Preparation for Rabbinic School


Those interested in becoming Conservative rabbis have a wide array of background in Judaica prior to beginning their rabbinic studies. The curriculum of the Ziegler School meets the needs of those students interested in the rabbinate who are at a variety of different levels in the study of classical Jewish texts or in the thought and practice of contemporary Conservative Judaism. Potential students should not be deterred from applying because of a weak background in Jewish texts and practice. However, in evaluating candidates, the Ziegler School does look for a general comfort with Jewish concepts, ideas and living.

Age should not be a factor in considering whether to apply. While many rabbinical students begin their studies in their twenties, many others begin when they are in their thirties or beyond.

Undergraduate students who are planning to attend rabbinic school should be aware of the following:

  • Undergraduate majors in any subject are acceptable, although the humanities and social sciences are most relevant to the work of rabbinical school and the rabbinate;
  • Since rabbinical school concentrates heavily on Judaica, students who know they want to become rabbis may find it best to broaden their education by taking a range of liberal arts courses outside of Jewish studies during their under-graduate years;
  • It is advisable to take as much Hebrew language course work as possible. Courses in Bible and Talmud are also advisable.

Of the many areas our admissions committee evaluates is an applicants knowledge, familiarity, and exposure to Jewish philosophy, learning, and living. In addition to being involved in an active Jewish community, applicants are also urged to read the list of books included in the application packet.

Also, applicants should direct their attention to the books listed on the suggested reading list included in the application packet.