Job Title: Rabbi
Type of Company: I am the rabbi for a synagogue of 330 households, serving the religious and communal needs of the local Jewish community.
Education: AB, Theater, Vassar College MA, Hebrew Letters, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (New York, NY) rabbinic ordination, HUC-JIR
Previous Experience: I worked as an assistant rabbi in a large congregation for six years. I have been serving as a solo rabbi for the past nineteen years.
Job Tasks: My work has much in common with that of other professional clergy. In a typical day I teach, provide pastoral counseling, make hospital visits and visits to shut-ins, work with lay leaders on programming for the congregation and field inquires about many aspects of Judaism. I spend time educating myself on a variety of issues and work with community groups on common causes.
Because I serve as a solo rabbi, with only one other professional staff person (an educator/program director), there are many activities I engage in on a daily basis: moving chairs, photocopying, generating correspondence. It's the nitty-gritty reality of serving a smaller congregation with limited financial resources.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the variety of responsibilities and opportunities that come my way. No two days are exactly alike. I am also a musician/singer and I have the great good fortune to be able to lead worship with my guitar. That is one of my greatest joys in my work!
The worst part of my job is that, once I leave the synagogue, I cannot really leave my work behind. I have frequent evening commitments and often encounter people who want to speak to me about congregational matters when I am away from the synagogue.
Job Tips: It would be worth your while to find a way to "shadow" or intern with a clergy-person to see first hand what is involved in the work. You need not have expertise in religion; that is the function of any seminary you might attend to attain your professional clergy training. You certainly need to know yourself well and to determine if you are someone who genuinely enjoys getting intimately involved with people, both their joys and their sorrows.
Additional Thoughts: It has taken me a long time to grow comfortable with telling people that I don't know the answer to a question. But it has been an essential part of my learning curve. Members of the clergy are expected, by many, to have all the answers to the "big" questions. In my experience, people are quite comfortable learning that you have questions and even doubts about matters of faith because it often validates their own uncertainties.
I wish I realized more fully, when starting out as a rabbi, just how time-consuming the work can be. But I also could not have fully anticipated the gratification I've found from being invited into people's lives at the most intense moments.
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school
Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
100% Online & No Standardized Testing
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs
At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.
Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.
Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.
SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work program offered through the Simmons School of SocialWork, the nation’s oldest school of social work. Complete your MSW in as little as 15 months with this CSWE-accredited program. No GRE required.
Why Choose Widener University?
At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Clergy, including: