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An Update from the Rabbinic Transition committee

05/01/2023 10:00:13 AM


Rabbinic Transition Committee

Dear community, 

Our congregation is currently in a time of flux. We’re thankful to have Rabbi Justin David back from his sabbatical, but are very aware there is much to do prior to his departure at the end of June. We on the Transition Committee know that to make this process as smooth as possible, we need to be as communicative and transparent as possible.

We want to be thoughtful and deliberate about finding the right fit for our shul. So instead of planning to hire a new permanent Rabbi outright, we will be starting with a transitional, interim model. This gives us the flexibility and time to investigate what our community needs, and what roles we want our Rabbi to fill. 

Part of the transition committee’s work to date has been identifying the key areas covered by Rabbi David that we will need to support after his departure. These include: 

  • ritual (services, funerals, life cycle events)
  • pastoral care (meeting with those seeking spiritual guidance)
  • community engagement (relationships with other synagogues, interfaith interactions, requests for information/comment from the media, responses to hard topics)
  • teaching (adult ed, meeting with b’nai mitzvah students etc). 

With all this in mind, and the knowledge from other congregations that have recently held their own search, we’ve begun to examine and weigh staffing models for this interim period. 

We have already met with staff and several community members whose opinions we felt might help us to focus our thinking. Going forward, we will also make space to receive and listen respectfully to all community input through a variety of in-person and virtual mediums:

  • Tonight, May 1 from 7-8pm, we will be holding a drop-in Zoom session for anyone interested in discussing the transition with us. 
  • We are hoping to schedule an in-person drop-in during Sunday breakfast at the Shabbaton, on May 7. 
  • We’ll hold another Zoom community town hall on May 11. 
  • We are planning on frequent communications using the weekly CBI email. Those communications will also be on the blog on the CBI website. 

What’s next? We’ll be finalizing the review of possible models for the interim period. When we have a recommendation for the interim time period, we will share it with the co-Presidents, who will in turn share with the board and the congregation and consider the budgetary implications.

Throughout, we will provide regular updates to staff, the Board, and the congregation as a whole. And most importantly, we commit to keeping the vibrancy, diversity, and spark that characterizes CBI front and center through this process.

Looking ahead, we want to share that a Search Committee for a permanent Rabbi will be named by the Board sometime this summer. This Search Committee will seek extensive congregational input into the job description and search for a permanent Rabbi. 

We ask that you, our community, continue to be generous with your time and your talents during this interim period—we will all gain strength and inspiration from a genuine community effort. We hope every person will find a connection and a way to contribute. We look forward to hearing from you, perhaps on the Zoom drop-in tonight from 7-8pm.


The Transition Committee 

Co-chairs Joel Feldman, Ellen Gertzog
Naomi Barnesky, Caryn Brause, Larry Hott, Leah King Kaufman  

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784