Since 2019, 18Doors has successfully trained 44 Rukin Rabbinic Fellows over three cohorts from across North America and from a variety of denominations. The Fellows have served over 2,300 individuals in interfaith relationships to date and counting. Through the professional development opportunities offered by this Fellowship, we hope that future Fellows will be able to advocate for more interfaith inclusion in Jewish life and engage more wholly with interfaith couples and families.
The professional development offerings for Cohort 4 will include the following:
We are seeking 30 early to mid-career rabbis who have some experience with interfaith couples and families, but who desire to be more comfortable and more skilled in working with people in interfaith relationships – and who want to achieve this by participating in a learning community. The members of the Fellowship cohort will learn together and support each other in increasing their knowledge of interfaith inclusion issues and participate in developing solutions to create communities of belonging for these couples and families.
We have scheduled three virtual information sessions for those who are interested in learning more about Cohort 4 of the Fellowship. The information sessions will be presented by Rabbi Robyn Frisch, Director of the Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. We encourage anyone interested in applying to attend an information session. The session will meet:
You can register for an information session – or, if you can’t make any of these sessions, you can request a recording – by clicking the button below.
Applications for the fourth Fellowship cohort will be open March 1 – April 28, 2023.
In order to apply to the Fellowship, you must already be an ordained rabbi. Additionally, we only accept applicants who were ordained at the following institutions: Academy for Jewish Religion (NY), Academy for Jewish Religion (CA), AJU Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, ALEPH, Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Hebrew College, Hebrew Seminary, HUC-JIR, IISHJ, JTS, Leo Baeck College, RRC, Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Yeshivat Maharat, and Yeshiva University.
18Doors has fellows in the United States and Canada, and is focused on serving interfaith couples and families in North America at this time. We do not offer the Fellowship overseas.
We are seeking early-mid career rabbis who likely have some experience working with interfaith couples and families, but who aren’t entirely comfortable doing such work, and who want to learn how they can better meet the needs of interfaith couples and families.
Examples of those who would be good candidates for the Fellowship include, but are not limited to:
Applicants should be willing to look at their personal policies and boundaries when it comes to people in interfaith relationships and determine where they might be open to change.
Fellows will attend webinars that expose them to a wide variety of experts and topics relating to interfaith couples and families, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of the lives and experiences of these couples and families. They are intended to help Fellows understand how they can best support these couples and families and become more skilled in interacting with them and advocating for them. The webinars push Fellows to challenge their own boundaries and assumptions regarding interfaith couples and families. Our goal is to encourage Fellows to be thoughtful about their boundaries and kind and sensitive in the way those boundaries are communicated to interfaith couples. Our goal is not to have Fellows necessarily change their views on particular issues or what they’ll do as a rabbi, but rather to encourage them to be thoughtful and open minded and to be aware of and sensitive to the fact that there are many ways of viewing and doing things. Webinar presenters include a wide range of individuals whose work includes studying or working with interfaith couples and who are experts in their respective fields.
Past webinar presenters have included: Fern Chertok of the Cohen Center of Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University; Susan Katz Miller, author of “Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family”; and Edmund Case, founder of InterfaithFamily (now 18Doors) and the Center for Radically Inclusive Judaism, and author of “Radical Inclusion: Engaging Interfaith Families for a Thriving Jewish Future.”
Yes. The Fellowship will begin with an in-person retreat from Sunday, October 15 – Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Anyone who applies must be available to attend this retreat. There will be a second mandatory in-person retreat at the end of the Fellowship in March 2025 (dates to be determined).
Once you arrive at the retreat, 18Doors pays for all costs – a single room for each Fellow, as well as all meals and programming. While the Fellows will book their own travel, 18Doors will reimburse each Fellow based on the average cost of travel from their home to the retreat.
Yes. All food will be Kosher, under rabbinic supervision.
Fellows will choose which Discussion Groups they want to be part of based on topics they want to discuss in greater depth with their colleagues (e.g., officiation of interfaith weddings, dual faith families, synagogue policies regarding interfaith couples and families). Throughout the period of the Fellowship, each Fellow will participate in five or six Discussion Groups, with each group meeting approximately three times.
At the opening retreat, each Fellow will be paired with another Fellow, who will be their Chavruta for the period of the Fellowship. They will have their first opportunity to learn together during the opening retreat, and they’ll be asked to figure out times that they can meet for an hour virtually on a monthly basis.
18Doors will provide the texts for study, as well as questions to consider. Our hope is that not only will the Fellows benefit from their Chavruta experience but that they will also be able to use the texts that we provide them with in their own teaching.
The goal of the Capstone Project is for the Fellow to think deeply about an issue related to interfaith couples and/or families and to produce or provide something that will benefit people in interfaith relationships. This can be done in many different ways, such as through creation of materials that will be valuable to people in interfaith relationships (e.g., curriculum to be used by rabbis or other professionals or resources to be provided directly to couples); provision of professional development to those who work with people in interfaith relationships; or advocacy of some other means.
Examples of Capstone Projects include but are not limited to: a research project; an advocacy project; writing an article for the Jewish press; training Jewish clergy, professionals and/or lay leaders in the Fellow’s community or at a national gathering; creating a curriculum for a program for interfaith couples or parents, parents of adults in interfaith relationships, or grandparents; creating resources for 18Doors’ website; or creating materials that can be used by the clergy in 18Doors Jewish Clergy Officiation Referral Service.