Dr. Bradley Hyman
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 firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.
Congregation Emanu El has officially submitted our application to the CCAR as part of the search efforts for our next settled Rabbi. The content of our application was developed from your feedback during the Meet & Greets, one-on-one conversations, as well as the recent Town-hall. We appreciate the candid comments from those who participated in the process. The Task Force has done its very best to translate your voice into the application which will ultimately improve the likelihood of finding the appropriate Rabbi for Congregation Emanu El.
In short, we described a Rabbi who is inclusive, approachable, and engaging; one who is inspiring and able to help our membership make connections to Judaism; one who values and will perpetuate our long standing tradition of social action, and a Rabbi who will help foster a sense of community within Congregation Emanu El, the Jewish community, and throughout the greater Inland Empire.
The application included “insight” into Congregation Emanu El, which we used as an invitation to describe our history and give a little more context to who we are and how it relates to our community legacy. Greg Weissman and Stuart Sweet also produced a wonderful video to bring life to our application. It can be viewed at:
October will begin the flow and submission of resumes, but we don’t except to have a full slate of candidates until the end of the month. The Search Task Force will conduct its initial interviews and due diligence process throughout the month of October and into November.
This is a very exciting time in our congregation and we look forward to sharing updates as we have them. On behalf of the Rabbinic Search Task Force, we thank you for your continued support and engagement. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or comments.
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
June 15, 2017
I am pleased to announce that we have formed a Task Force to search for our new Permanent or “Settled” rabbi.
Selecting its members was not an easy task. We have been very thoughtful and deliberative in this process. A number of congregants expressed interest in participating, proving once again how dedicated our members are to Temple and its future. In the end, we cannot choose everyone who expressed an interest so I apologize in advance to those that were not chosen. There will, however, be many opportunities for involvement as we move through the process.
The following is your Rabbinic Task Force:
Chair: Justin Swant
Task Force Members
Dr. Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Stuart Sweet, Marv Reiter, Marla Drake, Debra Holder, Dr. Brad Hyman, Craig Beasley, Leslie Soltz, Joel Feinstein, Greg Weissman, Sidra Knox, Grace Lehmann
Members of the Task Force were selected for their unique perspectives and connections to Temple as well as their personal and professional backgrounds. It is my hope that these individuals represent a large cross section of Temple’s very diverse community. I have absolute confidence in each of these individuals’ commitment to our Temple and their shared obligation to serve all its members.
As the search process gets underway, we are committed to as much transparency as possible and pledge to keep the congregation informed at every step along the way. Updates will be available at: http://emanuelsb.org/about-us/rabbinic-search
The Task Force will begin to formally meet this month. Its goal is to submit an application with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) by August 2017 and make recommendations to the Board of Directors by November/December 2017. Should these be approved, the Board will then present a candidate, or candidates, to the congregation for election by December 2017/January 2018.
The Task Force and the Board have no power to hire a Settled rabbi. That power resides solely with the congregation and its vote.
Congregation Emanu El’s future is bright and its best days are yet to come. Please join me in supporting the members of this Task Force as they begin their important, sacred work.
Greg Weissman, President