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Community Blog How to Prepare for a Rabbinical School Interview

By Hebrew College
swimming pool

“You should already be in the shallow end of the swimming pool.”

When you’re applying to rabbinical school, you should already be in the shallow end of the pool, ready to venture into the deep end — if you think of Jewish practice as a swimming pool — says Rabbi Daniel Klein, Associate Dean of Admissions for the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College.

That means, before an interview, try thinking about…

Your journey.

“We want you to be ready to share your relationship to religious life,” says Rabbi Klein. “We want you to talk about how you live your life Jewishly and are ready to learn more.”

The philosophy of the rabbinical school.

At Hebrew College, how you make decisions about living Jewishly is more important than what your decisions are.

Your academic capacity.

Rabbinical school is a rigorous graduate program. While past academic performance is an indicator of your ability to tackle the program, it may not reflect your academic capacity.

Your interpersonal skills.

At Hebrew College, students study in pairs in hevruta-style learning in our Beit Midrash. That means studying—and sometimes struggling with—texts with a partner who might think differently from you. In a pluralistic community, you should be ready to study with Jews from all backgrounds, movements, and practices. It’s exciting and challenging.

Your verbal and written communication skills.

Come prepared but don’t be rehearsed.

Show your grit.

You’ll need resilience to be a rabbi. It’s a long academic program. It’s a challenging career – but also one that is full of deep rewards.

Good luck!

For more information about applying to Hebrew College or to begin a conversation with Rabbi Klein, please contact him at, (617) 559-8637 or visit the Hebrew College website

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