CCAR Newsletter May 2012 - 1
Publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
איגוד הרבנים המתקדמים
Volume 59 – Number 8
FRoM The diReCToR oF PLACeMeNT ALAN HENKIN
FRoM The PResideNT Jonathan A. Stein dear Chevrah, ur Boston convention was wonderfully inspiring! Gathering together as almost 500 strong, praying, learning, sharing, connecting with colleagues was a great moment in our Conference’s storied history of our annual conventions. And thanks to the efforts of our volunteer Convention Committee (chaired by Asher Knight) and our dedicated staff, work is well underway for Long Beach 5773. Meanwhile the work of the CCAR goes on.
hen i was in Los Angeles right after our fabulous Boston convention, i mailed to myself in New York a box with my Mikra’ot G’dolot in it. i came to realize how much i needed it in New York, and so i sent it by UsPs media mail. one week passed. Two weeks passed. Pesach came and went, and my books had not arrived. i pestered everyone in the CCAR office thinking that perhaps they had seen it. i even accosted the mail carrier downstairs in the lobby. After a month i had given up hope. Then, todah l’El, it showed up—battered, ripped, but with the contents still intact. At last, with my Mikra’ot G’dolot, i could feel fully at home in New York.
Thanks to my previous placement directors, thanks to the terrific CCAR staff, and thanks to the CCAR Board members and the members of the Rabbinical Placement Commission, i am feeling very much at home in this role of Placement director. To be sure, i have made my share of mistakes and missteps this year, and i have much still to learn. Luckily, i have many smart and experienced people to whom i can turn. This has been a good year in placement. so far, since July 2011, we have been directly involved in 79 placements of CCAR rabbis in URJ congregations. This includes many of the fifth-year students of hUC-JiR who will soon be joining us as colleagues. Before the end of this placement cycle, i am certain that several more colleagues will have been placed. in addition, we have assisted many others indirectly in obtaining work as community-based rabbis. This year we began a new process for the placement of fifth-year students at the hebrew Union College—Jewish institute of Religion. it has been a joy to get to know these future colleagues who individually, and as a group, are an extraordinary addition to the Reform rabbinate. equally, it has been a joy to work with the directors of the rabbinic programs at hUC-JiR; dvora Weisberg (Los Angeles), Renni Altman (New York), and Ken Kanter (Cincinnati) are deeply devoted to their students and to their successful placement. The new placement system seemed to work well, and the feedback that we have received is helping us to refine it still further. With my dear friend Randi Musnitsky, now the chair of the Rabbinical Placement Commission, we are building on the solid foundation bequeathed to us by Ronne Friedman. We are looking to revamp the congregational application with new and different categories, and we want to create an online version of the application. We will also be reformatting the placement page to make it more user-friendly and more searchable. We have entered into talks with a rabbinical colleague who has an online video company to develop a series of videos that will help rabbis and congregations go through the placement process more confidently. Most important, this year has been filled with building relationships with you, my colleagues. i have met you at regional kallot, at the URJ Biennial, and at the CCAR Convention. i have spoken with you by phone, i have video-conferenced with you by skype, and i have welcomed you into my office. having met now with hundreds of you, i remain all the more convinced that members of the Reform rabbinate are the most dedicated, hard-working, and idealistic people i know. Your love for God, Torah, and israel inspires and excites me. Your creativity, energy, and good humor lift me every day. i am privileged to work for you.
Thanks to the efforts of our immediate pastPresident ellen Weinberg dreyfus, i am pleased to share with you the names of those colleagues who have accepted appointments to the Nominating Committee. The committee is charged with populating our Board of Trustees according to the proper rotation of seats, and with putting forth names for officers, including President-elect. Under our new rules, the President-elect must be chosen from among the currently serving Vice Presidents. This is a terrific innovation for us and will assure us of continuity and stability of leadership. Members of the committee are not themselves eligible for nomination to the Board or an officer role. They will report to the Conference officially during the Long Beach Convention, but the results of their deliberations will be available earlier. The members of the committee are: Mona Alfi Lucy dinner Wendi Geffen Larry Goldmark Jonathan Kraus Brigitte Rosenberg Jeffrey saxe Randy sheinberg, Chair Joel sisenwine Micah streiffer heath Watenmaker
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