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September 28: The Rabbi We Seek

09/28/2023 04:00:10 PM

Sep28

Fellow Congregants,

It was a pleasure to see so many Beth Am members at High Holy Day services this year. Special thanks to those who attended our Yom Kippur Study Session, “On Leadership:  Like God on a Good Day.” Your insights into wisdom, compassion, humility, spirituality and leadership were invaluable.

We have now completed our in-depth analysis of input from group and individual meetings, Search Advisory Group input, long-form survey responses, Hazon recommendations, and informal conversations. We are remarkably consistent in what we seek. Our community has identified the following nine priorities, listed roughly in order of importance:

  • A “Big Tent” leader, collaborative, inclusive, able to respectfully engage multiple perspectives and deal with conflict.
  • High emotional intelligence: kind and compassionate, humble and with a sense of humor.
  • Wise and learned, with deep Jewish knowledge, and an excellent teacher.  Curious.
  • A spiritual leader who respects a range of ritual practices, and leads inspiring services with engaging sermons.
  • Experienced in large or medium synagogues, ideally as a senior rabbi; ability to mentor others;  excellent at change management; visionary and innovative.
  • A transparent communicator, capable of using a variety of media and methods.
  • An educator who can teach people of all ages.
  • An advocate for social justice.
  • Someone who reflects a deep love of Israel.

These priorities will be described in our job posting, which we will share with you as soon as it’s published, and will be built into our interview guides.

One congregant has said that what we’re looking for “...is like God on a good day.” But maybe we’re on the right track. In the Mishneh Torah, we are taught: “Just as God is called Gracious, you too must be gracious. Just as God is called Compassionate, you too must be compassionate. Just as God is called Holy, you too must be holy.” Each of us is called to imitate God to the best of our ability; we are merely asking the rabbi we call to do the same.

Want to talk informally about the search? We will be sponsoring the First Friday Pre-Neg on Friday, October 6 at 5:30 PM in the Foyer; we’d love to see you there. Of course, you can always send comments or questions to search@betham.org — we are eager to hear from you. Our next update will be coming on Thursday, October 5.

L'Shalom,

Deb Radin, Ben Lloyd and Loree Farrar
Senior Rabbi Search Co-chairs

Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784