Q: What is the objective of the search committee?
A: To hire the best-fit senior rabbi for Beth Jacob by July 1, 2019.
Q: Who is on the search committee?
A: We are a committee that was chosen to be representative of the diversity of the full shul community. Ricka Kohnstamm and Rosanne Zaidenweber are the co-chairs. Marvin Pertzik, Nina Samuels, Mickey Minsberg, Barbie Levine, Stuart Bear, Randi Roth, Laura Broder, Laurie Fink, Tamar Resnick, Arielle Ehrlich, Ryan Lohr, Benj Kamm. Please feel free to reach out to any of us!
Q: How often does the search committee meet?
A: The search committee first met in May. We met monthly as a full committee through October. After the Rabbinical Assembly (R.A.) application was submitted to the R.A. and posted in October, the full committee began meeting every two weeks. There are several subcommittees that meet more often. In addition to meeting every other week, the search committee has also scheduled special meetings for Skype interviews with applicants.
Q: When did you post the R.A. application?
A: October 20, 2018
Q: What is the R.A. application?
A: The R.A. application is a series of questions that include topics like congregation’s values, qualities we are seeking in a rabbi, areas of opportunity, demographics, and leadership structure. The R.A. application is posted to the R.A. website and serves as the job posting for the position.
Q: Where is the application posted?
A: On the R.A. website, which only members of the R.A. can access.
Q: Where can I see a copy of the R.A. application?
A: We are very proud of our application because of what it says about our community! You can see a copy on the transition bulletin board in the shul lobby. You can also see a copy here.
Q: How many applications does a shul of our size receive on average?
Q: How many subcommittees are there?
A: We have several and create new ones as needed. To date we have had subcommittees for the R.A. application, networking, application reviews, interview logistics, interview questions, and hospitality.
Q: What kind of networking did the search committee do?
A: There is a subcommittee devoted to networking. We had conversations with over 70 people, including rabbis, heads of Jewish organizations, and other active members of the Jewish world, locally, nationally, and internationally.
Q: What applications materials did you request?
A: We requested a resume and cover letter from all applicants. We requested additional materials from some applicants, including a d’var Torah, eulogy, and answers to philosophical and background questions.
Q: Where are we now?
A: We have been receiving applications, and expect that we will continue accepting applications until the end of December. We have carefully reviewed resumes and cover letters and have received additional written materials from three applicants so far. We have now invited applicants to participate in a video interview with the entire committee. We have two scheduled and expect to schedule another one in early January.
Q: What happens next?
A: We have worked extensively on the questions and the format for these interviews, and expect that we will have a good sense of the applicants after speaking to them directly in this way. And if we conclude that there are appropriate candidates, the next step will be to invite them to visit our shul community so that they can become acquainted with us, and we can continue to delve into who they are and whether they are a good fit for Beth Jacob, with many opportunities for the entire community to be involved. We expect this will happen in late January/early February.
Q: How do I stay up-to-date with the search committee?
A: To stay up-to-date, please check the shul website, watch your Kol Yaakov, check the bulletin board in the front hall regularly, and keep an eye on the service sheet. And if you have questions, feel free to talk to members of the search committee. We are a committed, hard-working and actively engaged group of people who will be happy to share what we can about this incredibly important process.