Rabbis, like all clergy in the 21st century, play complex and demanding roles. At RRC, we take seriously the mandate to foster among students a rabbinical identity that integrates dedication to the Jewish people, knowledge and skills, spiritual maturity, strong interpersonal skills, integrity and other traits of fine moral character, and a commitment to the responsibilities they will be assuming in clergy practice.
Students develop knowledge and skills through (1) a variety of core courses and electives covering Jewish texts, history and thought; (2) practical rabbinics courses on such topics as pastoral counseling, ritual leadership, community organizing, education and Jewish ethics; (3) supervised field experience, including student pulpits, campus work, chaplaincy, Jewish education and community organizing; and (4) participation in a broad range of co-curricular programs including workshops, lectures and committee work.
Students are encouraged to use their years at RRC to develop spiritual maturity, to build moral character and to cultivate interpersonal skills. They have the opportunity to participate in RRC’s innovative spiritual direction program and in Mussar (Jewish ethical teachings) experiences. Opportunities for communal worship and religious expression abound in and around the RRC community, enriched by the diverse liturgical styles and religious practices of its students and faculty. Hevrutah study (partnered study) encourages the development of intimate and fruitful relationships with others. Each student works closely with an advisor to develop a custom learning plan. The advising relationship is meant to allow each student to determine the “rabbi” that they will grow into in their years at the College.
RRC’s commitment to egalitarianism, inclusiveness, participatory decision making and a vibrant Bet Midrash enables students to cultivate interpersonal skills and build character. RRC emphasizes teaching students how to listen, how to let people be heard and how to involve them in decision making. By encouraging and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community, RRC enables students to explore and appreciate a variety of Jewish identities and expressions. The appreciation of our diversity equips RRC’s graduates to see the holiness in those they will come to serve and to be open to the varieties of contemporary Jewish expressions and identities.