CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 1

C N F F R E N C E O AME C EC ET R A L LC O O N E E R E N C E O FF A M E R I C A N R A BBBBI IS S N NTRA A N R A

Founded In
June 2011

1889
dear Chevrah,

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Publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis

‫אייר–סון תשע”א‬

‫איגוד הרבנים המתקדמים‬
FRom The CCAR ChieF eXeCUTiVe Steven A. Fox

Volume 58 – Number 9

FRom The PResideNT Jonathan A. Stein

PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT: IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY
t the outset, we offer sincere thanks and gratitude to sally Priesand for the leadership she has shown as editor of the CCAR Newsletter. This month, sally has followed through once again with her idea of dedicating certain issues of the Newsletter to specific topics: this month, the topic of retirement. The phrase “planning for retirement begins at ordination” is not trite; rather, it is true. The way in which you learn to handle conversations about money and contracts during your first and all subsequent negotiations, as well as the benefits you are able to put in place from the outset, lay the foundation for retirement. The most important thing you can do is contribute money to a pension plan for your retirement. All congregational rabbis serving URJ congregations and communitybased rabbis are eligible to participate in the Reform Pension Board retirement plan. Contributions to the plan should begin in your first year after ordination and continue throughout life. For those serving non-URJ congregations, you too should contribute money to a pension plan immediately. No matter where or how we serve, we all benefit from the RPB’s advocacy that encourages pension contributions from 15-18% of a rabbi’s salary. Thinking about retirement involves four steps, each of which is touched upon briefly in this Newsletter or in CCAR seminars: personal issues, the art of negotiating, handling difficult conversations, and ultimately, contract content (both those things that are included and those things that are not included). When approaching a retirement contract, as well as any contract, one of the most important things a rabbi can do is plan and prepare by marshalling all available resources: obtain professional help (including attorneys, accountants, bankers, insurance agents, and others) either to negotiate on your behalf or to work behind the scenes with you and work with your lay leadership to create the appropriate negotiating team. Next, evaluate your own needs, desires and goals, both professional and personal, and in this process be sure to talk with a financial consultant to understand the best way to align your finances with your plans. For example, in planning your last few years of employment, how much money can you contribute to your pension plan? Can you increase it to the maximum amount allowed under the law? Would it be wise for you to use other personal savings for daily living and contribute more money from your salary to the pension plan (which defers taxable income and, if in a church benefit plan, can be withdrawn with parsonage benefits)? This also highlights the way in which your financial advisor must understand clergy matters, especially parsonage issues, in retirement. We are often asked when is the best time to begin conversations about retirement and to announce your retirement date. simply put, the earlier the better for planning. if you are in a congregation or community setting on a long-term basis, initiating conversations about your retirement planning ten years out can be in everyone’s mutual best interests. This does not mean that you pick a retirement date, but rather begin to consider what some of the things are that might happen when you retire. in fact, the RPB seminar on Retirement Planning is open to all of us who have reached the age of 50. one of the best examples of long-term planning involves long-term care insurance. it is possible in some states to buy a “ten pay” long-term care insurance policy; this means that you would make
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Just a few weeks after our annual convention in New orleans, i was privileged to attend a meeting devoted to the question of whether our cantorial clergy partners should be “ordained” by the hebrew Union College-Jewish institute of Religion rather than “invested.” it was an extraordinarily interesting conversation involving leadership from the American Conference of Cantors, the school of sacred music, “music, and the CCAR, as well as hUC-JiR. As a point of background, the ACC, the ssm Faculty and the Advisory Board to the ssm have all made this request that hUC-JiR ordain cantors. our colleague david ellenson, president of the College-institute, made it clear that while hUCJiR reserves the right to make the final decision, he valued the input of the CCAR before making his final determination. By way of this month”s column i want to lay out some of the arguments that were presented and also to solicit your comments, feedback and opinions. six different arguments were put forth in support of the change of terminology to “ordination.” They included the following: (1) cantorial investees now have a 5-year course of study including a year in Jerusalem, paralleling the curriculum of the rabbinic program; (2) there may be some real-world implications to the terminology, i.e., the term “investiture” is not truly understood and the term “ordination” has linguistic power; (3) purportably in some states the word “ordination” is required to entitle cantors to perform marriages and to gain entrance as chaplains to counsel inmates in jails; (4) some congregations misuse the title “cantor” and apply it to soloists who are not even invested and using the term “ordination” will alleviate that problem; (5) the ACC thinks that cantors wishing to serve as chaplains require ordination; and, finally (6) a change
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR June 2011 Newsletter

CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 1
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 2
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 3
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 4
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 5
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 6
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 7
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 8
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 9
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 10
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 11
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 12
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 13
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 14
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 15
CCAR June 2011 Newsletter - 16
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