Hebrew College has introduced two new ordination programs designed to prepare rabbis and cantors for leadership in 21st-century Judaism.
The Cantorial Ordination for Spiritual and Educational Leadership is a first-of-its-kind program that will lead to cantorial ordination in just three years, rather than the customary five.
The Rav-Hazzan (Rabbi-Cantor) program will award both rabbinic and cantorial ordination through a blended five- or six-year curriculum that leverages the expertise and resources of both the Rabbinical School and the School of Jewish Music.
Each program will enroll its first cohort in fall 2015.
The accelerated cantorial ordination program, which will replace the college’s current five-year model, is notable for its reworked curriculum that combines traditional Jewish text and liturgy with innovative musical and spiritual training. For example, students will be taught how to drum within a Jewish context – a skill designed to enhance prayer services with percussion.
The program will consist of six semesters of classes plus two intensive eight-week summer institutes. The accelerated format will result in significant cost savings to students and allow them to transition more quickly to the job market.
The Rav-Hazzan program is structured to provide students with the broad range of skills and knowledge they will need to take on multiple spiritual-leadership responsibilities at congregations and other Jewish settings. Students will maintain a solid footing in both the Rabbinical School and the School of Jewish Music throughout their matriculation; for example, while studying in Israel with their rabbinic cohort during Year 3 of the program, students will continue their cantorial classes online or with Israeli-based instructors.
“As more cantors are being asked to fill not only educational and musical roles but pastoral roles as well, and more rabbis are being asked to take on the musical leadership of their congregation, the next logical programmatic step was the incorporation of musical education with rabbinic training,” said Cantor Brian Mayer, dean of the School of Jewish Music.
For more information, visit www.hebrewcollege.edu.