AOP Public Courses

The ALEPH Ordination Program (AOP) opens a selected number of courses every semester to the general public. Here's a great opportunity to study with our faculty and alongside students on the ordination path.

You don't have to be an AOP student - or a student in another seminary - to enroll in these courses.

You may register now with a $100 deposit (per course). We will confirm your enrollment about two weeks before the course starts. As AOP students have priority of enrollment, it may turn out that a course is oversubscribed and no space is available - in which case the deposit will be fully refunded.

Fall 2020 courses start in early September and end in late December. Each course has 13 weekly meetings and is conducted LIVE with online distance-learning technology (required: highspeed internet, webcam, and microphone).

Course Fee:
  • $566.50 for Public Auditor - no credit ($550 + 3% T'rumah Financial Aid Fund fee)
  • $1,030 for Public Student - credit-earning ($1,000 + 3% T'rumah Financial Aid Fund fee)

Course Descriptions - Fall 2020 Registration Closed

Navigating the Prayerbook: Introduction to Jewish Liturgy- Registration Closed
Instructor: Rabbi Rachel Hersh
Tuesdays 2:30 to 4:30 pm (eastern)
Starting on September 1
Required for Rabbinic Pastor Program. Content required for Hashpa'ah Program. Foundational for Rabbinic and Cantorial Programs.
With roots in the ancient rites of the First Temple, and yet still evolving down to the present, liturgy has been a central element of Jewish civilization throughout the ages. Our shared prayer canon has given us a common language through which to express our gratitude, our fears, our praise, our dismay for more than two millennia. Jewish clergy of all stripes need to have their own understanding of and their own relationship to this ancient, still developing treasure chest of prayer. This course provides an introduction to and basic understanding of our liturgy and its central concepts and terms. Participants will explore both the structure (kevah) and the intention (kavanah) of Jewish prayer. We will explore basic terms such as maybe’a shel t'fillah, chiyyuv, sh'ma u-virchote'ha, and heiche k'dushah. We will look at what makes a shacharit service whole and how weekday, Shabbat, and holiday services are similar to and different from each other.
Hebrew Language
Biblical Hebrew 101” - Registration Closed
Two-Semester Course - the second half, "Biblical Hebrew 102," will be offered in Spring 2021.
Students must commit to BOTH semesters.
Please also NOTE that, for this language course, only the Public Student option is available.
The $1,030 fee is for EACH of the two semesters.
Instructor: Rabbi Fern Feldman
Wednesdays 1:30 to 3:30 pm (eastern)
Starting on September 2
Required for Cantorial Program. Content required for Rabbinic Pastor Program. Foundational for Rabbinic Program.
Areas covered: nouns, study recognition and translation of the seven binyanim and weak (irregular verbs) verbs and other topics. The course employs texts from Genesis, parashiot ha-shavuah, and siddur. The goals of these courses are a solid grounding in translation and interpretation of classical Hebrew texts.
Nusach - Traditional Ashkenazi Prayer Melodies
Music of the Jewish Liturgical Year” - Registration Closed
This course is a good introduction for anyone interested in hazzanut.
Instructor: Hazzan Abbe Lyons
Mondays 2 to 4 pm (eastern)
Starting on August 31
Content required for Rabbinic and Rabbinic Pastor Programs.
Jewish liturgical music is based on sets of musical modes - with melodic motifs for different types of prayer - and linked to calendar events and the time of day. As synagogue life changed, traditional nusach has been supplemented or supplanted by folk melodies, niggunim, compositions for cantor and choir, and contemporary liturgical songs. This course covers the basics of nusach (traditional Ashkenazi prayer melodies) and some niggunim, with the goal of competence in leading services that are traditionally grounded and melodically accessible. Open to both music readers and non-readers. Participants should be familiar with the siddur and common prayers in Hebrew and be able to pronounce liturgical Hebrew (transliteration permitted). Technological requirements: be able to record - and upload - yourself speaking and singing, and to download and listen to mp3 files.

To register, please click HERE for our Public Courses Policy and Registration Form.

NOTE: Please read the policy page carefully before filling out the registration form and paying the deposit.

If you have any questions, please contact Ming at the AOP office: 215-247-9700 x210.

If you need to CANCEL your registration, please do so in writing by emailing Ming (ming at