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assistant rabbi search update

02/13/2020 12:03:04 PM


Rabbi Dan Dorsch

Like the prodigal son, I finally returned earlier this week to the Jewish Theological Seminary to interview candidates to fill our assistant rabbi position (yes, I am aware of the irony of the first half of that sentence doesn’t quite match with the second).
I was blessed to spend the better part of my formative years learning Torah at the Jewish Theological Seminary as a List College undergraduate and then as a rabbinical student. JTS is where I fell in love with my graduate resident advisor, Amy Greenfeld, as we spent time flirting after a seminary-wide Sukkot dinner. I also remember vividly the challenge ten years ago of being a fifth year student during rabbinical interview week, which is essentially speed dating that culminates in a fantasy football draft when we reach out to candidates this Sunday.
As you can imagine, as a synagogue we laid a lot of groundwork before I got to New York. First, our shul’s lay leadership had lengthy discussions as to what kind of second position we might look to fill in the first place. How would this position help to advance our synagogue’s vision on our current trajectory? Once we charted a course together, our then president, Allison Saffran, appointed Todd Surden to head our search committee, along with a group comprised of members varying in demographics, skill sets, and degrees of involvement. Over a lengthy discussion, the committee assessed the needs of our community. Then, Todd and I boarded a plane for New York late on Sunday evening.
Honestly, I was completely blown over by all of the candidates we met. Following trends in the general job market, their resumes were chock-full of internships and professional development that I only had in limited doses as a student. They’ve all been really busy.
As we follow up with references, and glean additional information, you may expect in the coming weeks to hear more information about opportunities to engage with these and other candidates as they come to visit our community. I expect we will all put forth our best “Shalom Y’all” coupled with a healthy dose of southern hospitality as we welcome these newly minted rabbis to Etz Chaim.
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Tue, April 7 2020 13 Nisan 5780