Despite the dramatically shifting identity of the North American Jewish community and its demographics, rabbis and synagogues have remained a central backbone of Jewish identity and engagement across the US for more than 100 years.
Statistics reveal that 70 percent of American Jews are affiliated with a synagogue at some point in their lives and that Jews of all denominations continue to turn to their rabbi and local synagogue for lifecycle ceremonies, for Jewish holiday celebrations, and for community study.
Yet despite this crucial role that rabbis play, there are very few structured frameworks for ongoing rabbinic study, enrichment, and intellectual leadership training.
Since its inception over 30 years ago, the Shalom Hartman Institute has made the advancement of rabbinic leadership one of its core missions. The Institute is widely recognized as a world leader in providing pluralistic, intensive, thoughtful, and challenging study opportunities and leadership development for rabbis of all denominations.
Today, featuring the largest and longest-running rabbinic initiatives, these programs are universally respected for the quality of their faculty and the depth of Torah study in which participants engage as they address the central challenges of contemporary Jewish life.
The mission of the Rabbinic Leadership Programs is to continually invigorate and revitalize the hundreds of rabbis who study at the Institute, offering them regular opportunities to enrich and enhance their knowledge in the foundations of Jewish thought; and to provide them with the empowerment tools that they need to impart this knowledge to the countless North American Jews whose lives they influence and stimulate on a daily basis.
Studying together in a pluralistic and spiritually and intellectually challenging Beit Midrash pushes rabbis to deepen their knowledge and develop their own voices as intellectual and spiritual leaders in North America.
Over the coming years, the goal of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America is to take the lead on the Institute's rabbinical initiatives and expand the modes and intensity of its work.