Applying to the College | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Admissions

Applying to the College

Admissions

Applying to the College

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Deciding to apply to rabbinical school is a big step. We look forward to learning about your path toward rabbinic studies.

All qualified applicants will be considered for admission without regard to age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, ancestry, national origin, or disability.

The standard application process goes like this:

 

Application and Required Supporting Materials

All candidates must submit a formal application along with the following:

  • An official academic transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation in support of your candidacy. We request at least one letter be written by a professor/teacher, and one letter by a rabbi or other professional Jewish community leader
  • An essay that addresses your interest in the rabbinate and the College, as well as your goals as a rabbi
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee (which can be paid via credit card or check)

GRE scores are not required, but are encouraged for applications who feel their academic record does not accurately reflect their ability to be successful in a rigorous graduate program.

To begin an online application, you can visit this page: Application Form

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, please contact Rabbi Melissa Heller, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, at

MHeller@RRC.edu
215.576.0800 ext. 123

The interview

If your submitted materials indicate that you are a strong prospect, we will schedule an interview with our Admissions Committee. You can anticipate questions along the following lines:

  • Please tell us about your personal Jewish journey.
  • Talk to us about your personal Jewish beliefs and practices.
  • What has been your experience of Reconstructionist communities, Reconstructionist rabbis and the Reconstructionist approach to Jewish civilization?
  • Tell us about your experiences engaging with North American Jewish life.
  • What has been your most meaningful Jewish leadership experience?
  • What are the strongest motivators for you to become a rabbi?
  • At this moment in your life, what kind of rabbi do you want to be?

Interviews are generally scheduled from November through mid-April. With advance notice, we can usually arrange for you to stay overnight at the home of an RRC student. For applications currently living outside of the United States, we can, if necessary, conduct the interview through videoconference.

Hebrew requirement

In order to matriculate, admitted students must demonstrate Hebrew proficiency equivalent to one year of successful, college-level Hebrew study. We determine proficiency through a placement exam administered in conjunction with your admissions interview (sample exam). Students whose Hebrew is not yet strong enough may still be admitted, with they expectation that they demonstrate needed Hebrew proficiency prior to matriculation.

A second placement exam testing your knowledge of Jewish traditions will also be administered during the interview phase.

Program Acceleration 

We expect candidates to possess strong undergraduate training in the liberal arts or sciences, and a demonstrated aptitude in the areas of social and emotional intelligence. Students who matriculate with more extensive work experience, academic knowledge or skills in the areas of Jewish studies, ritual or organizational leadership, and/or pastoral care may accelerate the program to meet their current capabilities, needs and interests.

Transfer applications

Occasionally rabbinical students find themselves in a program that is not the best fit for their individual needs and/or professional vision, at which time it is completely reasonable to consider a transfer. In those circumstances, we welcome applications from students currently enrolled at other rabbinical schools. As a transfer applicant, you’ll follow the same admissions process described above. Upon acceptance, we will apply relevant credits to your College degree requirements.

Deadlines

Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.

Decisions on acceptance

A decision about your acceptance will generally be communicated in writing within a month of your interview. Accepted students will be placed into the preparatory Mekhinah year, the five-year program, or, if you have strong professional experience or previous graduate-level work in Jewish Studies, a customized accelerated program.

Enrolling students who wish to be considered for scholarships must fill out a financial aid application form provided by the College. Application forms and supplementary materials must be completed and submitted by April 15. Students admitted after April 1 will be given an extension to the April 15 deadline. Please note, later applications will be accepted but may be at a disadvantage. We encourage all students to apply for financial aid by April 15 if possible.

If you have any questions about RRC or the application and admissions process, please contact:

Rabbi Melissa Heller
Director of Admissions and Recruitment
MHeller@RRC.edu
215.576.0800 ext. 123