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Search Process for an Interim Rabbi

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Rabbi Eger’s Retirement as Senior Rabbi and the Search Process for an Interim Rabbi

In order to help our congregation with questions regarding Rabbi Eger’s plans to retire and the process moving forward to find a new rabbi, we’ve put together the following information.  If you have additional questions, please feel free to email us at President@Kol-Ami.org.

When is Rabbi Eger retiring?

Rabbi Eger will be retiring as Kol Ami’s Senior Rabbi the end of June 2024, at which time she will become the congregation’s First Rabbi Emerita. However, she will be on sabbatical beginning July 1, 2023.  The Board of Trustees has requested that a search be conducted for an interim rabbi to lead Congregation Kol Ami through this transition for a period of 1-year during her sabbatical.

Are there any retirement events being planned?

Over the course of the next year there will be events to both celebrate the 30th anniversary of Congregation Kol Ami and Rabbi Eger.

Why is Rabbi Eger retiring?

As Rabbi Eger wrote in her letter to the congregation, her decision to retire as Senior Rabbi was not an easy one, but one that is necessary in order to focus more of her time on teaching and lecturing, as well as having the flexibility to support her wife in her career.

Is Rabbi Eger leaving Congregation Kol Ami?

While she is retiring as Senior Rabbi, she will become Kol Ami’s First Rabbi Emerita and will always have a connection to the congregation.

Why are we searching for an interim rabbi rather than a permanent or “settled” rabbi?

The best practice among synagogues with long-serving rabbis is to hire an interim rabbi to give the congregation time to reassess its values and process the change of spiritual leadership before searching for a permanent, or “settled” rabbi. An Interim rabbi has special training in transition management and organizational change.

How long will the Interim rabbi serve, and might they become the settled rabbi?

The interim rabbi will serve for one year and will not be eligible to apply for the settled rabbi position.

What are we looking for in an Interim rabbi?

The interim rabbi will perform all rabbinic functions of the Synagogue, including leading services, supporting life cycle events, providing pastoral care, and engaging in educational programming. Thus, the ideal Interim rabbi will have experience as a congregational rabbi and Interim rabbi, and be able to continue our tradition of welcoming, warm, and musical services. In addition, the Interim rabbi will help the Board and congregation through the transition process as we search for a settled rabbi.

What is the benefit of having an Interim rabbi for our Congregation?

An interim rabbi allows our congregation time to adjust to having a new spiritual and congregational leader. The transition period will allow our congregation to reflect on our vision for the future of Kol Ami and establish our search criteria to ensure the Rabbi we ultimately select will be the best possible fit for our community.

Who selects the interim rabbi?

The interim rabbi Search Committee selects the interim rabbi candidate to be recommended to the Board.  Upon the approval of the candidate, the Board will schedule a Congregational Meeting where the Congregation will make the final decision.

What is the process for selecting the interim rabbi?

The Search Committee has been appointed and works on behalf of the congregation to select a candidate who best represents the needs and desires of the Congregation.   Our search committee will be chaired by Dr. Nancy Cohen. The committee will prepare the application, review resumes and conduct interviews. Once a candidate is selected, the Search Committee makes a recommendation to the Board.

As a member of the Union for Reform Judaism (“URJ”), we are required to participate in a search process governed by the Rabbinical Placement Commission of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. The CCAR provides the application form for our interim rabbi search and posts the application to its online database of congregations searching for rabbis. Our application is prepared by the Search Committee to provide information about our Congregation’s shared values, philosophy, history, future goals, community, and staff.

Will I be able to share my thoughts about the search process or other ideas I have with the Search Committee?

Yes. Please use this link for any thoughts you’d like to share. It will be sent to the Search Committee.

Why are we posting only with the Central Conference of American Rabbis?

Our Congregation is a Reform congregation and is formally affiliated with the Reform movement of Judaism. The Central Conference of American Rabbis  the placement organization for all Reform Rabbis seeking placement and for all congregations seeking rabbis. 

Fri, August 12 2022 15 Av 5782