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Rabbinic Search

August 7, 2018

Save the Dates!

The Rabbinic Search Committee is happy to announce two candidates are visiting on the following dates:

Rabbi Ben Herman

Friday, October 26 - Sunday October 28, 2018

Rabbi Ari Averbach

Friday November 2 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Please keep an eye out for additional information via email, the temple website, and always through email at [email protected].

Once again, we appreciate your participation in the search process and welcome your questions and comments.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Rabbinic Search

Our congregation has begun the process of searching for, and hiring a new rabbi. The Rabbinic Search Committee (RSC) recognizes that you will have various questions regarding the search, so we thought we would try to anticipate some of them and do our best to provide answers. We are aware that there may be additional questions as the process continues, and we will always be open to answering them to the best of our ability. Hopefully the answers to the questions that follow will provide a start to our dialogue. If you have any comments, information or ideas that you would like to share with the Search Committee, please email them to [email protected] or mail your comments to the Temple in an envelope addressed to the Search Committee at the Temple address.

We thank you for your support as we progress over the next year.

Why are we conducting a search for a new rabbi?

After serving our congregation for over 18 years, Rabbi Spiegel is retiring and will become Rabbi Emeritus.

Who hires the new rabbi?

As directed in our By-laws, the RSC will recommend a candidate to the TEC Board of Trustees, who will hire the new rabbi. To assist them in making their decision a committee has been appointed to interview potential candidates, and recommend the best person for the position. The RSC is chaired by Dan Lubetkin and Eric Feigenbaum and is composed of 9 additional members. The members of the RSC are: Cindy Goldberg, Susan Kane, Patty Kaye, Ken Leon, Gideon Manzur, Buzz Schoenkerman, Jeff Solomon, Benny Sommerfeld, and Terri Zwicker. This group is comprised of a diverse and dedicated group of congregants. They represent a wide range of the TEC community, while being small enough to work effectively and efficiently on behalf of our congregation.

What is the process for selecting a new rabbi?

The Search Committee has been appointed and begun its work on behalf of our congregation. The committee’s work involves identifying and representing the needs and desires of the congregation, communicating with the Joint Placement Committee (JPC), recruitment, interviews, and eventually making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees as well as communicating with you, the congregation. The Board of Trustees then has the responsibility to approve the candidate. If you have thoughts that you would like to share please contact the RSC at [email protected] or by regular mail addressed to the RSC at the Temple address.

As a member of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), Temple Etz Chaim (TEC) is required to participate in a search process governed by the Joint Placement Commission (JPC). The JPC is the only advisory group and decision-making body regarding rabbinic placement in the Conservative movement. The JPC sets and maintains a set of rigorous standards and ethical policies to guide this process. The JPC provides the questionnaire that we must complete and post to the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) website before we will receive applications for the position. The questionnaire that will be completed by the RSC provides information about our congregation's shared values, philosophy, history, future goals, community, staff and other pertinent information.

Eligible rabbis interested in our position may respond by forwarding their resumes and background information to our RSC. We will keep you informed of the search process on a monthly basis with articles in the Etzetera and on the TEC website. You may also receive occasional email updates and announcements from the RSC.

What input can I have in the search process?

In order for this process to be successful and representative of the many groups that make up Temple Etz Chaim, it is imperative that everyone participates in the activities of the search process. These will include surveys, parlor meetings and candidate visits, and we strongly encourage you to attend and respond to any and all calls for input. If for some reason, you have missed these events, you can always contact a member of the RSC, but we cannot stress enough the value of attending a group event. Sometimes hearing other people’s ideas causes you to think of something that you might otherwise have missed. We believe that just getting together and talking about what you value in a new rabbi will be an incredibly powerful experience that will benefit our entire congregation in the years to come.

The committee began by sending a brief survey to the congregants for some initial input. The next step is to conduct Parlor Meetings, which will provide an opportunity to get together in small groups to gather input and to dialogue about your needs in our next rabbi. Your input as well as comprehensive information about TEC is used to fill out a questionnaire provided by the JPC. Once the questionnaire is completed, it will be posted on the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) website. Candidates will apply and the committee will begin a methodical process of reviewing resumes, interviewing applicants and meeting candidates for the position of our rabbi. Please plan to attend services and activities during each of the finalist candidates visits to TEC. You will have an opportunity to share your input after each of these weekend visits. The Search Committee is charged with selecting one candidate to recommend to the Board of Directors as our next rabbi. The Board then has the responsibility to decide if they will hire the candidate.

What is the timeline for the search?

The work has already begun. Below is a general outline of some key points in time relevant to the Rabbinic Search. These are subject to change as new developments arise in the process.

