains the right to refuse admission to our degree and ordination programs, regardless of the number of courses that a person has taken prior to matriculation. The Academy also reserves and retains the right to refuse to allow any person to register for any course and to refuse to allow any person to join any AJR event.