Rabbinic Student Fellows Application Information

Are you an entrepreneurial rabbinical or cantorial student interested in creating vibrant Jewish life?

Are you looking for meaningful mentorship from clergy who serve small-town congregations and meaningful relationships with congregants? Would you like to spend seven extended weekends in beautiful Maine over the coming year? If so, please apply to be a 2019/20 Rabbinical or Messerschmidt Cantorial Fellow at the Center for Small Town Jewish Life (CSTJL)!

Rabbinic Student Fellows Application Information

The CSTJL fellowship program offers a unique twist on the classic small-town student pulpit. Each fellow works in a diverse and vibrant community large enough to support its own clergy but small enough to crave the energy and excitement for building Jewish life that rabbinical and cantorial students bring. Fellows receive intensive mentorship from a multi-denominational team of rabbis who have chosen to establish their careers in Maine’s small Jewish communities. They also learn about the distinctive dynamics of small-town Jewish life in sessions with scholars and communal professionals. The insights and leadership strategies that fellows gain are relevant in Jewish communities of all sizes.

Over several visits across the year to a single congregation, fellows lead services, teach children and adults, and establish meaningful relationships with congregants. In addition, fellows offer programs in Jewish communities across the state, including at Maine’s colleges. These include programs related to a project with potential for lasting impact that the fellow selects and executes in consultation with local rabbinic mentors.

Expectations include:

  • Six extended weekends in Maine during the 2019-20 academic year, including the weekend of the CSTJL Fall Shabbaton (Oct. 25-26) and the Maine Conference for Jewish Life (June 2020, date TBD)
  • Orientation at the 2019 Maine Conference for Jewish Life, June 21-23
  • Cohort learning with other fellows via Zoom three times during the academic year
  • Check-ins with mentors prior to and following visits to Maine
  • Strong entrepreneurial initiative and solid rabbinical/cantorial skills


$3,600 plus all reasonable travel expenses. Of perhaps greater value, fellows receive ongoing one-on-one mentorship from at least two rabbis to help them develop as effective leaders and educators. Fellows may accept both this position and an unrelated student pulpit.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Please be sure to address your specific interest in the opportunities associated with this fellowship in your letter. Review of applications will begin on March 4 and will include Zoom interviews with finalists.