VIII. The Curriculum of the Rabbinical School
- The Israel year consists of an intensive ulpan that helps the students gain proficiency in Modern Hebrew, both spoken and
written, and in the idiom of the biblical and rabbinic periods. While the emphasis is upon linguistic usage, formal grammar
is also included. The ulpan begins in July, except for those students with sufficient proficiency upon admission to postpone
their entry into the ulpan until September. Successful completion of the Year-In-Israel program entitles the student to
continue into the second year of studies.
- In addition to the ulpan, students deepen their understanding of Israel, the land, and its people, through a program of
guided tours, meeting with Israeli leaders, and community projects. Courses in liturgy and modern Judaism are also given to
introduce the student to the thought and practice of the Reform movement.
- The Rabbinical School on the Cincinnati Campus. The Rabbinical School curriculum comprises three areas of academic
- The MAHL program consists of foundational courses that examine the language and literature of a variety of disciplines,
and different critical approaches to those disciplines. These courses (listed as 400 level courses) are generally taken
during the second and third rabbinical years.
The required foundation courses for the degree of Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters are:
- The post-MAHL program consists of advanced courses that are generally taken in the fourth and fifth rabbinical years.
Ten of these courses (listed as 500 level courses in the Course of Study) are in prescribed areas (three in Bible; four in
Rabbinical Literature; one each in Hebrew Literature, Ethical Literature, and History). Students must enroll in seven 500 or
600 level courses (non-prescribed electives) in addition to the ten 500 level courses described above.
- The Professional Development program (listed as PDE courses in the Course of Study) introduces students to the skills,
practice and theories of Jewish education, pastoral counseling, and homiletics. In addition, PDE courses provide forums for
the discussion of issues that confront the contemporary rabbi and the Reform Jewish community. Whenever possible, PDE
courses include a clinical learning component.
Students must enroll in seven prescribed PDE courses during their four years of study in Cincinnati:
PDE 401 - Rabbinic Workshop in Worship and Ritual (2nd year)
PDE 402 - Education: Principles of Effective Teaching (2nd year)
PDE 403- Homiletics (3rd year)
PDE 404 - Introduction to Human Relations (3rd year)
PDE 405 - Clinical Pastoral Education (or its equivalent)
PDE 406 - Leadership (4th year)
PDE 407- Senior Seminar (5th year)
- Additional Items
- Each rabbinical student will deliver two sermons in the HUC-JIR chapel, one each during the fourth year and fifth
years. Fourth year students will also participate in the Sermon Workshop.
- Each student must serve a bi-weekly student pulpit (or its equivalent) for at least one year and participate in
the Mayerson Mentoring Program during the first year of bi-weekly service.
- Each student enrolled in Cincinnati prior to the 2004-2005 academic year must pass the Bible 401/402 Hebrew
Examination before ordination unless s/he passes HEB402/403.
- The professional development chugim are required for ordination and are counted towards the free electives.
These chugim do not meet every week, and are intended to strengthen students' pulpit skills.