Know Your Seminary: Academy of Jewish Religion

For the fifth in our continuing series “Know Your Seminary!” we present a brief profile of the Academy of Jewish Religion. The AJR, located in Yonkers, is non-affiliated. Founded in 1956, it offers a three-to-five-year program. It bills itself as “trans-denominational,” presenting a curriculum that covers a wide range of Jewish spiritual practice. Consequently, teaching the legitimacy of multiple points of view is one of the cornerstones of the seminary.

One of the school’s unique features: it’s the only seminary that trains rabbis and cantors “as equal partners in spiritual leadership,” recognizing the importance of music in the life of the synagogue. While what a school chooses to highlight in its website may not be comprehensive, it can be telling. The AJR website emphasizes its pluralistic perspective. It also stresses how its training ensures a solid ability in its students to perform the liturgical and lifecycle duties of a rabbi. Less prominent on the website is mention of other roles that may be required of a rabbi, including pastoral care and administrative skills.

You can explore their website here:


 To be as prepared as possible, the committee has begun to familiarize itself with the different rabbinical schools the applicants may have attended. This is the first in a series called, “Know Your Seminary!” to share with the community what we are learning about these schools.

As always, the Committee welcomes your thoughts and concerns! Please share at this address: