The Rabbinical School's Year-in-Israel Program at a Glance
Beit Midrash in Israel
• The Jewish Theological Seminary has long required students of The Rabbinical School to spend a year of their studies in Jerusalem. In the Year-in-Israel Program, students have the opportunity to improve their proficiency in Modern Hebrew, strengthen their textual skills in Jewish studies, build connections to Israel's Masorti (Conservative) Movement, and develop a sophisticated personal and professional relationship to the State of Israel. The Year-in-Israel Program is overseen by JTS director of Israel Programs, Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz.
• The Israel program is headquartered at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, our sister school, and there our students study a core curriculum of Hebrew, Talmud, halakhah, and two courses related to the ancient and modern history of Israel. The courses explore two themes of the Beit Midrash curriculum: 'Am Yisra'el U-Mo'adav (the People of Israel and its Calendar) and Brit Yisra'el V'Ha'Amim (Israel's Covenant and the Nations).
• Each semester, our students also take electives in Jewish Studies drawn from the MA catalog at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. During spring semester, they have the opportunity to study Israel Education with The Davidson School's Kesher Hadash participants.
• Students from The Rabbinical School, along with students from the American Jewish University's Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, also take part in an Israel seminar, the Joint Israel Experiential Program, which includes lectures at the Schocken Institute for Jewish Research and extended tiyulim (hikes) to northern and southern Israel. The yearlong program seeks to deepen understanding and commitment to Israel through the rich prism of viewpoints on politics, civil religion, and the individual's role in the Zionist endeavor. More than just assisting rabbinical students to envision the textured reality of Israel, the goal of this curriculum is to help them turn inward, facilitating the clarification and articulation of their own personal relationship to the State of Israel.