The intensive, 2-year Straus Semicha Program prepares rabbis to serve in the Diaspora by providing them with the halakhic material necessary to serve effectively and combining their knowledge of Jewish sources and Jewish law with a thorough understanding of the particular needs of contemporary Jewish life across the globe.
The ordination program covers in depth the traditional areas of: Kashrut, (Laws of Issur V’Heter as well as practical applications), Shabbat and Festivals, Family Purity (Niddah), Mourning, and Marriage (Chuppah V’Kiddushin). Students also study the laws of a Synagogue, Torah scrolls and relations with other nations, as well as general halachic Responsa. All subjects are covered through a rigorous schedule of classes, coupled with supervised havruta study in the Codes – including an examination of their development from their initial Biblical source through relevant Talmudic sources – as well as a great deal of practical training. In addition, Torat Yosef students receive enrichment in Jewish philosophy and modern thought through courses in the Beren Academic Center.
Students are expected to have at least a BA before entering program though many students possess a Masters Degree and/or PhD as well. Students interested in pursuing an additional MA are encouraged to continue toward an MA through the Robert M Beren College during the course of their studies.
Rabbinical students enrolled in this Kollel also participate in a joint program with the Straus-Amiel Practical Rabbinics Program and are committed to serving as pulpit rabbis in the Diaspora.