Application Procedures

Inquiries concerning admission to The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary are welcome at any time during the year. Please contact The Rabbinical School's Admissions Office at (212) 678-8817, rsadmissions@jtsa.edu, or via our contact form.

Every prospective student will have a preliminary discussion with Rabbi Joel Alter, our director of Admissions. We can arrange campus visits, which include classes, daily minyan, and personal meetings with students and faculty. After visiting the school, a candidate may be encouraged to submit a formal application.

APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2015 ARE DUE ON JANUARY 15, 2015. 

To Apply: COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION.

Applications Should Include:

ONLINE:

  • Submitted online application

EMAILED to rsadmissions@jtsa.edu:

  • Submission of application essays
  • Three recommendation letters. The online application includes a form for supplying the Office of Admissions with recommenders' names and contact information. Upon receipt of the online application, the Office of Admissions will send the named recommenders the appropriate form. Alternatively, applicants may direct their recommenders to this page to submit their recommendation independently. Applicants should seek out recommenders who can address their academic qualifications and professional, personal, and religious character. Any one recommendation may focus on a particular aspect of one's candidacy.
  • Completed Hebrew Placement Exam
  • Academic writing sample (generally not exceeding 5,000 words)
  • Digital photo

MAILED to JTS Office of Admissions:

  • Official transcripts of all postsecondary studies
  • Official scores on the GRE aptitude tests (Those whose native language is not English may take the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] instead.)
  • $65 application fee (payable by check or money order to The Jewish Theological Seminary).

PRIOR to the INTERVIEW:

Applicants who will be interviewed will take a Text Skills Exam to help us assess their readiness to commence Rabbinical studies. Information about this modest exam will be provided later in the process.

Our mailing address:

The Rabbinical School Office of Admissions
The Jewish Theological Seminary
3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

These materials need not be submitted all at once. While we prefer to receive the application form and fee in the fall, we are happy to receive the remaining items up to the January 15 deadline as they become available.

*The candidate should arrange for three or more academic, professional, and character references (PDF) to be submitted. All candidates who have attended another school at JTS within the last three years must include a letter of recommendation from the dean of that school.

AFTER SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION
The final stage of the application process occurs when the candidate, upon the approval of the Faculty Committee, is invited to meet with the Admissions Committee. These final interviews are generally scheduled at JTS in the first months of the year.

Placement Examinations:
Graduate-level Hebrew is needed to begin rabbinic training at JTS, so all applicants must take our Hebrew Placement Exam. Because enrolling students' prior experience in Jewish text study varies, placement exams in Bible with commentary and in Talmud will determine their placement in the curricular sequence. In discussion with the director of Admissions, applicants will determine whether to take their Bible and Talmud exams as part of their application process or upon admission (in preparation to begin their studies).

EXAM

STUDY GUIDE

HEBREW LANGUAGE

Candidates are required to have completed two semesters of college-level Hebrew prior to Year One. JTS's Hebrew Area administrators will give a placement test during the admissions process and verify placement during orientation.

Students entering Year One need to place into the equivalent of HEB 5301, as taught by JTS's Hebrew faculty.

BIBLE

(a) Mikra'ot Gedolot: Students are required to demonstrate the ability to translate biblical verses and short passages from selected medieval commentaries.

(b) Biblical Hebrew Proficiency: Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to recognize the significance of verb tense and aspect, word order, and vocalization in biblical Hebrew.

RABBINICS

Entering students will take a diagnostic exam to determine what level of Talmud is appropriate for initial placement.


LIST COLLEGE APPLICANTS
Students attending JTS's Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies who want to apply to The Rabbinical School are urged to speak with a dean or the director of Admissions of The Rabbinical School at the earliest possible opportunity. The dean will direct these students to the courses that will best prepare them for entry into The Rabbinical School. Applications from List College students will be considered on the same basis as the applications of students from other colleges.

TRANSFER FROM ANOTHER RABBINICAL SCHOOL
The five-year course of rabbinical studies at JTS may be shortened when an applicant has begun studies at another rabbinical school.