Rabbinic Search Process: An Overview A word from our President
We are embarking on a wonderfully challenging process: the search for a new Senior Rabbi. We are so fortunate to have been given the blessing of time: Rabbi Nemitoff gave us three years’ notice about his retirement date, which is June 30, 2021. Thanks to his forward thinking, we have the luxury to take the time to clarify our values, hear from all of our congregants and learn more about what we all collectively need and want in our next spiritual leader. This gift of time helps ensure our congregation will move toward our future in the healthiest way possible.
As we prepare to officially embark on our search, our Board of Trustees has utilized this extra time to research, reflect and commit to three important initial decisions.
- A settled rabbi versus an interim rabbi: A special Advisory Group researched and vetted the possibilities of settled vs. interim rabbi. Based on the Advisory Group’s recommendations, our board voted to focus on searching for a settled rabbi, as we believe this will best meet the needs of our congregation.
- Search committee: The Rabbinic Search Committee is chaired by board member Zach Bassin. This group is committed to:
- being open and transparent about the group’s work,
- keeping B’nai Jehudah congregants up to date on search efforts, and
- creating opportunities for congregants to share input and get involved.
3. Transition planning: In addition to the Rabbinic Search Committee, we are forming a Rabbinic Vision and Transition Committee, chaired by board member Tracey Litwin. This committee will do the work of listening and synthesizing our congregation’s wants and needs in a new spiritual leader. Gathering a consensus of our congregation’s values, strengths and priorities will make our decisions about the Rabbinic candidates easier.
It is imperative that we self-reflect and evaluate our current situation before beginning the search for a new rabbi. We must be intentional in seeking the most accurate picture of our congregation, not just the image of the few. The reflection needs to be public and communal, so it accurately reflects the congregation.
Our in-depth research tells us the process will have four distinct periods: 1) self-reflection and preparation; 2) the search process; 3) transition; and 4) first year. In this communal effort, we will look to each one of you for your valuable input. In the meantime, please click here for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the process.