We believe in inclusivity. That means everyone is welcome. Really. Everyone.
The Academy for Jewish Religion California is a Transdenominational* institution dedicated to the training of rabbis, cantors, chaplains, and other Jewish community leaders. Its mission is to develop religious leaders steeped in Torah wisdom and traditions and capable of transforming Jewish communities into places where all Jews can grow toward spiritual wholeness and well-being.
It is the Academy’s intent to graduate Jewish leaders who will serve as agents of transformation wherever they work by promoting genuine concern for the joys and pains of all people, dedication to moral living, and commitment to viewing Torah as foundational for human wisdom and spiritual practice.
*Transdenominational Judaism recognizes that all the denominations and movements within contemporary Jewry are valid and provide purposeful Jewish education and spiritual experience. Clergy and professional leaders who follow this path are committed to serving Jews wherever they find them, irrespective of ideology or institutional affiliation. Transdenominational Judaism is committed to the spiritual, psychological, and behavioral growth of each Jew as a pathway to fulfillment and meaningful living.
AJRCA was founded in 2000 by three creative, spiritually based, activist Rabbis: Rabbi Stan Levy, Rabbi Steve Robbins, and Rabbi Mordecai Finley. They recognized the urgent need for a new kind of Jewish spiritual leader – one who could effectively serve the 21st-century American Jewish community in all its diversity. Determined to create the highest caliber institution, our founders recruited an illustrious faculty representing all of Judaism’s denominations, highly accomplished students, and dedicated community leaders.
Today the Academy encompasses a Rabbinical School, a Cantorial School, a Chaplaincy School, and a Master’s program with a number of specializations. Our alumni work in denominational and transdenominational institutions nationwide. They lead existing congregations and have founded new ones; they serve as spiritual leaders of day schools, direct religious schools, head chaplaincy organizations, and teach at universities. They are transforming the Jewish communities in which they serve.
Together, the rich life experience and maturity of our students, the diverse expertise of our faculty, and the uniqueness of our curriculum and training have created an environment and community that is intellectually, personally and professionally dynamic, enriching and supportive.