A Few Minutes With…Our Students!

We recently collected lots of great information from our students and faculty and will be sharing it over the coming months in blog posts like this. We hope you enjoy hearing from members of our community in their own words!

Today we’ll be sharing some responses from a variety of students across our programs to the following question:


“What drew you to AJRCA?”


“It is the only Cantorial school on the west coast. I looked at no other schools. Continuing on with Rabbinical studies at AJRCA was an obvious choice.”

Cantor Cheri Weiss, Cantorial Alumna/
Current Rabbinic Student

“AJRCA had been recommended by Jewish spiritual leaders. The combination of “keva” and “kavanah” at the Academy, along with the caliber of administration, faculty, and students sold me. I had seriously considered applying to Aleph, Hebrew Union College, and Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. My age, distance from my aging parents, and other factors which affected my decision to follow-through with my application to AJRCA.”

Randy Lester-Wilson, Current Rabbinic Student

“AJRCA is an incredible combination of elements that make it unique among seminaries and graduate institutions worldwide. It is trans-denominational; it is flexible in terms of Zoom/online learning and classes 3 days a week (which allows students to work while in school); and rabbinical, cantorial, chaplaincy, and masters students have the opportunity to take classes and learn with one another.”

Current Cantorial Student

“I wanted a trans-denominational school which was reflective of my personal approach to Jewish life today.”

J. Hyams, Current Rabbinic Student

“I liked that the schedule was limited and that it did not require a year in Israel, which would not have been feasible at this time in my life. I like that it is transdenominational and not governed by one denomination. I think that allows for a well-rounded education.”

Current Cantorial Student

“I needed a school that would make it possible for me to continue my pulpit work and go to school, and I was drawn to the school because it is not affiliated with any movement. I believe this is where progressive Judaism is going.”

Current Rabbinic Student

“AJRCA’s transdenominational bent and a student body that is relatively more mature than the average MJS program.”

Current MJS Student

“I had heard good things about AJRCA and knew it was considering the online program, which it has since implemented. I needed a program that would have limited time required for me to be away from my family and congregation.”

Current Cantorial Student

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