After a successful 40-year career in financial services, I pursued my lifelong dream of becoming a rabbi, and leading a Jewish community into the future. Assuming the pulpit of a small, warm Midwestern congregation, I began my studies in earnest at JSLI, to become the best leader I could be. JSLI gave me the tools I needed: to draft meaningful Divrei Torah, to lead others in meaningful prayer, and to better understand all the facets of rabbinical work. The most important parts of the JSLI rabbinical training encompassed understanding the diversity of modern Jewish America, embracing inclusion of LGBTQ members, interfaith families, and Jews by Choice. JSLI gave us a strong grounding in Pastoral Care, as well as helping our fellow Jews through lifecycle periods of joy and mourning, from baby namings, B'nei Mitzvah, Brit Milah, to weddings and funerals. I am so grateful for the grounding JSLI has given me, which will serve me well for the rest of my rabbinical career, and the rest of my life.
Rabbi Brian Serle
I am very grateful for the experience of studying with JSLI. The collegial atmosphere, the skillful lessons in the practical aspects of rabbinics and the warm, nurturing nature of JSLI’s instruction made for an experience that I feel prepared me well for spiritual leadership. But perhaps more importantly, I feel that what I learned, from Rabbi Blane as well as my fellow students, improved me spiritually as a Jew.
Rabbi Dario Hunter
JSLI gave me a foundation for my rabbinate in leading me to resources integral to a well-rounded rabbinical education. Through the weekly classes, I have developed a new family of friends and colleagues which endures well beyond the formal program. JSLI is a great support system for those of us in this honorable role!
Rabbi Miriam Van Raalte
Rabbi Blane and JSLI provided me with the rare-sense in life that “I am at the right place, at the right time”, it’s a true sense of harmony. All of my colleagues, as well as myself, were equipped with exceptionally rich professional and varied Jewish backgrounds when we began our journey. JSLI helped develop my awareness and sensitivities to welcome and embrace a sometimes, invisible Jewish community, across the street or across the universe.
Rabbi Daniel Ettegdui
My Rabbinic ordination from JSLI allowed me to fullfill a quest of 35 years. I was encouraged along the path by Rabbi Steven Blane and my fellow Rabbinical students from diverse backgrounds. The pride and allegiance that I have for JSLI is unbounded, for now I can follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather as a Rabbi. I am now a religious leader to my retirement community housing about 1,000 jewish senior citizens.
Rabbi Norman Maybloom
My experience with JSLI was very rewarding. Rabbi Blane is an outstanding teacher. I learned a great deal from him and my cohorts each and every week.Rabbi Richard Perlman
The two year cantorial was everything I was looking for. While learning cantorial classics, Rabbi Blane shares his vast experience on what it is like performing these pieces and being a cantor. Rabbi Blane has given me the knowledge to learn any service needed in the future.Cantor Becky Bar-Lev Henning