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August 10: Listening

08/10/2023 11:44:27 AM


Fellow Congregants,
A lot has happened since our note of August 2: 

  • The Search Advisory Group has had its first meeting. Ably led by Barbara Illowsky and Kathy Crankshaw, the group includes Barbara Windham, Beate Klein, Bonnie Slavitt, Carol Kantor, Debra Hershman, Ellen Ratner, Ellen Tafeen, Howard Selznick, Jeffrey Berman, Jeffrey Carmel, Joanne Donsky, Keith Loebner, Marlene Levenson, Margo Horn, Rachael Shea, Shannon Stein, Susan Wolfe and Svetlana Bonner. The Search Advisory Group will be spearheading our coming listening campaign, and will provide a breadth of perspectives throughout the search process. Thank you for stepping up to help with this holy work!
  • As mentioned in our last note, we are actively listening to congregants in many ways:
    • We have already received almost 50 responses to the Invitation to Provide Input! Thank you for your thoughtful comments. All congregants are encouraged to share your thoughts; if you haven't yet, feel free to capture them HERE.  The Invitation to Provide Input will be open through the end of August.
    • Search Committee members are meeting individually with any congregant who asks. If you requested a meeting, we will be reaching out within the week to set up a time.
    • The Search Advisory Group is organizing meetings of various interest groups within the congregation during August and September. There will also be a general meeting on Wednesday, September 6 for those who would like to share their ideas in a group setting (details to follow).
  • In its recent Board retreat, the Board of Directors spent significant time thinking about its priorities for our next Senior Rabbi, answering the same questions as are in the Invitation to Provide Input. This will be combined with congregant perspectives to create a unified profile for our next leader.

The word sh’ma, to listen, is the most central word in the most central prayer in our liturgy. Indeed, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (z’’l) has said, “There is something profoundly spiritual about listening. It is the most effective form of conflict resolution I know. Listening lies at the very heart of relationship. It means that we are open to the other, that we respect them, that their perceptions and feelings matter to us.”

We hope that you will join us on this profoundly spiritual path of listening to each other. As always you can send comments or questions to We are eager to hear from you. Our next update will be shared on Thurasday, August 24.


Ben Lloyd | Loree Farrar | Deb Radin
Senior Rabbi Search Committee Co-chairs

Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784