All academic courses are taught by rabbis or educators with a MHL, MA or Ph.D. Our Innovation program is led by Jewish professionals with various educational backgrounds and experiences.
The PRS rabbinical program is quarterly (as opposed to the semester system), with four, eleven-week blocks per year. Between those quarters are a one-week intensive where students apply what they have learned from their core learning into an interdisciplinary “online retreat” with their fellow students and educators. There are three of these intensives per year with one, free one-week break from all learning.
This is the rubric for courses students will take to meet the requirements of smicha, as well as samples of courses students will take in our program.
Students take forty courses to complete our program, which are divided into three areas: core academics, electives and innovation program.
- Classical and Modern Hebrew
- Rabbinic Literature I and II
- Tanakh I and II
- Practical Halachah
- Jewish History I and II
- Liturgy: Weekday, Shabbat and Holidays
Students choose eighteen courses they would like which include history, culture, philosophy, etc. The purpose of these electives is to stretch the imagination of how core academics can be utilized cross-discipline.
Students will have the opportunity to take the static electives included for free in our program, or upgrade to more complex and mentor-based electives offered by our educators.
Six masterclasses which utilize the technology of our static electives along with one-on-one mentorship. These courses include management, technology, marketing, strategy and more.
Our program is delivered through six learning approaches: online-moderated courses, live courses, online intensives, innovation program, one on one mentorship and static electives.
Online-Moderated courses are consecutive and are administered by an instructor, in one of the following academic areas: history, liturgy, text, philosophy/theology. Each course has nine static video lectures with a reading and homework assignment across nine weeks. For each lecture, there is an online discussion forum for that unit that students must participate in, in order to receive participation credit.
Live Courses are for classical and modern Hebrew as well as the two practical rabbinics courses. They meet nine times per quarter every quarter using Whereby.com. Students can also receive two hours of one-on-one interaction with their educator on their schedule. Students can increase their one on one time with a language tutor for an additional fee.
These courses are focused on providing a space where students interact with each other face-to-face. Each intensives combines and expands upon the material learned in the previous nine weeks for a cross-discipline approach to Jewish learning.
Electives are a series of self-guided podcast-based courses, utilizing web-based, automated LearnDash quizzes to keep students engaged. They take approximately eleven hours per elective. Students are required to take six of their choice in any series of topics per year.
Innovation is a series of guided online masterclasses that teach the business of rabbinical work, organization strategy, development, management and marketing. These masterclasses are overseen by our director with one-on-one support and can be taken at any time. By the end of their masterclasses, students will have a business plan for their innovative Jewish project. Course materials are presented using self-guided podcast-based units, video, handouts, and outside resources.
PRS simultaneously educates rabbis and incubates amazing Jewish startups. Whether students are creating community, developing products or services, launching art projects or any other number forward thinking initiatives, PRS helps students create these Jewish startups through its Innovation Program.
One On One Mentorship is your guide though the learning process. Your mentor will help you, by listening to your needs, and by coaching you through your time at Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary. This relationship will explore everything from academic to spiritual advancement, personal growth and development, and your plans for the future.