Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Searching for a Rabbi

The process to find a new rabbi for my congregation, Beth Sholom, has just begun. Two years ago Rabbi Alan Lew, who had been there for 15 years, retired. (He is still a part of our community, serving as Rabbi Emeritus.) We did hire another rabbi, but the fit was not right so we are on the hunt again. I was on the sidelines during the last search but will be in the thick of it this time as a member of the search committee.

I will not be blogging much about the search, although I will be keeping a private journal. While we will be keeping our members as informed as we can, keeping many details of the search confidential is part of the role of it's members. It is a diverse group representing the different parts of our community--young families, long-time members, singles, the inter-married, the empty-nesters, young adults, gays, etc. I know most of the committee members and like them all.

This is a crucial time for Beth Sholom. The Jewish scene in San Francisco is in flux, with unaffiliated Jews as the majority of the demographic and many families leaving the city due to the high cost of housing. It is a hard time for the Conservative movement of Judaism, once a majority of Jews in America now struggling to hold it's own (for some obvious reasons, one of which I hit on here). And in the midst of all of this, we're homeless at the moment, with the construction of our new building underway but not due to be finished for another year.

I need to have faith in the Beth Sholom community, a group I consider my family. We will survive all of this but not without change. We're in transition right now and it's hard and at times, painful. Which makes the work of the committee all the more important. We need a strong spiritual leader who will help us keep our community vibrant. I hope we can find that person.

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