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Yom Rishon, 10 Adar 5778
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February 18, 2018 update

The Rabbi Search Committee is making excellent progress on its action plan.  Please see the information below for an update on our major milestones:

  • Notification to the Board of Trustees of Rabbi Berkowitz’s resignation effective 6/30/18 (occurred 12/28/17)
  • Special meeting of the Board to discuss the search process including review of relevant by-laws (completed)
  • Formal notification to the congregation (completed)
  • Creation of Rabbi Search Committee (completed)
  • Review of prior congregational self-study and consultation with Finance Committee (completed)
  • Submission of application to the Placement Commission of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, resulting in the position being posted (completed)
  • Development of interview rubrics (completed)
  • Consultation with key groups and temple committees regarding history and vision (completed)
  • Screening of resumes followed by initial telephone interviews to identify candidates to move forward (completed with all current applicants, with option to continue as additional resumes are received)
  • Video interviews with selected applicants to identify candidates for on-site interviews

(being scheduled for second half of February, with option to review additional applicants)

  • On-site visits to Vassar Temple with opportunities for all members to interact with candidates and submit feedback (projected during March)
  • Creation of a Transition Committee in advance of hiring
  • Selection of a Rabbi by consensus of the Search Committee, resulting in a recommendation to the Board of Trustees
  • Given Board approval and successful contract negotiations, a recommendation to the congregation, with a special meeting called in accordance with the by-laws for congregational approval


January 30, 2018

Dear Vassar Temple members,

The Rabbi Search Committee is hard at work.  We will use this space to keep the congregation informed about our process and progress, and we invite you to check back regularly for updates.

We have established the following email address for the committee:  VTSearch2018@gmail.com Please use this address to share your thoughts and questions.  We are committed to responding openly and punctually and welcome your input as we work to identify appropriate Rabbi candidates.

The Rabbi Search Committee includes the following individuals, who represent the diversity of our congregation and share a deep commitment to Vassar Temple:

  • Alan Kaflowitz and Susan Karnes Hecht, Co-Chairs
  • Roni Stein
  • Gail D'Alessio
  • David Lampell
  • Elaine Lipschutz
  • Shaari Roland
  • Andi Ciminello
  • Shira Teich
  • Jeff Brenner
  • Martin Noble
  • Glenn Tanzman

Following are major milestones of the Rabbi search:

  • Notification to the Board of Trustees of Rabbi Berkowitz’s resignation effective 6/30/18 (occurred 12/28/17)
  • Special meeting of the Board to discuss the search process including review of relevant by-laws (completed)
  • Formal notification to the congregation (completed)
  • Creation of Rabbi Search Committee (completed)
  • Review of prior congregational self-study and consultation with Finance Committee (completed)
  • Submission of application to the Placement Commission of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, resulting in the position being posted (completed)
  • Development of interview rubrics (in process)
  • Creation of a Transition Committee in advance of hiring
  • Consultation with key groups and temple committees regarding history and vision (in process)
  • Screening of resumes followed by initial telephone interviews to identify candidates to move forward (anticipated to begin approximately 2/5/18)
  • Video interviews with selected applicants to identify candidates for on-site interviews

(anticipated February, with option to review additional resumes received on a rolling basis)

  • On-site visits to Vassar Temple with opportunities for all members to interact with candidates and submit feedback
  • Selection of a Rabbi by consensus of the Search Committee, resulting in a recommendation to the Board of Trustees
  • Given Board approval and successful contract negotiations, a recommendation to the congregation, with a special meeting called in accordance with the by-laws for congregational approval

Given that Vassar Temple is an historical and vibrant congregation, we anticipate a high level of interest in the position.  However, in the event that the Committee does not believe any candidate to be appropriate as our next Rabbi, we have been assured by the CCAR Placement Director that the above timeline allows us to move to an alternate selection process for an interim Rabbi should it be necessary. 

We ask for your understanding of the commitment to confidentiality on the part of Committee members and respect for their need to celebrate Shabbat separately from Committee business.  Above all, we appreciate the support and collective wisdom of the temple family as we embark on this sacred task.

Alan Kaflowitz and Susan Karnes Hecht,

Rabbi Search Committee Co-Chairs