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    Graduation Requirements

    Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary




    A. Residency Requirement


    Besides the particular requirements of the program, there is a four-year residency requirement. Students must learn full time on campus for three years and at least one seder a day for the fourth year.


    Students must learn on the New York or Jerusalem campus for three years (6 semesters) of full-time study (Sunday morning - Friday morning) and a “Fourth Year Program” (2 semesters) combining Halakha Lema'aseh with fieldwork, internships, and professional seminars.  At least one year of semikha must be finished in New York.


    B. Core Curriculum


    • Talmud Shiur  – 4 semesters
    • Yoreh Deah Issur v’Heter – 2 semesters

    Contemporary Jewish Law  – 2 semesters

    • Hilkhot Niddah  – 1 semester
    • Hilkhot Aveilut  – 1 semester
    • Fourth Year Halakha Lema’aseh Program – 2 semesters
    • Successful completion of the RIETS Hebrew Examination


    C. Corequisite


    In addition to the core curriculum, students must also complete one of the following co-requisites:


    Six semesters of Kollel study in one of the sections of the Marcos & Adina Katz Kollel.

    A Masters Degree at one of the following Yeshiva University schools: The Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education & Administration, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, or the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. (Relevant Masters Degrees from other institutions must be approved in advance.)  Please note:  A Masters Degree may also be required for completion of the professional requirements (Part D).

    Completion of the RIETS Machshevet Yisrael program, consisting of 12 courses in Jewish Philosophy (JTH Courses).

    Completion of the Joint RIETS/Ferkauf Program in Pastoral Counseling.



    Kollel Semesters may, at times, be combined with Machshevet Yisrael and/or graduate school classes to fulfill the co-requisite requirement, with permission from the Dean or Administrator of RIETS.


    D. Professional Coursework


    All students must take seven core courses (Honors students, however, follow a different curriculum). In addition, students choose from one of three professional tracks and take the requisite coursework. This advanced work may consist of courses at RIETS, or graduate work in a different setting. The requirements are as follows:


    Core Requirements (all tracks)

    Seven courses, taken on Fridays during the first three years of semikha:

    Survey of Professional Opportunities – 2 semesters

    Pastoral Psychology Foundations - 2 Semesters

    Public Speaking I

    Two courses in Machshavah [JTH Courses]

          Plus the following two fieldwork requirements

    Third Year Shimush - 1 semester

    Fourth Year Internship – 2 semesters


    Advanced Track Requirements  (All students must complete one track.  Tracks are declared in the second year of Semikha.)

    Education Track:

    A Masters Degree from the Azrieli School of Jewish Ed. and Administration, or the Bernard Revel Graduate School.

    Issues in Contemporary Rabbinics – 2 semesters

    Community Rabbinate / Pulpit/ Outreach Track :

       Three additional Friday courses in the second or third year

    Homiletics or Public Speaking II

    Issues in Contemporary Rabbinics  - 2 semesters

    Four mid-week courses over the third and fourth years

    Advanced Pastoral Counseling  – 2 semesters

    Senior Homiletics Derasha Workshop – 2 semesters

    Successful Synagogues - 2 Semesters

    Practical Rabbinics – 2 semesters

    c.  Lay Kodesh Track:

    For students who are pursuing semikha, but not looking to careers in avodat hakodesh, please see the RIETS office for more information.


    Students in the RIETS Kollel in Yerushalyim may fulfill this requirement with a different course.

    Certain courses in the RIETS Kollel in Yerushalayim), Bernard Revel Graduate School and RIETS elective courses may also be used to fulfill this requirement.

    One semester of an Outreach course may be substituted for a semester of Successful Synagogues.

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