November 1 Message to Congregation

The New Year has begun with excitement as the search for our next settled Rabbi continues to move forward.  The Task Force has received and reviewed our first set of resumes. We met as a group and discussed each candidate’s experience and compared their qualifications against our application and expectations. This process led us to a key milestone of conducting first round Skype interviews with prospective candidates in late October. Each candidate was asked similar questions about their rabbinic background, their sermons, their strengths, and their approach to engagement within our congregation.  We also developed candidate specific questions to explore what they may uniquely bring to Congregation Emanu El. I believe the Task Force was impressed by many of the candidates’ responses. 

We do expect to receive additional resumes and to conduct additional Skype interviews in the month of November.  But, this does not stop us from moving forward with inviting a few candidates to Redlands and to Congregation Emanu El.  “Who” and “how many” as well as the itinerary of these visits is currently being developed. The process will likely include two onsite visits for the candidates that remain strong options for CEE.  The first onsite will include an introduction to various groups and individuals and will be rather quick and exceedingly busy. In addition to meetings with professional staff and the formal interview with the Search Task Force, they may have time with Past Presidents, the Board of Directors, CEE youth, and a handful of congregants.  The second onsite visit will encompass a more broad introduction to the entire congregation and will come further on in the process. We very much look forward to introducing you all to a few of these Rabbis at the appropriate time.

It goes without saying, that our visiting rabbis will be evaluating Congregation Emanu El just as much as we will be evaluating them. Consequently, it’s important for us to showcase the warmth, courtesy, and community that sets our congregation apart. Please keep that in mind as you may see new faces in our building in the near future.

While this is very exciting work, it’s also very serious work and we appreciate the patience as we work through the early stages of the interview process.  Many tasks must stay within the Task Force to preserve the confidentiality of the applicants. But, as we continue, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Task Force or email us should you have any questions. 

Warmest Regards,

Justin Swant