AJR rabbis and cantors build communities.


As the Jewish world changes and our clergical roles contract, expand, and evolve, cantors often find themselves wishing they had the tools to fulfill all that is being asked of them as spiritual leaders. Some feel the desire to learn more – add text study, Talmud, history, and homiletics. The reasons can be complex, the outcomes wide-ranging, but the one unifying feeling is the sense of wanting to serve in a fulfilling and productive way.

The Academy for Jewish Religion is proud to offer cantors the opportunity to add rabbinic ordination to their already impressive mastery of nusah, tefillah, and all that goes with cantorial ordination or investiture.

Course Requirements

The Cantors to Rabbis track of the Rabbincal Program requires a minimum of 52 credits. In addition, students are responsible for taking the four comprehensive exams required of rabbincal students and for fulfilling the requisite Ritual Skills requirement. Students in this track who have not already completed an M.A. in Jewish Studies or in a Jewish field will also need to complete the AJR M.A. in Jewish Studies, including a Master’s Project, as part of their program.

Course requirements assume significant competency in areas such as Hebrew, Liturgy, and professional skills. Proficiency will be evaluated on an individual basis. If necessary, students may be required to take additional courses.

Distance Learning

AJR offers the opportunity for people from around the world to pursue their dream of becoming Jewish clergy without needing to uproot themselves. All required classes are offered via Zoom and ordination students are only required to gather in person at an offsite location twice a year for our multiday communal events in the fall and spring trimesters. For those who wish to take some courses in person at the AJR campus, we regularly offer an onsite intersession course option, together with an online option, in between each of the three terms.

Scholarship Opportunity

A special scholarship for students enrolled in the Cantors to Rabbis track discounts the part-time tuition to $980 per credit. Students considering full-time study should contact the office for more information.