The SRSC is thrilled to announce that on August 23, 2018, Temple Emanuel’s Rabbinic Application was submitted to the Reform Movement’s Rabbinical Placement Commission. This formally initiates our recruitment process for our new rabbi with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). All potential Reform rabbinic candidates must be members of CCAR and apply through the Placement Commission.
The application enables Temple to outline its values, philosophy, and history. It also provides a significant amount of information to candidates regarding our community, our existing staff, and what Temple Emanuel, the South Hills, and the Greater Pittsburgh region can offer. The CCAR will post the application on its website, where it will be available to be viewed by all CCAR members.
The 22-member SRSC used your responses to the congregational survey (over 200 responses were received) and the more than 30 Focus Group meetings that were held (attended by approximately 150 congregants) to guide the application. We began the process of compiling the information collected on June 5 and met several times throughout the summer. The result is a user-friendly, colorful, marketing-style piece that not only answers a set of required questions, but also provides an applicant with a good sense of our congregants’ desires, expectations, and hopes for the future.
Based on your feedback, we determined the three qualities we are seeking in a new rabbi are to be warm and caring, open-minded and inclusive, and inspirational. The priorities of the new rabbi include: strengthening relevancy of Judaism and making Temple part of the rhythm of congregants’ lives, building relationships and connections to create kehila kedoshah, and collaborating with staff, lay leadership, and other community partners.
We also set out Temple’s goals, which are to become a model of audacious hospitality, to strengthen Temple for future generations, and to maintain our fiscal responsibility. The application sets forth the most important issues confronting Temple, which include creating a strategy for Temple to be a leading Reform congregation, engaging congregants throughout all stages of life, and healing relationships and building bridges with interfaith families.
In addition, we named our greatest challenges. These are creating a community of meaningful engagement among all of our congregants, making Temple an inclusive and welcoming home for interfaith families, increasing engagement in worship and education programs, defining our relationship with the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community, Israel and the world, defining the best ways for our youth to participate in Jewish activities outside of Torah Center and J-Line, and exploring the role of music at Temple.
We also pointed out Temple’s greatest strengths, which are our diverse and dynamic congregational community, our ECDC and Torah Center Programs, our building, our many talented volunteers, and our convenient location in the South Hills.
We expect to begin receiving resumes from applying rabbis very soon and hope to receive the bulk of our submissions by the end of September. Our plan moving forward is to evaluate all applications received, and then schedule Skype interviews with candidates. We will keep you updated as this exciting process moves forward.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Michelle Markowitz, Search Committee Chair at [email protected] (412) 512-3513.