New! Spirituality and Social Justice Leadership Program
Program and Individual Courses in Spirituality & Social Justice: For a World in Need of Healing and Hope
At the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, our commitment to the inner life is coupled with a deep and passionate sense of communal responsibility.
We live in a world that is deeply in need of Jewish clergy and leaders who can not only identify and address pressing issues and injustices, but also organize and inspire individuals and communities to bring forth transformative change.
Program Overview: Flexible Course Options
- The Spirituality and Social Justice Leadership Program is a graduate level program for students, clergy and professionals who are committed to making social justice a central element of their work. It provides a context to develop skills, sensitivities, and a network of support.
- For clergy, professionals and lay leaders already engaged in social justice endeavors, the program can further inform their work and provide the opportunity to study within our dynamic community of Rabbinical School students, faculty and other leaders in the field.
- For rabbinical students who wish to specialize in Jewish social justice work, or for those seeking congregational or campus positions, the program provides a solid foundation upon which they can strengthen their social justice skills and knowledge, as well as clearly demonstrate their commitment to this important work.
Students have the option to take individual courses based on interest, apply to the certificate program, or apply to the Rabbinical School and earn a specialization. At all levels of participation, students will learn and collaborate within a dynamic community of Hebrew College Rabbinical School faculty and students, students from outside the rabbinical school, and other leaders in the field.
The Inner Life and Social Justice Activism (Fall 2016 | Wednesdays 3:30-5:30 p.m.)
Rabbi David Jaffe, founder and principal of the Kirva Institute
This course will focus on the relationship between personal spirituality and strategies for social justice organizing and advocacy for transformative social change. Some of the specific areas of exploration will include humility, hope, integrity, and compassion.
Organizing Skills for Social Justice Leadership (Spring 2017 | Wednesdays 3:30-5:30 p.m.)
Meir Lakein, director, JOIN for Justice
Learn how to lead a community by focusing on the development of people, how to help your community develop a common mission and act on it, and how to work in an interfaith context to bring about social change that reflects Jewish values and the interests of the community. Sessions will be taught by experienced organizers and rabbis using these tools in congregational work, on campuses and in a variety of other settings.
Torah for Transformative Social Change (Fall 2017)
Rabbi Jane Kanarek, associate professor of rabbinics, Hebrew College
Students will develop skills in finding, translating, and teaching traditional sources, so that they can more effectively bring Torah to bear on contemporary social justice issues.
Models of Jewish Social Justice Leadership: Past, Present, and Future (Spring 2018)
Rabbi Or Rose, director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership, Hebrew College
This course will explore historical and contemporary models of Jewish social justice leadership – including Jewish involvement in various movements for social change – with an eye toward helping students develop their own visions for justice-oriented rabbinic and lay leadership.
Certificate & Specialization Track Requirements
Students who wish to earn a certificate in Spirituality and Social Justice Leadership or degree candidates who wish to earn a specialization in Spirituality and Social Justice Leadership must be accepted to the program and complete the following:
Certificate and Degree Specialization
|The Inner Life and Social Justice Activism||3|
|Organizing Skills for Social Justice Leadership||3|
|Torah for Transformative Social Change||3|
|Models of Jewish Social Justice Leadership: Past, Present, and Future||3|
|ADDITIONAL :Degree Specialization Only||Internship requirement at social justice organization||3|
|Two intensive retreats|
|Mentorship during first year in the field|
Credits may be transferable for students who wish to enroll in the certificate program after completing an individual course on a for-credit basis.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn from Hebrew College faculty as well as other leaders in the field, including:
- Rabbi David Jaffe, founder and principal of the Kirva Institute
- Meir Lakein, director, JOIN for Justice, Jewish Organizing Institute & Network
- Rabbi Jane Kanarek, associate professor of rabbinics, Hebrew College.
- Rabbi Or Rose, founding director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership
Application Requirements and Deadline
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university
- Deadline: Rolling Admission
* = Certificate program only
- Completed application and fee
- Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate study*
- One letter of recommendation*
- Two reflective essays*
- Interview: by phone or in-person*
We are deeply grateful to Nancy Belsky and The Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation for their vision and generosity in providing a multi-year grant to support this program.
Hebrew College Admissions
“Spiritual practice, study, and prayer are seen as an integral part of the search for social justice. Reflection and activism, compassion and courage, presence and purpose; all of these qualities and capacities must go hand in hand for rabbis who seek to address injustice and inspire meaningful change in our society and in our world.”
-Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, dean of the Rabbinical School.