  • Ongoing: Provide congregants with current status of search process via Etzetera, website, and emails when appropriate.
  • April 2017: Rabbinic search committee is formed.
  • June 2017: Survey congregation.
  • August – September 2017: Parlor meetings held.
  • October 2017: Search Subcommittee submits questionnaire/application to the JPC.
  • Ongoing: Search committee receives and reviews rabbi applications, conducts telephone and/or skype interviews.
  • October 2018 - March 2019: Rabbinic finalists invited to Temple Etz Chaim for a weekend to lead services and meet congregation.
  • Spring 2019: Final candidate, along with their family, visits TEC for a weekend.
  • Summer 2019: Search committee forwards hiring recommendations to the Board. Offer is extended.
  • July/August 2019: Temple Etz Chaim welcomes new rabbi.

What characteristics and skills are we looking for in the new rabbi?

The RSC will use the wealth of information gathered in our survey and Parlor meetings. We hope to describe the qualities and behaviors we seek in a rabbi. As we move forward in the search process, the RSC would like your continued input to supplement this information. We are searching for a rabbi with the skills and personal attributes to help us achieve our goals, although we recognize that no one person (or one rabbi) is “perfect”.

How much experience is required to be considered as a candidate for the position of rabbi at TEC?

The JPC stipulates that for a congregation the size of Temple Etz Chaim, all rabbis can apply for the position. This includes newly ordained rabbis (ordained by JTS or Ziegler School) as well as those with years of experience.

Will the congregation have a chance to meet the candidates before a final decision is made?

Absolutely. Each final candidate will be scheduled to visit and spend time at TEC, and meet with various groups. There will be numerous opportunities to meet and interact with all of the final candidates.

Why is the search process kept confidential?

The JPC procedures suggest that the names and resumes of candidates remain confidential. A chief reason for confidentiality is that the mere suggestion or rumor that a rabbi is considering another congregation may tarnish his or her current employment relationship to the great detriment of all parties. In addition, the RSC must address many personal facts about applicants that are not appropriate to be communicated publicly. Only by assuring confidentiality will the RSC achieve open and frank discussions with and about those who apply. After the Search Committee identifies its final candidates, they will be invited to visit our Temple. At that time, their names and credentials will become public. In order to assure the highest ethical standards in our search, however, the remainder of the search process must and will remain confidential.

Rabbi Search

Save the Dates!

The Rabbinic Search Committee is happy to announce two candidates are visiting on the following dates:

Rabbi Ben Herman

Friday, October 26 - Sunday October 28, 2018

Rabbi Ari Averbach

Friday November 2 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

For more information, please visit the Rabbinic Search Information page.

Caring Connections and More

I Care, We Care, TEC Cares!

For more information and to be a part of Caring Connections visit our page.

Bereavement Support Group: meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month.

Al-Anon in the Adult Lounge every Wednesday from 7:00-9:00PM.

Refuah Shelamah Requests: Can't make it to shul for a friend or loved one in need of a prayer for healing?  Send in any name you would like read at services (Shabbat, minyan or other) and a dedicated Temple congregant will stand and read the name. Just email your request to refuah.[email protected] with the details of the individual in need of healing. It is that easy and simple!  Because No one should be without a voice. 


Chai Lights

Be The Change - USY Tzedakah campaign - Are you ready to be the change? Suggested donation of $5.

Argentenors Concert - There were lots of rehearsals, lots of email blasts, but it all came together when we saw our very own Hazzan Pablo Duek perform with his fellow Cantors at the Argentenors Concert! If you weren't able to attend, we've got your back. 


Celebrate Sukkot

Order your own Lulav and Etrog

Celebrate Sukkot and buy a Lulav and Etrog. We are accepting orders until Friday morning.




Women of TEC Judaica Shop

Visit the Women of TEC Judaica Shop at Temple Etz Chaim! We carry a wide selection of Judaica gifts for every occasion. Visit the Women of TEC Judaica Shop web page for hours and featured items!






Register for Preschool

Click here for a schedule of feesinformation form, and registration form.

Click here to view the ECE page on the website.

Parent and Me Classes

Wednesdays, 9:15 AM -10:30 AM. Storytime, art, music, Jewish traditions, crafts, and so much more.

Infant Care Now Registering!

Click here for infant care registration form.

Full Time Monday to Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm.

Space fills up fast, plan ahead and reserve your spot! To schedule a tour please contact the pre-school office at (805) 497-6852 or email us at [email protected].

Shop with Scrip Gift Cards and Support Temple Etz Chaim

Purchase gift cards to your favorite outlets and help support Temple Etz Chaim.

Please e-mail Shari Mark at [email protected] or call Jessica Jacoby at the front office at 805-497-6891.

Register for Religious School

Register your son or daughter for Religious School here!

Currently registering for grades TK-12.


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When you search and shop with GoodSearch, you help Temple Etz Chaim earn money. How? Good Search is a search engine which donates 50-percent of its renveue to the charities and schools designated by its users.

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