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From the Rabbinic Search Committee

Dear Friends:

Our search for a rabbi to succeed Rabbi Posner in May 2013 is one of the most important undertakings in Emanu-El’s recent history. We want to be certain that the candidate we recommend to you is respectful of our past and our historic place in the Reform Jewish world and will lead us to an important future.

Soon after Dr. Posner announced his retirement, the board organized a search committee comprised of both trustees and non-trustees representing our diverse community. The members of the committee are Robert Calinoff, Neil Cooper, Karel Greenberg, Elizabeth Friedland Meyer, Marne Obernauer Jr., Barry Ostrager, Brian Pessin, Stephen Shapiro, John Sorkin, John Streicker and Jessica Weber, with myself as chairman. The Temple has engaged David Edell from DRG Search Consultants to guide us through the various stages of our search process. The committee has been meeting regularly and has pledged the time and effort necessary to identify the right candidate.

The members of the search committee recognize that our recommendation will affect each member of the Emanu-El family. Accordingly, we want to hear from you. We need the help of every member of Emanu-El to identify and define the personal, intellectual, spiritual and ethical qualities we seek in our next rabbi. These are the ways for you to participate directly in the search process:

(1) In the next weeks, we will send you a survey via email that will solicit your views about Emanu-El’s goals for the future and the role of the rabbi. If you believe we do not have your current email address, then please contact the Temple Office. A paper copy of the survey also will be available upon request.

(2) Save the date and join us on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, from 6 PM until 7:30 PM for a Town Hall Meeting, when we will answer your questions about the search process and discuss your thoughts about this transition and our congregation’s future needs. We expect to schedule more congregationwide meetings as the search progresses.

(3) Speak directly with any of the members of the search committee. Although committee members are bound by confidentiality — in order to protect the privacy of applicants — and cannot discuss the committee’s deliberations, we hope you will help us deepen our understanding of the membership’s desires by speaking with us personally about your thoughts, ideas and concerns.

Based upon our work to date, the committee has started to receive and review résumés and will continue to do so throughout the summer. We anticipate conducting first-round telephone interviews starting in mid- to late-August, with in-person interviews to follow after the High Holy Days in October.

Once the committee has identified several candidates, we will visit them at their current congregations. Ultimately, two or three candidates will be invited back to Emanu-El for a second round of interviews with the committee, the board of trustees, the senior staff and members of the congregation. We hope, if all goes well, that a final recommendation will be made to the congregation in January or early February.

On behalf of all of the members of the search committee, we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on July 11.


Marcia Waxman, Chairman
Rabbinic Search Committee

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