The Academy admits students with varying levels of ritual proficiency. During their years of study, students will acquire crucial liturgical skills. These include leading the various services of the Jewish year and the appropriate cantillations of various biblical texts. Students entering a rabbinate open to all streams of Jewish life must be proficient in a wide array of these skills. Students will be required to demonstrate their competence in Ritual Skills by oral examination. No Advanced Standing may be earned by rabbinical students in the area of Ritual Skills. For a list of the required Ritual Skills, see here.
All students in AJR’s regular Rabbinic ordination track (i.e., not Cantors to Rabbis) who have not already earned a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies (or a related field) for which they wrote a thesis or completed a Master’s Project are required to complete AJR’s Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies. The required credits for AJR’s Master’s Degree are built into the curriculum of the regular Rabbinic ordination track and AJR will continue to transfer credits from all prior graduate level work to fulfill AJR course requirements as applicable. Thus, the Master’s Project is the only additional element required to earn AJR’s Master’s Degree beyond the 140 credits that are part of the regular Rabbinic Program + MA curriculum. Details about the Master’s Project can be found in the Academic Catalog.