Foto: Matthias Friel
Starting with a discussion about the origin of the term "rabbi", the course follows the evolution (terminology, background, context) of the rabbinate. It examines the different roles that were projected onto the rabbinate and how the demands for rabbis have changed over the centuries, shedding a light on varying rabbinic functions in different times and places. It juxtaposes these projections with the images that the rabbis themselves developed for the profession.
The course further asks what did the practical training look like? We will devote ourselves to the history of various rabbinical seminaries and consider the curricula of some of these institutions.
The goal is to enable learners to develop interpretations, dispositions and connections to the idea of the rabbinate and to walk away with a personalized perspective for their own future rabbinate.
Ariel, Y. (2012). A German rabbi and scholar in America: Kaufmann Kohler and the shaping of American Jewish theological and intellectual agendas. European Judaism, 45(2), 59-77.
Cedarbaum, D. G. (1999). The rabbi as master. The Reconstructionist, 64(1), 39-42. Retrieved from http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=4930
Dauermann, S. (2009). The rabbi as a surrogate priest. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications.
Elazar, D. J., & Monson, R. G. (1982). The evolving roles of American congregational rabbis. Modern Judaism, 73-89.
Eleff, Z. (2014). From teacher to scholar to pastor: The evolving postwar modern orthodox rabbinate. American Jewish History, 98(4), 289-313.
Greenstein, D. (2006). “To a land that I will show you:” Training rabbis for the future. Teaching Theology & Religion, 9(2), 97-102.
Hezser, C. (1997). The social structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine. Heidelberg, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.
Magonet, J. (2006). The Future of Rabbinic Training. European Judaism, 39(2), 152-155.
Magonet, J. (2012). Rabbi Dr. Werner van der Zyl and the creation of Leo Baeck College. The German rabbinate abroad: Transferring German-Jewish modernity into the world? European Judaism, 45(2), 103-111.
Saperstein, M. (2006). Preparing rabbis for the future. European Judaism, 39(2), 146-151.
Saperstein, M. (2013). Positions of Jewish leadership: Sources of authority and power. European Judaism, 46(1), 50-59.
Schwartz, Shuly Ruby (2006). The Rabbi’s Wife – The Rebbetzin in American Jewish Life, New York University Press.
Schwarzfuchs, S. (1993). A concise history of the rabbinate. Hoboken, NJ: B. Blackwell Publishing.
Seltzer, S. (2006). Whither scholarship? The rabbinate vs. the academy. Judaism, 55(217/18), 4-11.
Proof of performance includes regular participation, reading the texts given for the weekly meetings and various written self-reflections.
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