As JTS adds clinical component, conference signifies greater Jewish awareness of new role for clergy.
Jewish Week Correspondent
Rabbi Mychal Springer, director of the Center for Pastoral Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, recalls the days 20 years ago when she first began studying the field. Her first two clinical supervisors were both nuns, she says, reflecting the field’s roots in Christian theology.
(JTA) – The Conservative movement ordained its first openly gay rabbi during ceremonies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
Rachel Isaacs, 28, was ordained at JTS on May 19. She told the Forward that she began her rabbinical training at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, but switched to the Conservative seminary after it began admitting openly gay and lesbian students in 2007.
On Thursday afternoon of this week, twenty-six rabbis were ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan.
These young men and women were not the only graduates at JTS on that day. There were undergraduate degree recipients from List College, Masters and Doctoral degrees awarded from the Graduate School and the Davidson School of Education, and new Cantors, graduating from the H. L. Miller Cantorial School, who were invested with the authority to assume their important work.
Rabbi Daniel Gordis has maligned a generation of rabbinical students as being insufficiently Zionist (“Alienation From Israel Is Hitting Liberal Seminaries,” Editor’s column, May 6). Because I know and respect these students, I find his criticism to be not only inaccurate but also insulting to people who have collectively dedicated their lives to spreading the love of God, Torah, and Israel.
I received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary this spring. I appreciate the recognition, but it has prompted some disquieting questions.
Reform and Conservative rabbis often get these diplomas, usually after about 25 years of service. So the honor has more to do with survival than accomplishment. I suppose it could be said that enduring 25 years in the rabbinate, particularly in the pulpit, is deserving of special recognition. There have been times when I wondered whether a Purple Heart might be more appropriate, or maybe a Nobel Peace Prize.
Fifty years after their JTS graduation together, Harold Kushner and Neil Gillman reflect on their career paths.
Special To The Jewish Week
When, late this spring, 16 distinguished-looking silver-gray and white-haired gentlemen stood side by side on a stage at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) to pose for their half-century reunion photograph, you could almost see them blinking through their smiles, reflecting in their minds’ eyes on the younger selves that appeared in a similar photo of the rabbinic class of 1960.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Spurred by a major grant from one of the largest Jewish foundations, the rabbinical seminaries of three major synagogue movements are forging a groundbreaking partnership to train Jewish educators.
The Jim Joseph Foundation announced Monday that it was giving a combined $33 million to the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion, the Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University and the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
It was 1998 and I was in my first semester of rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary. My Talmud professor, Rabbi Avram Israel Reisner, approached me after class one day to discuss a project he was working on. As a member of the Conservative Movement's Law Committee, he was examining the acceptability of a virtual minyan (prayer quorum).