ALEPH Ordination Program Intensive Study Week – aka "Smicha Week"

  • An amazing opportunity to spend an intensive, spiritually uplifting, intellectually stimulating week of learning with your fellow students in all the ALEPH ordination programs!
  • Study with members of the Va'ad and special guest teachers. Meet informally with your teachers and directors of studies.
  • Surround yourself with constant hevruta, in small classes and informal groups throughout the week. Earn 2 units of credit for full participation in the week's learning.
  • Soar with daily student-led davvening! Sign up to lead or co-lead, and to receive feedback on new approaches from ALEPH teachers.
Smicha Week is for students in the ALEPH Ordination Program (AOP) and candidates whose application is in process. Students enrolled in one of our smicha/ordination programs are welcome to register now for Smicha Week. If you are a candidate for one of our smicha programs, a letter of invitation from Rabbi Marcia Prager, Rabbinic Pastor Shulamit Fagan or Hazzan Jack Kessler is a prerequisite for registering for Smicha Week. (Please also see NOTE below regarding ALEPH Musmachim.)

Please review thoughtfully the info in Step 1 and Step 2 -- see the buttons at the bottom of this page -- BEFORE proceeding to Step 3, registering for Smicha Week. 

Questions regarding program and lodging should be directed to the organizers of Smicha Week, Rabbis Nadya and Victor Gross, at 

Questions regarding registration and payment should be directed to AOP’s administrator, Ming Shem Lu, at

ALEPH Musmachim are invited to join us during Smicha Week at a special rate of $1,300 (includes Single Room in North Apartments, meals, classes, and program). Please contact Ming at (215) 247-9700 x21 if you would like to register.



Clergy on the Cutting Edge: Reinscribing Renewal 
All the classes this summer will address cutting-edge issues in Jewish community, practice, identity and text, seeking to find what is relevant, meaningful and Renewal in nature in the content covered. Faculty will be teaching from their growing edge, inviting students to explore theirs.

Mishpacha Groups

We will be introducing a favorite practice from Elat Chayyim & DLTI - Mishpacha Groups will meet 4 times during the week, allowing for deepening relationships among students and an opportunity to explore how Smicha Week is landing in you. 

If you have experience facilitating mishpacha groups at EC/DLTI, please let us know at 

Weekday Davvenen

Smicha Week is a place for experimentation. In light of this fact and our unique theme this year, we invite you to use the daily davvenen slots as a spiritual laboratory. Lead from your growing edge. How are you called to guide a community in the davvening experience? We are asking you to think in terms of different modalities and approaches, whether using the matbeah as your architectural framework or building your own path to present an experience of the deep structure of that moment of communal prayer. Experiment with meditation… silence… chant in a contemplative or ecstatic container. Make the best use of this laboratory.

Faculty will provide the following for inspiration and guidance: 
  • Recommended readings: a chapter or two on davvenology 
  • Helpful guidance: a short, to-the-point cheat sheet outlining matbeah essentials. 
  • Mentoring: we'll post a list of davvenen mentors soon! Students will sign up for the mentor of their choice. Mentoring, feedback and evaluation will come solely from the mentors with whom you choose to work.

Registration Instructions: