Rabbi Search Committee Updates 

From Ira Lamster, Rabbi Search Committee Chair

JANUARY 6, 2017 - The search process is ongoing, and the Committee continues to vet candidates. Committee members have been remarkably dedicated to their task, and demanding in their expectations. 

The Committee has discussed hiring an interim rabbi for a one year period if we do not find a person who meets our needs. While the search is ongoing, we will define our direction in the next few weeks.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 - The search for the next Rabbi at Temple Beth Rishon has entered the stage of vetting and interviewing candidates.

After outreach to educational institutions, and contact with a variety of other individuals and organizations, resumes are being received.

Our job description has been submitted to the Rabbinic Assembly or RA (Conservative Judaism) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis or CCAR (Reform Judaism). Since we are not an affiliated synagogue, our job opportunity will only be listed briefly on the RA website and not at all on the CCAR site. Nevertheless, the placement director for the CCAR is sending our description to selected individuals.

To date, we have received resumes from rabbis affiliated with the reform movement and the conservative movement. We have a rolling evaluation process, and candidates are contacted as resumes are received. After initial vetting of a resume, an initial interview is conducted by video conference. Selected candidates are then invited for a first, limited on-site visit, and the first of these meetings was held on Thursday, September 22. Other first on-site interviews have been scheduled after the High Holidays. Selected candidates will then be invited back for a more extensive, second on-site visit, when they will participate in Temple activities, and meet with members of the congregation.

APRIL/MAY, 2016  - In April and early May, 2016, a series of 6 open meetings were held for the congregation to express their thoughts about the search for the next Rabbi. This report is a summary of the major themes that emerged from those meetings.

The Search Committee would like to thank those members of the congregation who attended the various meetings.  

The summary of results reflects the notes of all of the committee members who attended the meetings. They are summarized here in order to share the information that was gleaned as a result of these meetings. A number of common, major themes were evident:

  1. The rabbi should be a leader, both within the congregation and within the community. 

  2. The rabbi should know the membership. Sensitivity and pastoral care are key issues. He/she must make a sincere effort to know the families, welcome the members and be available in times of need. The rabbi should be approachable. Being a rabbi should not be just a job; it should be the essence of the individual.

  3. We are a very diverse congregation. There are young members and old members. There are members whose level of observance is traditional versus members whose practice is more liberal. There are families where both parents are Jewish as well as interfaith families. The new rabbi should be able to work with and nurture all of the members of our community. It would be important to have programs which would bring our community together. 

  4. There should be a focus on spirituality. The rabbi should be a scholar and be able to engage the congregation in Torah. The rabbi should have a background of tradition. 

  5. The new rabbi should be able to work well with our current staff. 

  6. Through teaching and through sermons, it is expected that the rabbi will inspire our current congregants to support the congregation and showcase our congregation to those looking to find a spiritual home.

Those of you who attended the congregational meetings have given us your thoughts as to what would make for the perfect rabbi. We will do our best to be mindful of all of these attributes, as we try our best to reconcile perfection and reality.    

As was stated in all of our congregational meetings, please do not hesitate to contact any of our committee members if you have additional input that you believe would be helpful as we go forward in our search process.