What is means to earn your smicha through our program versus other and more traditional independent programs
PRS offers Jewish educators, cantors, and people from all walks of life the opportunity to add rabbinic ordination to their spiritual and career toolkit. PRS is able to do this through a system some people call “private rabbinic ordination” or “private smicha”. While our program is similar in some ways to private smicha, there are many beneficial differences.
Private Smicha | The Benefits
- Flexibility. Students who choose private ordination over a brick and mortar seminary are looking for the ability to study anytime and with anyone they wish. Typically these are other rabbis but may include Hebrew teachers, counselors and cantors.
- Cost. A five year seminary education will cost no less than $100,000. Private smicha through tutors or similar programs offers a lower price option.
- Perspective. By learning from educators who are not connected to a movement in Judaism, a student can gain a unique perspective that empowers their Jewish identity and outlook.
Private Smicha | Drawbacks
- Being Questioned About Your Smicha. When a student is privately ordained, questions come up as to who those people are and their qualifications to work with and confer smicha to a student. Students with private smicha may find themselves in a position of defending their qualifications as a rabbi.
- Perceived Inconsistency of Learning. Some rabbis conferring smicha will want students to study nothing but Shulchan Aruch. Others will wave education all together for a faster path to ordination. This inconsistency may make students feel like they are missing out in some areas of learning, while being overly burdened in others.
- Becoming Too Independent. A downside to independence is simply that, feeling marginalized! By not having a connection to Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis, a student may sense that they are outside of the mainstream to the point that their ordination feels invalid or unearned.
PRS | The Best of Both Worlds
PRS recognizes the dual benefits and draws to private ordination or independent smicha programs. That is why we have created a best of both worlds rabbinical ordination program, combining the practicalities of the Jewish world with a forward thinking approach to Jewish education
- Flexibility. Enjoy learning on your schedule. Zero interruptions to your work, family, educational or personal life. Two year, fully online learning with rabbis, lay educators and students all over the world.
- Multi-Denominational Learning. Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis providing rigorous Jewish learning: text, language, history, pastoral care, tefillah and more. No shortcuts, but no burden of learning impractical skills
- Low Expense, High Quality. We are the lowest cost (for highest quality) rabbinical ordination program available online, at a cost 90% less than a brick and mortar education. We also include in our program such unique assets such as our Innovation Program – professional mentorship and learning that helps you launch a Jewish career based on your interests. PRS is the only program focused specifically on the Jewish future, training you to do the Jewish work of tomorrow.