Rabbinical School Application Instructions

Application Instructions

Admissions Timeline
Priority application due date Jan. 15
Interview dates Mid-January to late March
Financial aid application (including 2016 taxes) and FAFSA due date March 1
Admissions decisions Within two weeks of interview
Financial aid award date Mid April
Accepted student response due date May 1

If you need an application deadline extension, please contact Rabbi Daniel Klein, director of admissions for the Rabbinical School. We are able to make accommodations on an individual basis, though financial-aid awards may be more limited for late applications.

Application Process

The first step of the application process is to assess whether the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College is the right place for you. We highly recommend you be in touch with Rabbi Klein to begin this process and plan a campus visit.

Once you have decided to apply, you will need to complete an application by Jan. 15. A full application includes the following:

  • Online application form 
  • Typewritten essays I and II
  • A completed Hebrew preliminary placement exam. Please contact Rabbi Daniel Klein to request a copy of the exam.  
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies from accredited academic institutions. Please have official copies of transcripts forwarded directly from the issuing institution. Electronic copies should be sent to admissions@hebrewcollege.edu and hard copies to the Office of Admissions, Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459.
  • An official score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (toefl) for all foreign students whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree from an accredited United States college or university.
  • Three or four letters of reference. For more information about references, click here. To submit a letter of reference electronically, please click here. A printable form may also be downloaded here, and mailed to the Office of Admissions.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $60 paid by credit card as part of the online application.

Qualified applicants are invited to campus for an interview. During your visit, you will meet with a committee of faculty and alumni, and visit classes. Candidates for Shanah Aleph will take an additional Hebrew placement exam.

Interviews take place from mid-January to late March. We will inform you of our admissions decision within two weeks of your interview.

Financial Aid

Information about our financial aid policies may be found here. If you are applying for financial aid, please complete the required forms and submit with your application materials by February 17. An application for financial aid does not in any way affect a candidate's application for admission.  

Letters of Reference

We strive to consider our applicants as holistically as possible. Recommendations are a crucial part of this process. We want to hear from individuals who know you well and who can offer a view into your academic qualifications, intellectual capacities, personal qualities, Jewish background and/or spiritual journey.

Please include at least one reference from a rabbi and one from an academic source. To submit a letter of reference electronically, please click here. A printable form may also be downloaded here, and mailed to the Office of Admissions.

Application Essays

Your responses to the application essay questions allow us to get to know you as an individual, a student, a Jew and a future rabbi. In addition, these essays give you an opportunity to articulate your views on a variety of topics in a relaxed manner. We want you to be yourself and honest in your essays.

Part I.  Please answer questions a, b and c in no more than 1500-2000 words total, for all three section combined.

  1. Why have you chosen to apply to become a rabbi? Discuss your intellectual, personal and spiritual development as well as life experiences, specific events and significant relationships that have led you to make this decision.

    Please include in this personal statement reflections on the following:

    1.  Your conception of and relationship with God
    2.  The evolution of your current Jewish practice
    3.  Your relationship to the Jewish people and Jewish history, including your relationship with Israel

  2. What do you find most compelling and most challenging about training for the rabbinate in a pluralistic context?
  3. As you imagine yourself both in rabbinical school and as a future rabbi, what are the strengths, weaknesses and fears that you bring with you?

Part II. Please answer one of the following questions in 1500 words or less:

  1. Reflect on a Torah passage that you have found meaningful or challenging. You may include classical and contemporary commentaries that have been helpful to you in understanding the text.
  2. Write a critical review of a book of Jewish or spiritual significance that you have read over the past year. What was significant about this book? Why would you recommend or not recommend it to another reader?


Rabbi Daniel Klein
Director of Admissions

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