Reform, Conservative Seminaries in Historic Partnership to Train Clergy

July 15, 2008

Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)


The largest Conservative and Reform seminaries are partnering in a establishing a pilot rabbinic training program which is the first to provide joint instruction to future clergy from the two different movements. Starting in fall 2008, the Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship Program will bring together eight outstanding rabbinical students from the Conservative and Reform Movements for three years of formal study.


The inaugural class will be composed of four students each from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). The program is designed to create a cadre of Reform and Conservative rabbis who share a broad and dynamic vision of communal leadership of American Jewry.


The program will provide training in three major areas:

• demographics and Jewish communal trends
• management and organizational leadership
• inclusion with an emphasis on the intermarried


In addition to their regular coursework, fellows will study together in regular meetings and retreats facilitated by faculty from both seminaries as well as educators from STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) and the Center for Leadership Initiatives, Inc. (CLI).
The program, funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, will provide the eight fellows from the two seminaries with funds for tuition and living stipends during the third and fourth years of their Rabbinical training.

Updated: Jul. 27, 2008