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Our Rabbinic Transition

A message from the Transition Committee:

Now that the High Holidays are past, and we are well into the normal rhythm of worship, learning and much more at the Temple, we wanted to give you an update on the work of the Transition Committee and the process of making the important decision about the Temple's rabbinic future.

As we all know, Rabbi Gurvis notified us last fall of his intention to resign, effective June   30, 2017. After concluding that hiring an interim rabbi from the outside, or launching  a search on the  heels of  Rabbi Gurvis's departure and a number  of other staff changes would be too  disruptive to the Temple, the  Board of Trustees reached an  agreement  with Rabbis Abrasley and Berry to  step in as co-rabbis for  a two-year period, through June 2019.

We know that many congregants are asking: "What's next?"  "Who will be our rabbi in two years?"  "Will we have a search for a new senior rabbi, or will Rabbis Berry and  Abrasley remain as co-rabbis into the future?   And, How will we decide, and when?

The important decision the Temple faces is do we conduct a search or hire Rabbis Abrasley and Berry to remain as co-senior rabbis. {In recent years, a few synagogues have adopted a model of co-senior rabbis.) The decision about which path to take must be made by early spring 2018. Searches for senior rabbis of Reform synagogues are managed by the placement office of the Reform rabbis' association, the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis). The process of conducting a search for a senior rabbi would need to begin by late spring of 2018 for us to have a new senior rabbi in place at Temple Shalom by July 2019.

Since the High Holidays, many congregants expressed enthusiasm about having Rabbi Berry and Rabbi Abrasley continue beyond June 2019 as Temple Shalom's rabbis, while other congregants have expressed the desire to conduct a search for a new senior rabbi. Temple Shalom's history includes both paths to rabbinic succession: Rabbi Whiman, who was an associate rabbi at the temple, was appointed  our senior rabbi after the retirement  of Rabbi Rothman; Rabbi Gurvis was selected as a result of search after Rabbi Whiman resigned.

To make this important decision we need to hear from our members. We are planning to gather your views in two formal ways: First, we will schedule at least three forums, facilitated by an outside professional, for congregants to ask questions and share their thoughts.  We expect these forums will be held in late January or early February, 2018 at different times throughout the week so at least one forum will be convenient for most members. We are also working on an anonymous survey for members to contribute their thoughts about our Temple's future. We expect the survey to be distributed in January or early February. Those are the formal means we are planning to use to gather feedback, but we want to encourage you to reach out to any of us, individually and, of course, confidentially, if you prefer to share your views informally. Our contact information is printed below.

After this process of gathering input from our members, the Transition Committee and the Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees about how to proceed.

Thank you for your involvement in and support of our community during this time of transition and growth.
Scott Birnbaum, Temple Shalom President

Jo-Ann Suna, Chairwoman
Ed Case  Ed Freedman  Fred Kraus  Andy Molinsky  Marion Pollock Robyn Winik


Sunday January 28, 10:00 am
Monday January 29, 1:00 pm
Tuesday, January 30, 7:30 pm


Nov. 15, 2017 
May 1, 2017 
Jan. 3, 2017 
Dec. 1, 2016 

Fri, December 15 2017 27 Kislev 5778