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Mission & Major Achievements - Chovevei Torah, Setting the standard in rabbinic leadership

Mission & Major Achievements

Our mission is to:

  • Recruit, professionally train, and place rabbis throughout the world
  • Lead the Jewish people and shape their communities’ spiritual and intellectual character in consonance with Modern Orthodox values and commitments

We are deeply committed to:

  • Inspiring a passionate commitment to the study of Torah in all its rich forms and the scrupulous observance of halakha.
  • Cultivating spirituality – God-consciousness, piety, and ethical sensitivity – and integrating it into all learning, religious practice and worldly pursuits.
  • Encouraging intellectual openness, questioning, and critical thinking as essential components of one’s full service to God (avodat Hashem).
  • Affirming the shared covenantal bond between all Jews, promoting love of all Jews (ahavat Yisrael) and actively pursuing the positive and respectful interaction of all Jewish movements.
  • Recognizing the need to enhance and expand the role of women in talmud Torah, the halakhic process, religious life and communal leadership within the bounds of halakha.
  • Recognizing Eretz Yisrael as our homeland and affirming the religious and historical significance of the State of Israel for all Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.
  • Affirming the shared divine image (tzelem Elokim) of all people, our responsibility to improve the world and our capacity to be enriched by it.
  • Living our personal, family, and public lives guided by the highest ethical standards, reflective of moral rectitude and sanctification of God’s name (kiddush shem Shamayim).

Major Achievements

Setting the standard in rabbinic education:

  • Inspired advances in the areas of pastoral and professional training in both Orthodox and non-Orthodox rabbinical schools.
  • Transformed the role of pastoral counseling into a central part of rabbinic education, through a four-year curriculum consisting of process groups, a year-long foundational course, courses on family and marital counseling, role-plays, and intensive field work and chaplaincy experience.
  • Pioneered professional training and made it an integral part of the curriculum for an Orthodox rabbinical school, with classes on public speaking, life-cycle events, pedagogy, informal education, contemporary issues, and mentored internships with reflective seminars.
  • Modeled intensive training on disabilities through a weeklong, immersive and multi-dimensional program, which has trained rabbis to be activists in the area of disabilities and which has led to initiatives to introduce similar programs to other rabbinical schools.

Setting the standard in rabbinic leadership:

  • Ordained over 150 rabbis serving throughout the US and all over the globe, as rabbis of small and large Orthodox synagogues; as rabbis on college campuses; as teachers and administrators in day schools; as chaplains in hospitals, jails, and the army; as religious and spiritual entrepreneurs; as leaders within Jewish institutions, Jewish camping, adult education, and leadership programs; and as founders of alternative dynamic engagement opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds.
  • Reinvigorated and brought vibrant thought and discussion to a Modern Orthodoxy that was growing increasingly complacent by confronting honestly and openly some of today’s most critical contemporary issues.
  • Made Orthodoxy relevant by showing how it can embrace authority without authoritarianism, how it can be intellectually honest, how it need not be in conflict with our contemporary values, and how it can connect one to a deeper sense of vision, purpose and meaning.
  • Shaped an Orthodoxy that other denominations can relate to with a feeling of mutual respect and welcome.
  • Supported more ritual, leadership and learning opportunities for women within the Orthodox community.
  • Created more welcoming communities for people with disabilities, Jews of color, Jews of choice, and people of the LGBTQ community.