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Field Experience

The College makes it a priority to help students experience some of the wide range of professional roles they may choose from, or create, after graduation.

Most opportunities for field experience fall into five categories:
Campus placements
Chaplaincy and CPE
Organizational work
Congregational placements
Education

Some opportunities (including those with synagogues, hospitals and elder-care facilities, campus Hillels and such organizations as the American Jewish World Service) correspond to our Special Programs in Practical Rabbinics. Other field venues—such as day schools, youth programs and summer camps—focus on education.

The director of rabbinic formation is available to help you find and succeed in field work.

Read a list of recent student jobs and internships.

Campus Placements
You can gain valuable experience as a campus professional at an area college or university, filling a role such as Jewish student advisor or educator. Some of these positions are developed and supervised jointly with Hillel of Greater Philadelphia. In these roles, you can learn about facilitating Jewish learning, social and cultural programming, religious expression, social justice work and more. Through work experience and supervision, campus interns learn about the particular challenges of fostering Jewish presence on campus and Jewish identity among students.

Chaplaincy and CPE
You will find a range of opportunities for supervised fieldwork in chaplaincy. Helping the sick and the elderly are only two forms. Community organizations also look for Jewish chaplains who can tend to the needs of underserved populations such as immigrant communities, people living with HIV-AIDS and boarding home residents. 

In addition, we offer credits for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and opportunities for funding support (the John Bliss Scholarships) to individuals who undertake this rigorous course of training.

Organizational Work
The College offers opportunities for you to work as an employee or intern in a variety of Jewish community organizations, where you assist with programming, planning, education or administration. RRC students have served local agencies such as federations and community centers as well as local and national orgaizations.  Some students have pursued personal goals (such as helping to promote reproductive rights) as part of their community work. 

Congregational Placements
RRC can help place you in an area congregation for the High Holidays or for a weekend internship. These are paid positions for students who have significant training and skill.  For less experienced students, we offer the Rabbinic Mentorship Program. The mentorship program provides practical, supervised experiences that familiarize you with the day-to-day life of congregational rabbis, and also acquaints you with the religious practices in flourishing Reconstructionist communities.

You may have the opportunity to work with an RRC graduate and take small, supervised roles in congregational activities, usually for a total of five weekend visits. Or you may have the opportunity to assist some congregations with other needs, such as serving as a scholar in residence for a special weekend or leading a workshop during a congregational retreat. 

Education
RRC students teach pupils of every age, from pre-school through retirement. You might teach religious school or adult education classes or tutor b'ney mitzvah students. Frequently our students serve as synagogue education directors, provide family education or oversee children's services. With many Jewish schools nearby, RRC can offer a wide array of educational placements in settings that may be Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, secular or unaffiliated.