We are happy to announce the creation of the
Yeshivat Har Etzion Semicha Program.

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Yeshivat Har Etzion Semicha Program

Rav Rafi Eis, Director of Semicha Program



beitmidrashSince its founding in 1968, Yeshivat Har Etzion has been a flagship Religious Zionist institution, unparalleled in its dedication to intellectual excellence, spiritual growth and commitment to Am Yisrael. Yeshivat Har Etzion is an institution that has changed world Jewry and set the standard for Torah learning, teacher education, and Jewish leadership.

Upon reaching its 50th aniversary, one of Yeshivat Har Etzion's goals is to support the global Modern Orthodox community in navigating the challenges of the 21st century by founding a Semicha Program to produce the future religious Zionist, Modern Orthodox rabbinic leaders that our Jewish world needs.

This program, to be directed by Rav Rafi Eis under the guidance of the Roshei Yeshiva, will go beyond training halachic experts and offer all the necessary skills for modern rabbinics, including pastoral psychology, public speaking, dealing with modern medical issues, institutional management, assisting sufferers of addictions and mental illnesses, and more. The program will be specifically geared to the needs of rabbis in North America, the UK, South Africa and Australia.




Semicha fellows will have the opportunity to live and learn in Eretz Yisrael. Fellows will learn for rabbinic ordination during morning seder (8:30-1:00) while afternoon seder (3:00- 6:00) will allow for the study of Gemara B’Iyun, additional Halacha, Tanach, and Jewish Philosophy, as per the interests of the fellow. Each year of the 3 year cycle contains a core area of Halacha study, practical Halacha, pastoral psychology, leadership training, and Jewish thought for the modern world. Students in the education track will enroll in Herzog College.





 Course Offerings and Sequence

Year A

Core Halacha Study: Yoreh Deah

Practical Halacha: Immersion of New Vessels, Kashering of Vessels, Home and Commercial Food Preparation, Appliances

Medicine and Halacha: Living with Illness, The Obligation to Heal

Pastoral Psychology: Raising Children and Family Life

Year B

Core Halacha Study: Hilchot Niddah

Practical Halacha: Mikvaot, Conversion, Marriage, Circumcision

Medicine and Halacha: Beginning of Life

Pastoral Psychology: Wedding, Marriage and Divorce

Core Halacha Study: Hilchot Aveilut

Practical Halacha: Burial, Mezuza

Medicine and Halacha: End of Life

Pastoral Psychology: Death and Tragedy

Year C

Core Halacha Study: Laws of Shabbat

Practical Halacha: Eiruv, Shabbat and Technology, Prayer and Synagogue, Holidays

Medicine and Halacha: Saving a Life on Shabbat, Fast Days, Healing on Shabbat, Palliative Care, Technology on Shabbat


elter learning336x444Leadership Training

Each year will also have units on leadership education, including: homiletics and public speaking, time and energy management, goal setting and decision making, assessing success, dealing with stress, institutional administration and finances, leading change,and a survey of the rabbinic profession.

During the third year of the program fellows will also serve as rabbinic interns in a synagogue or educational environment to build experience and receive mentoring.


rabbinic conference with RAL335x448Job Placement and Continuing Education

The program director will assist graduating students in finding their first rabbinic employment in synagogues, college campuses, and schools. This includes: advertising open positions, advising students, recommending students, and conducting mock interviews. The program director will also arrange for a mentor during the first year of employment. To provide opportunities for professional growth and reflection, the yeshiva will also be running seminars and conferences for rabbinic alumni.


Exemplifying the best in traditional Jewish learning,
the Semicha Program at Yeshivat Har Etzion
will educate a new generation of Jewish leaders
who are immersed in Torah and engaged with the world.

For more information, please contact Rav Rafi Eis at rafie@haretzion.org.il

Rabbi Rafi Eis 210x255Rav Rafi Eis
Director of Semicha Program

Rav Rafi Eis is the Director of the Semicha Program.  He also serves as the Executive Director of the Herzl Institute, a Jerusalem based think-tank.  He previously was a Ra”m at Midreshet Lindenbaum and prior to his Aliyah, he was the Interim Head of School at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion, PA.

He received semicha from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), holds an M.S. in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli School of Jewish Education, and a B.A. from YU in English Literature. He learned at Yeshivat Har Etzion during 1998-2000.