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Gesher: The Bridge to AJR Ordination Studies

Gesher is the Hebrew word for bridge. The Gesher program is a bridge into the Academy’s ordination programs. Individuals who are not sure that they want to pursue a course of study leading to ordination may enroll in regular AJR courses as non-matriculating students for up to two semesters. This experience allows them to clarify their goals in order to determine whether the Academy is the right learning environment for them. Gesher students accepted into ordination programs will be credited for any courses completed as Gesher students.

Admission to the Gesher program is based upon an interview with the Dean of Admissions, completion of the Gesher application form and a passing grade on the Hebrew placement exam. Cantorial students unable to pass the Hebrew exam may enroll in a specific course at AJR for one year while studying Hebrew.

Participation in the Gesher Program does not represent admission into or preference in admission to the ordination programs. Gesher students are encouraged to participate in AJR community activities including the fall Retreat and the spring Intensive. Credit for independent studies and financial aid are not available to Gesher students. Transfer credit and advanced standing are evaluated upon admission into one of the ordination programs.

Students wishing to register for a second semester in Gesher must be prepared to make a decision regarding application to an ordination program. Two weeks before the beginning of the second semester they should submit the first part of the application together with the $325 application fee. In exceptional cases the Academic Dean will grant permission for an additional semester of Gesher status.

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