June 23 Letter to the Congregation

from Justin Swant, Chair

Dear Congregation Emanu El Members,
On behalf of the Rabbinic Search Task Force for Congregation Emanu El, we are pleased to deliver our first message, one of many which will be communicated over the coming months. As we begin the sacred work of finding a permanent or “Settled” Rabbi, we understand the importance of selecting a Rabbinic leader that will support and embrace the congregation as we start this new chapter in our history. The Task Force is here to facilitate a collaborative process as the final decision will rest with the congregation, not the Task Force or the Board of Directors.

With that said, we would like to emphasize two major objectives for the process of our work:

  • That our Task Force operate with the best interests of all members as opposed to advancing individual agendas;
  • That we remain committed to involving all members in the search process and keeping the entire congregation informed.

These objectives are critical to the success of our efforts, and we will actively use them to guide our steps. The coming months will be filled with much work and places for your involvement and input. This will include congregational meetings, surveys, and other forums to gather feedback. We encourage you to participate!

We also encourage you to contact any member of the Task Force along the way with your thoughts, concerns or considerations. Please understand that all communication is confidential and will not be shared publicly without consent, unless there’s a strong reason for doing so.

Opportunities for communication with the Task Force include:

  • Email. We have set up an address exclusively for this effort. It is CEERabbiSearch@gmail.com. The account will be monitored daily by Justin, the Task Force Chair.
  • USPS. Please address your communications to the Rabbinic Search Task Force c/o Congregation Emanu El, 1495 Ford Street, Redlands, CA 92373. These letters will be collected once a week, and will be opened only by a member of the Task Force.
  • Phone. Justin Swant or any member of the Task Force is very happy to receive your phone call. Justin can be reached directly at 310-922-4943.

The Task Force formally met for the first time on June 4th. We discussed goals and what our respective roles will be. We mapped out a general timeline for our efforts and discussed key milestones. We made good progress and will share a summary in our next update. Here is what to expect for general timing of the search process:

  • May to June – Search committee formed (completed)
  • June to August – Self-study conducted and rabbinic profile created
  • August – Application submitted to the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)
  • August to November – Resumes received and first round of interviews completed
  • November to December – On-site visits with final candidate(s)
    December to January – Recommendations made to the Board of Directors and membership, congregational vote, candidate negotiations, and contracts signed
  • July 1, 2018 – First day of the new Rabbi

You can also visit http://emanuelsb.org/about-us/rabbinic-search for additional information. We look forward to working together to make our Temple an emblem for all to be proud of.


Justin Swant and the Rabbinic Search Task Force