Applying to the College | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College


Applying to the College


Applying to the College

You are here

Deciding to become a rabbi is a big step. We look forward to hearing how you reached this decision, and what kind of rabbi you want to be.

The College does not consider age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, ancestry, national origin, handicap and disability to be determining factors in its admissions process. We are eager to hear from everyone with a serious interest in Reconstructionist rabbinical study.

The standard application process goes like this:

Formal application requirements

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

  • An official academic transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which needs to be written by a current or former teacher, and another by a rabbi
  • A personal statement that addresses your interest in the rabbinate and the College, as well as your goals as a rabbi
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee

We don’t require GRE scores, but candidates who have not done post-graduate work are encouraged to include them.

To request an application, contact Rabbi Melissa Heller, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, at 215.576.0800 ext. 123 or


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, boarding with a current student during your admissions visit is usually available. For candidates currently living in Israel, we can 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 (example exam). Students whose Hebrew is not yet strong enough may still be admitted, but will need to demonstrate their Hebrew proficiency prior to matriculation.

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


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.



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. At that point, you’ll be accepted 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.

You will need to confirm your intent to enroll by replying in writing within three weeks of the date listed on your acceptance letter. Letters of intent should be accompanied by a $500-deposit, which will reserve your place in the entering class. The letter and deposit should be sent to:

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Attn. Rabbi Melissa Heller

Office of Admissions and Recruitment

1299 Church Road

Wyncote, PA 19095

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, late applications will be accepted but may be at a disadvantage. We encourage all students to apply for financial aid by April 15 if possible.