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Student Employment and Field Experience

1. General Information
The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College provides a variety of services to support students as they gain professional skills through student employment and field experience. The office of student development organizes a student placement service that enables students to find employment and fieldwork that supports their growth as future rabbis. The vice president for student development is available to support students in their search for jobs as well as their exploration of long-term goals and their development of professional skills. The fieldwork supervisors also play an important role in helping students cultivate a vision for their future rabbinate.  RRC faculty help students identify learning goals and areas for growth and support students in their rabbinic identity formation.

RRC strives to make paid employment opportunities available in a wide range of settings.  Employment opportunities give students hands-on training in different types of rabbinic roles, including congregational work, chaplaincy, college campus work, Jewish and multifaith organizational work, social justice organizing, educational work and lifecycle officiation.  Additional volunteer opportunities are made available and managed by the director of student life.

The vice president for student development and fieldwork supervisors are available to help students with questions and concerns about finding employment and field experience. Students are encouraged to meet individually with the vice president for student development for assistance with professional skills (including writing a resume and cover letter, interviewing and contract negotiation) and with the practical rabbinics faculty concerning specific skill development for the actual fieldwork positions (e.g., liturgy skills, teaching skills, officiation at life-cycle rituals).  RRC aims to work in partnership with students’ employers, and each employer is asked to provide an annual written evaluation of the student’s work, which is shared with the student. 

The office of student development is responsible for recruiting and interacting with potential employers and posting job and internship opportunities of all types. The assistant vice president for student development informs potential employers about RRC’s placement procedures, provides models of different types of fieldwork opportunities, guides employers in the development of each position and suggests an appropriate compensation amount, according to RRC’s salary guidelines.  Throughout the process, the vice president for student development serves as a liaison regarding student needs and employer expectations. Once students are working in a position, the fieldwork supervisors are ordinarily the primary liaison to the employer.

Every other fall, the office of student development, in consultation with other constituencies of the College, establishes recommended salary guidelines for RRC student employment and field experience positions.  All employers are urged to compensate students according to the RRC guidelines.  The vice president for student development will make every effort to see that all employers hiring students  pay appropriate salaries relative to salaries in equivalent positions, and will serve as a student advocate in this regard.

Students are to advise the office of student development of any concerns or problems in the job search as soon as such concerns or problems arise.  If necessary, the vice president for student development may provide mediation between those posting a position and student rabbis applying for the position.

Graduating students seeking placement will work with the placement director of the Reconstructionist Placement Service. RRC’s vice president for student development provides additional support for graduating seniors, particularly those seeking work in settings other than congregations.