A rabbi is a spiritual leader within the Jewish faith, roughly equivalent to a priest or reverend in the Christian faith or an imam in the Islamic religion. Synagogues and their congregations are the most typical employer of rabbis, but schools, hospitals, and the military hire ordained rabbis to provide spiritual guidance and chaplaincy for persons who are adherents of the Jewish faith. In a congregational setting, a rabbi typically works to design worship services and offer spiritual teachings from the Torah. In this setting, the rabbi also offers comfort, advice, and guidance as necessary to the members of the synagogue. They officiate weddings, funerals, and other important events as required by the teachings of the Torah and the synagogue. Part of the job of a spiritual leader in any faith, including rabbis, is community outreach.
A rabbi is expected to help focus his congregation’s efforts within a larger association of synagogues for charitable contributions and assisting those in need. They are expected to also work to foster a thriving worship setting and are expected to reach out to families and youth in need of spiritual guidance to help maintain attendance at services on holidays and the Sabbath. Rabbis who serve at the direction of hospitals, schools, or the military also help arrange worship services. The rabbi also ensures that adherents of the faith are able to observe holidays and fasts as required. Rabbis offer counseling and comfort to those in need of spiritual guidance. These individuals typically works regular office hours during the week, but also makes arrangements outside those times for weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, funerals, and counseling needs of the congregation.
To work as a rabbi, a person must first be ordained which typically involves attending a Jewish seminary for instruction in the precepts and tenets of the faith and Torah. Numerous sects and denominations of the faith exist, and certain temples and synagogues may require a rabbi to be fluent in Hebrew and able to read, write, and teach in that language.
Function as a key educational resource to members/students helping to mentor and enrich their Jewish journeys.
Engage and help lead members/students on the periphery of Jewish life to explore and deepen their connection to Judaism.
Enhance staff members’ ability to facilitate new Jewish opportunities for members/students.
Facilitate and enhance the educational and religious opportunities provided by the synagogue/campus.
Work with staff on their own initiatives.