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“Decision 2024:  Choosing Our New Rabbi.”  This Friday Evening at 7:00 p.m

02/21/2024 11:09:02 AM


Dear Haverim,


There are a lot of TV ads and flyers in the mail and there will be plenty more during this election year, so don’t forget to vote! 


But the most important decision that University Synagogue will make as a congregation this year will be choosing a new rabbi, so, please, don’t forget to show up, in person, to meet the rabbinical candidates, when they are scheduled.


I have been so fortunate to be your rabbi for the last 33 years and now you have the opportunity to find a new rabbi to meet your needs, provide you with comfort and consolation, leadership and teaching and guidance and celebration.


This Friday evening will be your chance to meet the first of several expected candidates to see  if he is whom you want, and our congregation needs, for the next decade or more of leadership.  (It’s a “he” this time.  Other candidates may be a “she” or a “they.”)


Not only will you be evaluating each rabbi, but the rabbis will be evaluating University Synagogue!  They will have to decide if they want to leave the security of the “known” for the adventure and potential of the “unknown.”  Basically, this coming Shabbat weekend and future ones are a two-way street.


You won’t see me at the many events of this Shabbat weekend (or at future interviews of other candidates) because, as is appropriate in the rabbinate, the present rabbi abstains from involvement in the process, unless asked by the Search Committee to give an opinion.   The congregation, by giving honest feedback to the Search Committee and the Board, helps to choose the new rabbi.


This Shabbat, I will be watching on Livestream.  If possible, try to be there in person to meet the candidate in formal and informal settings throughout the Shabbat weekend. 


Please use his and your valuable time to not only make a decision on him, as compared to other candidates, but also to clarify for yourselves which qualities you are seeking in a rabbi.


I am so excited for you (and for me, since I’ll continue to be involved for the next 10 years in University Synagogue as its Emeritus Rabbi), as you help to choose the next spiritual leader and teacher for our beloved congregation. (Click here to RSVP to attend in person.)


I wish you wisdom, patience, and joy as this newest sacred stage in the journey of University Synagogue unfolds.


As our tradition proclaims:  “may you go from strength to strength and may the work of your hands be blessed.”


Kol tuv/All the best,


Rabbi Arnie Rachlis 

Wed, April 24 2024 16 Nisan 5784