October 2020 -- Tishrei- Cheshvan 5781,  Volume 26, Issue 10

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AJR Only Jewish Seminary Accredited by Association of Theological Schools

The Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR), North America’s most established pluralistic rabbinical and cantorial seminary, has received the maximum seven year accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) which accredits more than 270 seminaries and divinity schools across the United States and Canada.

 

“This is a resounding endorsement of AJR’s pluralistic approach to the training of rabbis and cantors to serve in an increasingly diverse and expanding Jewish world,” noted CEO and Academic Dean Dr. Horn Ora Prouser.   “We are the only Jewish seminary to be afforded such status.”

 

ATS accredits such institutions as the Harvard Divinity School, the Yale Divinity School and the Princeton Theological Seminary.

 

In a letter dated June 9, ATS highlighted AJR’s strong and supportive “non-denominational community that clearly embraces persons of diverse backgrounds and cherishes differences.”

 

It also noted AJR’s innovative approach in combining both on site and distance learning, in particular its “provision of an excellent distance learning experience that includes spiritual formation in creative ways.”

 

AJR was founded in 1956, and trains rabbis and cantors to serve within a variety of roles and denominations within the Jewish spectrum.  It also offers a Master’s Program in Jewish Studies. Over the past 65 years, it has been the leader in training rabbis and cantors in the study and practice of Jewish pluralism.

 

In particular, AJR has launched a series of innovative training programs for rabbis and cantors, which spans all denominations, and includes programs in Sacred Arts and Peace Studies.  AJR recently established a Cantors to Rabbis track for ordained cantors, along with a Kol Bo program which trains students to serve in combined rabbinical and cantorial capacities.

 

“We are proud that after such an exhaustive examination of AJR’s academic, financial and organizational structure, ATS has provided AJR with its highest vote of confidence,” noted AJR Board Chair Dr. William Liss-Levinson.

 

AJR graduates currently serve in twenty states, two provinces, and in Europe.  Upon graduation, virtually all of its graduates have been immediately hired within the Jewish world.

 

Dr. Horn Prouser noted that ATS accreditation opens the door for exciting new partnerships with seminaries and divinity schools across the religious spectrum.

ATS accreditation follows many years of intense discussions, review and examination which included the participation of AJR students, alumni, Board, faculty, administration and staff.