JSLI – Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute, the Online Rabbinical and Cantorial School of Sim Shalom, celebrated freedom in diversity and flexibility on July 4th weekend at the 13th Class Ordination weekend.
The six (6) new Rabbis, from a range of backgrounds, four (4) from the United States and two (2) from Canada shared a classroom on the internet and a passion for Jewish Religious studies. They completed traditional Rabbinic studies with a focus on contemporary Jewish issues and problems that a 21st Century Jew faces. The nod to modernity continues as learning occurred online via web conferencing and a learning management system. The Torah Parsha studies and weekly video conferencing was led by JSLI Founder and Dean, Rabbi Steven Blane as well as other Rabbis who taught topics like the Jewish View of the Afterlife, Inclusion, and Reproductive Issues.
Each Rabbinic candidate was granted semicha by the Bet Din as part of the celebration. The Certificate of Ordination confers the Rabbinical authority to offer pastoral care, interpret Jewish law, lead services and perform the myriad of Jewish life cycle blessings. Like the Bet Din comprised of JSLI ordained Rabbis Sandy Zisser and Nancy Tunick, the new class will pursue a life of service in a variety ways from serving in a pulpit to teaching to providing innovative B’nai Mitzvot and other Life Cycle events.
The spirit of the weekend was one of joy and reflection with the ordination taking place in a glass walled room offering a view of G-d’s creation.
JSLI – Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute is a mult-denominaltional professional rabbinic program of Sim Shalom, the online synagogue. The students bring their own unique life experience to the table and share knowledge and networking while supporting one another as they move to serve the unaffiliated, interfaith and contemporary Jew.