Dear Temple Beth Or Members,

Shalom. It is with great sadness that I need to let you know that Rabbi Marshall will not be renewing her contract to continue as our Rabbi. This was a very hard decision for Rabbi Marshall. She has decided to take time for personal and rabbinic growth and to explore other aspects of her rabbinate.

As hard as it is to hear the Rabbi’s choice, I totally understand and support her decision. 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 Rabbi and I have started working on a transition plan. Her contract ends on June 30, 2017 . In the meantime, Rabbi Marshall is fully with us and will continue supporting our community.

We are a strong community and have been through a rabbinic transition before. We understand the importance of a thoughtful process which ensures that we are meeting the needs of our congregants. The Board has begun the conversation with the URJ (Union for Reform Judaiam) and the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) around the steps and support needed in working through a rabbinic transition. 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.

In order to keep everyone informed about this transition, we will use the Orbits and our web site to post updates as we have them. Watch both locations for an upcoming announcement regarding an initial membership meeting in February, to begin to talk as a community about the transition.

For those of you who choose to share this with your children we acknowledge that this might be confusing and/or hard for them to understand. Please let your children know that there will be time at Religious School for them to talk with Rabbi Marshall. The Rabbi and Amy Paquette are working out the details and we will let everyone know as soon as the plan is finalized.

We know it can be hard to wait for information- we will keep communication flowing as best we can with all the moving pieces. Thank you for your support!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Mark Bresnick
TBO Board President