A Rabbinical Student's Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Job Pondering

Although my classmates and I at school had a placement meeting a week ago to start the ball rolling on the job search process as well as a session two weeks ago working on resumes and a week ago on interviews, I still was not super clear on the type of job I wanted. I've been thinking that Hillel might be an idea (perhaps their senior educator positions), although some sort of Jewish institution or organization may also be a good fit. However, I had a helpful conversation yesterday with a staff member to work on my resume and to help me consider more specifically how to market my skills/self and which jobs to consider. The considering begins....


Chaplaincy Seminar

Over the course of the last three Monday evenings, I attended a three-part seminar series for rabbinical and cantorial students at the HealthCare Chaplaincy, entitled "'A Time to Die': Confronting the Loss of a Child". Attended by around a dozen students and organized by Rabbi Charles Sheer, the Director of Department of Studies in Jewish Pastoral Care at the HealthCare Chaplaincy, each session featured a presentation by a knowledgeable professional.
The presenter at the first session was Dr. David Pelcovitz, a psychologist, who spoke on the impact of loss upon a family. The second session's presenter was Rabbi Mollie Cantor, a pediatric chaplain, who spoke on comforting families and children who are hospitalized. Dvorah Levy, a social worker, spoke at the third session on loss of a miscarriage or a stillborn and the grief that follows.
I don't know that I would have otherwise have spent time learning about this topic on my own, but I found it to be helpful to me in both my personal and professional lives.
As an aside, us YCTers who attended were timely for each of the three sessions, which strikes me as a positive representation of our school.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Recent Internship Visit

This past weekend, I went up for my second internship visit and spoke at the Tremont Shul. On Friday night, I spoke about the burial of Abraham and how there is little description in either the written text or in midrash about it and trying to conjure up the burial. On Saturday morning, I spoke on Keturah: is she Hagar or not? On Sunday morning, I spoke after shaharit on Jewish perspectives on Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Presentation on Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim §91, Part 2

Following on the heels of yesterday's presentation, I presented at school today on section 91 in the Orah Hayim section of the Shulhan Arukh, dealing with how one's clothing ought to be when praying. It involves some visuals and I thought it went better than part one of the presentation.
The audio for this presentation is available here and the video is available below:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Presentation on Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim §91, Part 1

This year, my school is having students deliver a devar halakhah after minhah on Wednesdays and Thursdays, lasting no longer than five minutes on a particular section in the Shulhan Arukh (similar to, but different from last year's). So, I spoke today [and will be speaking tomorrow] on section 91, which deals with preparing oneself garment-wise for prayer.
I think I did a decent job in my presentation, but I definitely felt like I was going pretty quickly, but most people said that kind of came out initially, but was not such a big issue. I decided to break it up chronologically: in this first session, I dealt with the relevant Talmudic passages and other statements in Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher's Tur on this section. Tomorrow, I will deal with the Shulhan Arukh and beyond.
The audio for this presentation is available here and the video is available below:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Drew at EitzahOn Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week, years three and four at YCT took part in a leadership training seminar, Eitzah. This training that we receive takes place on a two year rotation: one year we learn about the rabbi and the other year we learn about change in the synagogue. Since last year we spent eight days on the latter, this year we are doing the former.
In the first three sessions of this year's seven, we covered “The Rabbi as Leader”, “Authority”, and “Necessary Partnerships”, respectively. In the first session, we discussed boundaries, we discussed leadership in the context of rabbi, and we spoke about different types of followers and how the leader-follower relationship works. In the second session, we spoke about different types of decision-making approaches and authority at work. In the last session, we spoke about partnerships between the lay and the professional staff and the 3 R’s: Relationships, Relationships, Relationships and disturbances thereof.
The next sessions will be in January.

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