Senior Rabbi Transition Update | Congregation Beth Am

Senior Rabbi Transition Update

The members of the Transition Committee and the Search Committee continue to be hard at work preparing for our upcoming Senior Rabbi transition. Thank you to those of you who gave us your feedback this spring by participating in one of our ICART listening sessions and/or by completing the survey we sent out.  We heard from over 500 congregants! Here are some of the most important things that we have learned:

  • Demographics in the Reform movement are changing, with fewer young Jews choosing to join a synagogue. As a congregation, we want to be responsive to this trend and find ways to engage the broader Jewish community, even if that means reimagining what membership looks like in the future.
  • Each of Beth Am’s Senior Rabbis has brought their own strengths to the role, and we know our next Senior Rabbi will do the same.
  • We are looking for someone who is warm, compassionate and a wise teacher. Most of all, the new Senior Rabbi will help Beth Am continue to be a welcoming and engaging community for people of all generations and from a diversity of backgrounds. 

Naturally, there were a variety of perspectives and opinions that were shared with us. If you would like to see more details on the feedback we received, download and view our informational document. We are also planning a special session to review our findings on Sunday, September 22 from 9:15-10:30 AM in the Sanctuary. Members of the Transition and Search Committees will be present, and we hope you can join us for the discussion!
What comes next?

  • Our wonderful Program Team will continue to do its great work in leading the congregation in worship, community building, social justice and education.
  • Over the summer, the Search Committee met several times to plan the search process, including learning in detail what congregants told the Transition Committee in the ICART sessions. It then posted the open role with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), which oversees the placement process. The Committee is currently planning to assess potential applicants and preparing for candidate interviews.
  • Once the Search Committee has identified a finalist, it will forward its recommendation to the Board which will vote to hire our next Senior Rabbi, subject to approval of the term of the contract by the congregation at a congregation-wide meeting.  
  • The Transition Committee, in consultation with Rabbi Marder, is planning several events next June designed to honor her service with Beth Am. Likely, there will be a special Shabbat service and congregational dinner on Friday, June 12 and a musical event the evening of Saturday, June 13. Stay tuned for ways in which you can help commemorate Rabbi Marder’s 21 years of service to our community. Importantly, Rabbi Marder has requested that we keep the recognition events to a small number to avoid distracting the congregation or the team.
  • We will also plan a series of events to welcome our next Senior Rabbi during the summer and fall of 2020. 

Thank you for your support during this process! If you have any questions or comments to share with us, you can contact us at To keep up to date on the search process, visit the Rabbinic Transition page.

Thank you!


Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).