Graduates of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies receive rabbinic ordination after 10-12 semesters of study normally completed in five or six years. Since text and language skills vary based on background and progress, each student's program is determined in consultation with the Dean's office. Upon completion of the program, students are granted a Master’s Degree in Rabbinic Studies. Students normally complete all requirements at the Ziegler School’s campus in Los Angeles, unless they are exempt from specific courses based on previous academic coursework. Rabbinic ordination is awarded at the completion of the entire program.
Year One and Two: Exposure and Empowerment
Ziegler’s opening years introduce a pioneering integration of Hebrew language and textual literacy, building the skills necessary for intimacy with our heritage. This unique approach provides engagement with the foundational texts of Jewish tradition, with courses in Bible (a reading course, Humash with Rashi, Mikraot Gedolot, Nevi’im & Khetuvim), Rabbinics (a reading course, Talmud, History and Halakhah of Liturgy, Talmud with Rashi, Midrash), and Philosophy (Introduction, Theology of Liturgy, Kabbalah & Hasidut), integrated with advancing skills in Hebrew language and grammar. Additionally, our innovative Beit Midrash offers a living laboratory for active engagement with traditional texts in a social setting for shared excellence. Students also study Jewish history and Hebrew language to better access and contextualize Jewish wisdom and experience.
Year Three: Israel Year - Returning to Zion
To be a Jewish exemplar in the 21st Century requires a deep personal engagement with Israel. The Ziegler Israel Year provides a unique and wonderful setting to grapple with the real Israel, to resonate with its achievements, and to learn to share its dream with Jewish communities as a rabbi. Offered through the beloved Conservative Yeshiva, in the heart of Jerusalem, Ziegler students join with their peers from the Frankel College in Germany, to pursue advanced study of Bible, Talmud, Sifrei Psak (Codes), practical halakhah, Midrash, and, of course, more advanced work in Hebrew language. Extensive exposure to Israeli thought, history, and its diverse communities enriches this unique year of learning, travel, and growth.
Year Four and Five: Synthesis and Culmination
The final two years pivot to provide professional competence, enhanced leadership skills, and capstone learning opportunities. Training for the practical side of the rabbinate comes through courses in pastoral counseling, lifecycles, synagogue skills, hospital chaplaincy, senior seminar, and homiletics. Culminating classes include Conservative Judaism, Talmud synthesis, Mishnah, Torah anthologies, and Social Justice. Synthesizing the years of study and growth are thematic seminars, issues of modernity, teaching rabbinic texts, creating sacred community, and text as spiritual mentor. Students also get to take a course in our renowned School of Jewish Education and a management course in our School of Enterprise Management and Social Impact. All of this makes possible a rabbinate of profound faith, learning, service, observance, and innovation.