Beit Midrash Har’el will grant Rabbinic ordination to men and women who successfully complete the three year fellowship. The Beit Midrash will have three seven-hour sessions and one one and a half-hour evening session every week. Fellows will receive a stipend to ensure the feasibility of their participation.
What is the mission and purpose of this program?
The mission of Beit Midrash Har’el is to provide a viable alternative-model for Modern Orthodox Jews and construct a vision of Torah life and thought that is a compelling option for all modern Jews regardless of their affiliation. The vision is more God-conscious, compassionate and inclusive. We will honestly address the thorny issues rooted in the contemporary sensibilities of fairness and equality that challenge contemporary Orthodoxy today. This will strengthen the commitment of Jews by rendering religious life more full, intelligent and honest and communities more open and compassionate. Our graduates will reinvigorate Modern Orthodoxy and propel it beyond its current denominational boundaries.
We will ordain rabbis, men and women, and educate thought leaders who will possess the knowledge, confidence and courage to teach a forward-looking Torah.
Beit Midrash Har’el was founded in October 2013. Here, men and women who are committed to the halakha, study Torah as equals and enjoy equally the stature that their learning bestows upon them within the community.
In June 2015, we became the first, and, to date, the only institution to formally grant smikha, Orthodox rabbinic ordination, to women, conferring upon them the unambiguous title of “Rabbi”, alongside their male counterparts.
In the short time that Har’el has been in existence, we have succeeded in our goal to change public discourse within the Orthodox community. Beit Midrash Har’el now seeks to maximize the impact of its vision with a fellowship program to train future rabbis and thought-leaders in the Jewish community.
Our prospective fellows straddle the divide between the spiritual intensity of the yeshiva and the freethinking and sophisticated world of academia. They will bring to the Beit Midrash a strong background in Torah, secular studies and contemporary culture. The open and equitable ethos of the Beit Midrash will draw students who embrace those values. Beit Misrash Har'el's leadership institute provides an atmosphere that is not found in any other Orthodox ordination program.
We have recruited a core group of serious students who will make up the first class of the fellowship. Beit Midrash Har’el is the only Orthodox framework whose students include seasoned pedagogues as well as promising educators and leaders of the future, men and women, engaged in rabbinic studies in an open and supportive learning environment.
How do you measure the success of your program?
We have already ordained two men and two women in our part time program and we will now run a program to ordain between 8-12 rabbis in the next three years.