The Vocational Training

The Vocational Part of the Rabbinic Training includes:

  • Pastoral care
    Interviewing and counseling: introduction to the various components and concepts of listening and understanding. Interpersonal skills in the area of listening, facilitation and giving and receiving feedback.
    Pastoral care / community skills: principles of pastoral care, as opposed to, for example, psychotherapy. To bring spirituality and Jewish values into the work, presentation theory, moral deliberations and ethics, reflection, analysis and insight.
    Taught intermittently in years 1-5
    .
  • Life cycle: exploration of the different stages and transitions of the family lifecycle; exploring  the role of the rabbi in the different transitions  (bar mitzvah, marriage, etc.); understanding issues, that different  people face throughout their lifecycle.
    Taught in years 1-2.

  • Progressive Judaism in The Netherlands: introduction to the working field of rabbis: knowledge of the actual demography, encounters with various organizations with reference to care, politics, interfaith, etc., all the time exploring the role of a rabbi. Changing demographics in The Netherlands ask for (re-)consideration of the role of a rabbi.
    Taught in years 1-2, and in internships.

  • Rabbinic leadership: skills, such as applied conflict management, managing dynamics common to the role of a rabbi. Developing a leadership-style. Administrative and policy-making activities: this includes, among other things, the work of the Bet Din and the Rabbinic Assembly, arranging and preparing various activities of the congregation/community and other administrative tasks. Learning to work with boards, committees and numerous volunteers in a dynamic, inspiring and harmonious manner.
    Taught in years 2-5, during the whole year, in training sessions, workshops and professional supervision during the internships.

  • Halacha in practice: most important is the practical application of Jewish law (halacha lema'aseh). This is learned implicitly during the internships in different congregations – practical rabbinics by the rabbis, by peers during Beth Din.
    Taught in years 4-5, during the whole year.

  • Liturgy and rabbinic tasks in practice: to be able to perform and to teach all the rituals of the Jewish year and Jewish life in the synagogue and at home; to write and deliver effectively a derasha and a d'var Torah; public speaking, gain sufficient didactic knowledge to be able to teach children and adults.
    Taught in years 3-5, during the whole year, including workshops, training, placements and internships.

  • Personal development as a rabbi: all through the vocational training there are many  opportunities for students to explicitly pay attention to personal development, for example, during counseling and interview training and during internships, pastoral training, and leadership training. In the vocational exam, personal development plays an important role.
    Taught in years 1-5, on different occasions during the whole year.

  • Portfolio: during the rabbinic education a student ‘builds’ his/her portfolio. A portfolio is a folder with exhibits that demonstrate which competences the student has acquired during the training or in any other manner. It enables the student to show his/her development in learning the profession, it enables teachers to judge the learning process. The student collects the exhibits and pieces of evidence that demonstrate the personal development that has been achieved. The contents can be of any kind the student considers valuable for his/her demonstration, not only written texts but also photographs, video recordings, (PowerPoint-) presentations and other illustrative materials.