Rabbi Jessica Kessler Marshall, Temple Beth Or's Rabbi for the last nine years, left our congregation on July 1, 2017.
 
 
Here is the latest update regarding the Rabbi's transition and the Rabbinic Search Process, from Temple President, Mark Bresnick:
Rabbinic Search Process: 
  • Glen Pickus has graciously accepted the role of Chairperson of the Rabbinic Search Committee. Glen and I have met and are in the process of inviting members of the congregation to be on the Rabbinic Search Committee. Once we have finalized all the members we will share their names with the congregation.
  • I have the application from the CCAR for requesting a Rabbi and will be completing it over the next 4-6 weeks. 
  • We will be gathering input from all the members of the congregation related to searching for a new Rabbi
    • I already have some input from the two open meetings we have already held
    • I have some input from individual congregants who have shared their thoughts with me
    • We will be using some electronic survey tools to gather additional information
    • The committee will evaluate how else it wants to gather additional information
  • General timeline:
    • Rabbinic Search Committee will form and meet over the summer setting their norms and search process
    • Application will be submitted to CCAR by the beginning of August
    • We expect to begin doing interviews after the High Holiday's
    • If all goes well we hope to have a new Rabbi in place for the start of the 2018/19 Budget year - July 1, 2018
Services and Support:
  • A huge thank you to the Religious Practices Committee who have been working behind the scenes to find coverage for services and Pastoral Care
    • We will be having 3 Shabbat Services a month during the transition - First Friday Family Shabbat; Third Saturday Shabbat; Fourth Friday night Shabbat
    • We will have a combination of Lay Leadership and guest Rabbis
    • A list of services, service leaders, oneg hosts, and greeters is available here
    • The Bereavement Committee will have a list of Rabbis who can support members in their time of need
    • We will have Local Rabbi support, as needed, for other congregants needs
  • Reminder that Cantor Ellen Dreskin will be leading the High Holiday Services with lay support
  • Terri, our office manager, will act as our triage maven, routing incoming calls, etc. to either the appropriate Board Member or to the Regional URJ office (as needed).
Thanks and please let me know what questions or concerns you have.
Shalom!!

Mark Bresnick
Board President

 

 

 Here is an excerpt from Rabbi Marshall's letter to the congregation:  

"It has been the deepest honor to be your rabbi sharing simchas and supporting each other through sorrows. I have treasured sharing Shabbat and holidays, deepening our relationships through learning Torah, shmoozing at onegs, meals in your homes, singing joyously, and so much laughter together...  ... After deep soul searching, I have decided not to renew my contract and to take time for personal and rabbinic growth as I explore other aspects of my rabbinate."

 

Temple President Mark Bresnick also wrote a letter to our members, which stated, in part:

"I want to thank Rabbi Marshall for her amazing leadership and service to the Temple and our Community. It has been a wonderful journey in which we have all shared special moments...   ...The Board will be evaluating a number of approaches going forward such as putting together a Rabbinic Search Committee and evaluating the options for short-term transitional rabbinic services. The Board will work closely with our Committee Chairs and our Religious School Director to make sure we have plans in place to meet the needs of our congregation as Rabbi Marshall transitions away, a new rabbi transitions in and/or we have a rotation and/or gap in rabbinic presence. Temple members will be actively engaged in helping to shape what this new future will look like. We will need members to represent our wonderfully diverse community and serve on a Rabbinic Search Committee and Transition Team. It is critical that we share our voices to help sharpen our vision and begin to turn that into reality."

 

We held a celebration of Rabbi Marshall during the weekend of May 20-21. In her Farewell Words, Rabbi Marshall spoke eloquently and emotionally about her time at Temple Beth Or:

"Nine years ago... After a full and intense weekend... Someone asked the question if I thought my age would be a challenge, and after I responded, a certain congregant who shall remain nameless, but who had a starring role in the infamous hot tub story and is the proud papa to 6 kids said, 'I don’t think it’s a challenge, I think it’s an asset.'  I remember feeling so grateful for his confidence in me and the willingness of a community to put their trust in a rabbi who was still a bit of a greenhorn.  How we’ve grown together the past 9 years…

I look out at each of you and I see flashes of countless moments shared… holding you as a loved one died, cradling your newborns and blessing them with their Hebrew name.   Burying your loved ones, singing our hearts out at tisches, and bonfires, and Shabbat services, and Purim, and…endless joyful singing.  All the sweet moments when you pop into my study just to chat…. When I catch your eye during services as your child leads from the bima and we share a look of pride at what a beautiful job they’re doing and all it took to get there.   Outdoor hikes and picnics and sitting in the Sukkah under starry skies. The way we carry each other on Yom Kippur. I am half delirious at the end, and as our voices harmonize, we stand together, and our fervent prayers propel us all forward into a New Year filled with promise..."

 


 We will periodically update this page with the latest news regarding the status of our Rabinnic Transition process.