Part of a series of interviews and articles with Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary educators
I have known numerous talented educators who, mid-career, yearned for the chance to study for rabbinic ordination but were stymied because they could not relocate to enter an established program. I hope that PRS will offer a worthy avenue for such students to pursue their dreams. I hope our program will expand both students’ knowledge and their capacity for religious and communal leadership.
Online courses are a very powerful medium in the way that it makes learning accessible to a vastly wider audience, many of whom would have no way to access such opportunities.
It is also a difficult medium to produce and manage well. I am excited to work on developing online courses with a team of both very thoughtful educators and technically savvy managers to offer courses that challenge each participant to rediscover familiar practices through new lenses.
Our courses will, of necessity, offer only a roadmap to important areas of knowledge and and practice, each of which merits its own in-depth exploration. I hope that in the course of studying, students will find the issues closest to their hearts and their strengths and use this as an opening to dive more deeply into these questions.
As a faculty member, I want to be a resource for students looking for academic guidance and also to help students move emotionally and spiritually along the path to seeing themselves as ready for and worthy of the title Rabbi.
Rabbi Joshua Cahan teaches liturgy at Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary. Rabbi Cahan also teaches Rabbinics and Prayer at the Schechter Westchester high school. He received his rabbinic ordination and a Ph.D. in Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he also served as director of the JTS Beit Midrash.