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> Dayanut Program for Rabbis in North America


leading to semicha

Yadin-Yadin for the Diaspora


The Montefiore Endowment, in association with Eretz Hemdah and the RCA, is reopening its Dayanut program for applications from rabbis in North America. The program, which opened in November 2016, already includes rabbis from the UK, North America, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Australia and Hong Kong. It is a part-time course, lasting for five-six years, and is intended for well-qualified rabbis jointly selected by these institutions on the topics of Marriage (Ishut and Kiddushin), Divorce (Gittin) and Conversions (Giyur).


The Program will be delivered by Eretz Hemdah, which was established to prepare judges and spiritual leaders for religious communities in Israel and abroad to fulfil the need for leaders able to combine a high level of Torah expertise with a Zionist background. Eretz Hemdah is excellently well-qualified both to deliver the programme and to confer authority on the resulting diploma; and the course will be run under the personal direction of Rabbi Yosef Carmel, the head of its Kollel. Academic rigour is expected.


The Montefiore Endowment, whose chairman is Lucien Gubbay, aims to create rabbinical leaders who are moderate and clear-headed in their approach. Sephardi custom has always been to present Judaism pleasantly and without aggression, approaching halachic decision-making with mildness and adopting the traditional view which stresses the middle way and avoids extremes. It recognises the virtue of inclusivity as well as the value of the world around us - and not merely tolerance of it for the purpose of earning a living.  The Montefiore Endowment, through the Judith Lady Montefiore College whose Hon. Principal is Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy OBE, seeks to promote the values of tolerance, social harmony and mutual understanding for wide public benefit in accordance with the teachings of the Torah and as demonstrated by Sir Moses Montefiore, through its Conferences, Leadership Courses, Gap-year Fellowship schemes, its Semicha Course and now its Dayanut Course.


Participating rabbis will take Eretz Hemdah’s examination on the completion of each topic. After passing, and fulfilling the other requirements of the programme, Eretz Hemdah will issue them with its semicha ‘Yadin-Yadin for the Diaspora’ for those topics covered.

The instructing Dayan will issue a detailed learning unit each week, consisting of sources from the Gemara and Rishonim through the Shulchan Aruch and its commentators to contemporary Poskim with an emphasis on practical topics, and will give an interactive weekly hour long shiur online (in English), which will be recorded. In addition, every summer there will be a  week-long seminar with the Dayan in a venue in North America (location to be decided) Each participant is required to dedicate 8-10 hours weekly preparing the learning units, and to participate in the learning sessions.

The online sessions will take place on Mondays at 4:00 pm ET. The program is scheduled to begin a new topic in September 2018, Hilchot Kiddushin, and it is an opportune time to join the program.


Participants will be granted scholarships by the Montefiore Endowment which will greatly reduce the fee payable for tuition to GBP £1,000 (approx. $1,400) a year.


Rabbis wishing to be considered for admission to the course are requested to submit a full CV, together with a note explaining the reasons why they wish to join. Such submissions should be sent to by email to the Montefiore College (administrator@montefioreendowment.org.uk). For further information on the program please contact Rabbi Ofer Livnat (rabbilivnat@eretzhemdah.org).  


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