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CORE Semikha

CORE (Center of Rabbinic Education) Semikha

At the heart of our yeshiva and central to YCT’s vision and founding, our semikha program prepares Modern Orthodox rabbis to be talmidei chakhamim, poskim and spiritual leaders, serving the Jewish community in a wide range of capacities with compassion, sensitivity, and a recognition of each individual’s unique needs within the broader system of halakhic Judaism. 

YCT rabbis draw deeply from Torah to confront the challenges of the modern world. We believe that a life of religious meaning, faith, and Jewish identification can be integrated with deep engagement with the best of modernity. Our semikha program prepares rabbis to articulate a hashkafa rooted in text and traditional wisdom and share their learning with the world.

Students emerge from the semikha program with strong analytical skills, love of learning, reverence for Chazal, and the deep knowledge necessary for a lifetime of Torah-committed leadership.

Goals of NEW Professional Curriculum:

  • Creating rabbis as visionary, innovative leaders
  • Training based on learning through doing
  • Cultivating independent learners

Components of  NEW Professional Curriculum:

  • Focus on training leadership skills, including: community organizing, relational engagement, innovation, entre- and intrapreneurship.
  • Emphasis on mentored fieldwork and projects over classroom learning
  • Significant independence and self-direction, with mentorship and funding, particularly in area of professional development

Our Semikha program features:

  • Small classes that promote intellectual growth and encourage strong friendships and supportive peer groups.   
  • A low student-faculty ratio and the consistent presence of faculty in the beit midrash, which fosters lively, stimulating interactions between students and their rabbanim
  • Teachers who concern themselves with the whole student, attending to each student’s intellectual, emotional and religious development.
  • A focus on sophisticated Jewish theology, encouraging each rabbi to develop a religious worldview shaped by fundamental hashkafic texts.

In addition, YCT fosters:

  • Intellectual openness and respect among students and faculty alike.
  • Deep commitment to ikrei emunah, tradition, and halakha in an atmosphere where students are free to ask challenging questions. 
  • A staff that welcomes collaboration with students, a comprehensive and interdisciplinary library, a wide range of visiting lecturers, and thought-provoking classes.  
  • An atmosphere of meaning-making and spirituality-seeking.
  • A sense of responsibility to others through chevrashaft, tzedakah, chesed, and outreach.

We encourage interested candidates to reach out directly to Ruthie Strosberg Simon

For more information about applying, contact us at

For more information about the program, contact us at


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Pardes Day School Educators Program & Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Semikha

Program Description

The Pardes Day School Educators Program (PEP) – training outstanding Jewish studies teachers for day schools since 2000 – is a vibrant and innovative two-year program in Jerusalem that combines intensive text study at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies with a Master of Jewish Education from Hebrew College.

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) trains Modern Orthodox rabbis who are leaders of Klal Yisrael, build communities that are inclusive and welcoming, and teach a Torah that motivates and inspires.

The Pardes-YCT Joint Program trains outstanding rabbinic leaders who are passionate about day school teaching and administration.

Within this collaborative arrangement, the two years at Pardes count towards one year of rabbinical studies at YCT, making the joint program a five-year rabbinical studies and Masters program instead of a six-year endeavor.

The Pardes Day School Educators Program includes core components of the Pardes Year Program, plus: holistic education courses preparing teachers for the 21st-century Jewish studies classroom; customized Hebrew language ulpan with Ulpan Or; student teaching at Jewish day schools for one month each year in North America; seminars on Jewish history, spirituality, conflict resolution, Jewish thought and Israel education; one-on-one mentoring with expert teaching coaches; career coaching, job placement assistance and alumni support.

The YCT rabbinical school program includes advanced study of Jewish Law, Talmud, Pastoral Counseling and a range of advanced professional training classes and experiences, preparing students to enter Jewish communal leadership as rabbis of synagogues, schools, campuses, camps and health care institutions.

Graduates of PEP+YCT earn a Master of Jewish Education and a Certificate in Jewish Day School Education from Hebrew College, a Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies from the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, and Semikha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.


BA with above-average GPA, advanced experience with Jewish text study and Hebrew language, some experience in teaching or experiential education.

Admission Requirements

  • Online application (separate Pardes and Hebrew College applications)
  • An official transcript of academic records from all colleges and universities
  • Placement tests for Hebrew language and text levels
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal essay
  • Interview
  • YCT application and interview process

Post-Program Commitment

Graduates of the PEP+YCT commit to working in a North American Jewish day school for a minimum of three years upon completion of the program.


The Pardes Day School Educators Program is highly subsidized. Benefits include:

  • Pardes tuition fully funded for two academic years (includes all courses, field trips and special programs)
  • Ulpan tuition fully funded
  • Living stipend of $1,200 per month
  • Student teaching in North America each spring, travel and housing expenses funded

Eligible YCT students receive a generous tuition waiver and living stipend package during their years of study in New York City

To find out more, contact