By: David Chriqui  | 

YU Launches A New Joint Semikha/MBA Program

Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) have announced a ​​joint semikha and MBA program, which will be open to students starting this spring. 

Due to the MBA program being asynchronous, students can join the program from semikha programs around the world, such as Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem, and even the Mir Yeshiva. Students may begin the program even if they have already started semikha.  

“You can decide how long you want it to take and can even speed up or slow down while you’re in the program.” SSSB Dean Noam Wasserman told The Commentator. “You can do it during the times of day and the days of week that are most convenient for you. You can do it from wherever you want in the world, while having a wide and growing range of electives from which to choose.” 

The two-year program is open to alumni from both Yeshiva College and SSSB, as well as graduates of other universities. Students must complete 42 credits to fulfill the program requirements in courses on subjects such as finance, marketing, management and entrepreneurship. All students will take the same core classes, regardless of their undergraduate degree. 

“The Semikha+MBA program is a great example of how Sy Syms implements its Mission,” Professor Tamar Avnet, the recently appointed SSSB MBA program director, told The Commentator. “This program further strengthens our ability to develop Torah-grounded professionals who excel in the workplace and in the community, by enabling rabbis to develop leadership and organizational skills and by enabling lay leaders to understand how to bridge the worlds of Torah and business.” 

The joint Semikha-MBA program aims to equip students pursuing a Rabbinic career with business and organizational skills that can be applied in their positions within the rabbinate, Wasserman told The Commentator. Students going into Chinuch [Jewish education] could also use their degrees to pursue part-time work outside the Rabbinate and may tailor their degree to whichever path in business suits them, including real estate, entrepreneurship and business analytics.

Wasserman stressed that he feels that a growing desire of shuls to hire a Rabbi with business skills will help spark interest in the program. “Shuls and schools get stronger when their rav or rebbe has leadership and business skills, and the rav or rebbe has a much deeper and broader range of ways to impact the Klal [community].”


Photo Caption: YU has announced the launch of a joint semikha-MBA Program

Photo Credit: The Commentator