Dear Temple Emanuel community,
I’m writing today to update you on our rabbinic search and Rabbi Dean’s departure. The search committee has been meeting over the last few weeks and will soon be reviewing resumes for potential rabbis. Beginning in mid to late December, we will conduct virtual focus groups and a congregational survey to get your feedback on the most important qualities for our new rabbi. Your feedback is vital to this process.
In addition to the search process, we are working with Rabbi Dean to honor benefits in his contract that have not yet been utilized. This includes sabbatical time. Sabbatical is a sacred time for rabbis to participate in educational and spiritual endeavors.
Rabbi will be on sabbatical between January 15 and May 31 (the end of his contract). He will be on vacation for a few weeks prior to that. However, Rabbi Dean will continue to participate fully in the b’nai mitzvah process, including working with all spring b’nai mitzvah families, and lead all b’nai mitzvah services through May 31. Rabbi will also lead our Passover Seder, 6th Grade Shabbat, and Confirmation Service.
We plan to say farewell and celebrate his dedication and decade-long service to our congregation in the spring.
During Rabbi Dean’s sabbatical, we have secured coverage for other congregational needs including:
- Erev Shabbat services – Our Friday night services will offer a mix of options to ensure we can join together to welcome Shabbat. Our Shabbat Shalom! emails will share more details each week.
- Rabbi Noam Katz will lead us in services, live on Zoom, twice a month beginning in January. Rabbi Katz is an inspirational musician, composer, rabbi, storyteller and Jewish educator. We are grateful to Rabbi Katz for sharing his musical spirituality with our congregation. Learn more about Rabbi Katz at www.noamkatz.com.
- Once a month, we will join Temple Emanu-El of San Diego for Friday night services. The congregation’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Devorah Marcus, was a classmate and study partner of Rabbi Dean in rabbinic school and they are close friends.
- Once a month, services will be led by lay leaders from our congregation. Opportunities to participate will be forthcoming.
- Rabbi Cookie Olshein will continue leading our Saturday morning services when there is not a Bat/Bar Mitzvah. Our congregants have been enjoying praying and studying with her the last several months.
- Rabbi David Pinkwasser, Temple Emanuel’s Rabbi Emeritus, will be available for funerals should the need arise.
During this time, if you are in need of Rabbinic support, pastoral care or services for another life cycle event please contact Rebecca Weinstein, Managing Director at [email protected].
Temple Emanuel of Tempe is a sacred community. I have been awed these past months by your commitment to our congregation. It is heartwarming to see so many of you engaging with Temple even when we cannot be together by serving on a committee, “bageling” your neighbors, giving financially, or attending socially distant holiday events.
I am confident that together we will remain a strong and vibrant community until the day we can meet again in our synagogue, strengthened by the bonds of Judaism and friendship.
Wishing you a joyful and healthy Hanukkah,
President, Board of Trustees