Encouraging faith


Pastoral Training- Training Young Community Rabbis


Rav Tzachi and Young Rabbis


  1. To promote a wider vision of the role of the community rabbi. The traditional concept of the role of a community rabbi tasks the rabbi with teaching Torah, providing individuals with halachic rulings, and managing prayers. Over the years, the community rabbi’s role has expanded to include welfare issues, and to provide inspiration and public leadership to his community and beyond.
  2. To give the community rabbi practical tools. The rabbinic ordination process requires knowledge of Halacha – Jewish law. However, a rabbi’s job involves skills that go far beyond this. Many of these skills can be developed and improved upon so that he becomes more effective at his role.
  3. To guide community rabbis through the unique challenges they face. Every community has its own story. The composition of the community members and the unique challenges the community faces, as well as the rabbi’s personality and talents, demand personalized attention.


There is currently no framework that provides training and in-service workshops for rabbis of communities beyond their rabbinical studies. We see a need and importance in establishing a training and in-service program for young rabbis who serve as rabbis of communities. Tools, training, and spiritual guidance will be provided around three main axes: 1. Accompanying bereaved families; 2. Technological training and work via social networks; 3. Professional ethics. These axes are central foci in the work of community rabbis, and we will provide training and in-service workshops that will accompany the young rabbis during their early years of activity in the community.

There are a number of reasons why so few go on to serve as community rabbis. One reason is that these newly ordained rabbis are not familiar with the world of community rabbis. Sometimes, a rabbi chooses not to be a community rabbi because he is familiar with a certain type of community or a certain style of rabbi, and he does not identify with this model. Our goal is to expose the rabbi to different models of communities and styles of rabbis, in the hope that he will find the type that suits him best.

Among the issues discussed: why be a community rabbi; how to prepare to be a successful rabbi; the rabbi as he views himself; the boundaries of the rabbanit’s work; community – clients, employers or partners?; characteristics of the rabbanit’s work in different communities; rabbinate on the side – merging a rabbinical career with another; the rabbi’s family.

There are ten meetings in this program and each meeting lasts for three hours. The program’s intended population are yeshiva and kollel students (avrechim) approaching the end of their rabbinical ordination studies, or immediately afterwards. The age range is between 25-32 years old. The number of participants in each group is limited to sixteen to maximize the group dynamic.

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