February 2015 Bazman
Temple Adat Elohim
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Our temple has been on quite a journey during these past two years. With the sudden departure of Rabbi Riter two years ago, we had to chart a new course forward. It soon became apparent that we needed to search for and hire an interim rabbi. We have been fortunate to have Rabbi Diamond join our continuing clergy – Rabbi Dubowe and Cantor Shukiar – and our community. Although we had originally hoped to be able to hire our settled rabbi to begin her/his tenure in July 2014, the timing of rabbinic searches nationally made the six-month timeframe unrealistically short. Thus, July 2015 became our target date. Several items that had been under consideration for several years needed to be addressed. Five years had passed since the adoption of our strategic plan, the Kadima Plan. The TAE community took the opportunity to step back and take a close look at our aspirations. To a large degree, we reaffirmed our operating assumptions. Some of our views had changed. For example, the strong desire to more fully embrace non-Jewish members of our community was recognized, as well as our strong desire to have clergy who officiate at marriages between those of different religious backgrounds. The Rabbinic Search Committee worked toward defining our religious tenor, followed by the characteristics we wanted in our rabbi. Warmth, humor, and approachability were not surprisingly high on the list. Strong leadership traits, intellectualism, and management skills may not have been so readily apparent to all as needed capabilities. Once the traits were set, we opened the search, received resumes, Skyped, visited candidates’ congregations, made reference calls, and had candidates visit us at TAE. The rigorous effort that the Search Committee applied in their search deserves our gratitude, if not our awe. They are, without exception, committed, active members of our community who love the temple. Many came to the work with preconceived ideas; but were of sufficiently good intention, and open minds, to change their opinions based upon what they heard from the congregation, from one another, from the candidates and their references, and what they saw when visiting candidates’ congregations. I can assure you that it was a physically and emotionally exhausting journey, but one that has led to a profound understanding of ourselves as a community and our needs for the attributes of our clergy. Balancing the desire to seek strong leadership from our rabbi and the need to be sure that the congregation, through the board and other lay leaders, gives appropriate oversight, generated the reworking of our governance structure. In so doing, we are leveraging our professional staff to do the work they do best; enhancing the role of our lay leaders regarding strategy and oversight; and clearing the path for more effective congregational life. For several years, the finance committee has recommended reducing our cost structure. Given demographic changes in the Conejo Valley, and the reduction of our membership from a ‘high’ of approximately 750 families to approximately 590 families, now is the best time to go from two to one full-time rabbi. This is typical for congregations of our size. On the other hand, we are accustomed to a high level of service from our rabbis, and we have certain needs that these other congregations may not have. Therefore, we
Our Mission: Temple Adat Elohim is a welcoming and fulfilling Jewish community
embracing those who seek spirituality, knowledge, and a desire to heal the world.
Bazman Hazeh Bazman Hazeh is the newsletter of
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Temple Adat Elohim 2420 East Hillcrest Drive Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 A Reform Jewish synagogue, affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. It is published monthly.
Rabbi Diamond: Bdiamond@adatelohim.com Rabbi Dubowe: Rdubowe@adatelohim.com Cantor Shukiar: Dshukiar@adatelohim.com Aliza Goland: Agoland@adatelohim.com Marcy Goldberg: Mgoldberg@adatelohim.com
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