We require that some students complete one preparatory year of study before they are admitted to the five-year core program. The Mekhinah year is for students who, although lacking in some of the skills required to begin rabbinical study, have excellent potential for service to the Jewish people. To be admitted to the Mekhinah year, a student must demonstrate Hebrew proficiency equivalent to one year of college-level study, as determined by a placement exam taken in conjunction with the admissions interview.
In addition to Hebrew language, Mekhinah-year students learn about traditional Jewish practices—the halakhah of customs, ceremonies, life-cycle events and calendar—and participate in a learners' minyan. After successfully completing the Mekhinah year, students qualify to continue in the College's five-year rabbinical training program.