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Rabbinic Search

Welcome to the Senior Rabbinic Search page.  This a where you can learn more about the process that our committee is taking to find our next senior rabbi.  This will be the person who will lead the Temple Israel community into the future.  We want our next rabbi to have the talents and skills to support the needs of the congregation and creativity to engage the South Area in Jewish life that is meaningful and relevant. We began by learning the best practices in organizing and managing the search process.  We are working closely with senior staff at USCJ - United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism - and utilizing their considerable resources to optimize our efforts and to best collect your opinions. 

We are a committee working on behalf of the entire congregation. Your thoughts, opinions, and ideas are all valuable to our work.  They will help shape the next chapter in Temple Israel’s long history. Please be in touch with either of us with any questions or input as we search for the best person to join our Temple Israel community. The committee email address is
Ellen Kischel and Adina Newman

Co-chairs Rabbinic Search Committee

Members of the Senior Rabbi Search Committee

Ellen Kischel – Co-chair
Adina Newman – Co-chair
Jane Cohen
Jamie Darsa
Rabbi Ed Gelb
Mark Goldstein

Scott Katz
Rafi Kieval
Andy Kriegel
Gabby Liverant

Sheryl Olshin
Mark Popovsky

Ellen Rothberg
Brian Silver
Sue Wolkon
Jess Yudewitz
Ron Czik (ex officio)
Neil Aronson (ex officio)


The larger Senior Rabbi Search committee has been divided into smaller subcommittees to maximize our efforts.  These smaller groups will change as needed as we go through the search process.  We began with 4 subcommittees.

The communications subcommittee is responsible for keeping our Temple Israel family informed through emails and updates on the congregation’s website as we move through the process. The members of this subcommittee are Sue Wolkon, Jaime Darsa, and Sheryl Olshin.

The application subcommittee will be working on the application that that our congregation must formally submit to the Rabbinical Assembly to receive resumes from potential candidates.  This application will provide important information about our synagogue, the greater Sharon community, our experiences, and aspirations for Temple Israel. The members of this subcommittee are Rabbi Ed Gelb, Dr. Andy Kriegel, Jess Yudewitz, and Brian Silver.  

Our staff structure subcommittee has reviewed our synagogue’s organizational structure to help develop a structure to ensure a new Rabbi will have a clear understanding of how our synagogue operates and his or her role within this structure. Their recommendations have been brought to the Board of Trustees for their approval.  The members of this subcommittee are Mark Goldstein, Jane Cohen, Dr. Rafi Kieval, and Neil Aronson.

Our focus group subcommittee is dedicated to working on meetings with congregants in separate focus groups to elicit feedback from our synagogue community that will inform every aspect of this process.  We believe the results of these focus groups will provide more in-depth information and allow for more discussions on what personal traits and skills you consider most important for  our new senior rabbi and allow all voices to be hear. The members of this subcommittee are Ellen Rothberg, Dr. Mark Popovsky, and Dr. Gaby Liverant

Survey Information

We have completed a comprehensive survey in which over 500 members participated.   Todah rabah!  We are pleased to share with you its highlights. At a very high level, it was wonderful to see that many of us are looking for the same traits in a senior rabbi.  Many thanks to Dr. Janet Aronson for her hard work and wisdom in preparing and analyzing the survey results.

Focus Groups

Thank you for the enthusiastic response to the Senior Rabbinic Search Committee’s survey!  While the results of the survey have been helpful, we would also like to hear your individual voices to develop a more comprehensive, nuanced vision of your aspirations for the Temple Israel community.

Please consider participating in an interactive focus group meeting to be conducted over Zoom in the coming weeks.  The first wave of meetings will be mixed groups, open to all.  Subsequently, we plan to offer cohort, but not exclusively, groups such as Families with Pre-School children, with School-Age children, Hazak, Empty-Nesters, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, etc.

In order to have the most productive conversations, each focus group meeting will be limited to 15 participants.  We will do our utmost to continue offering these opportunities to hear your voices until everyone who wishes is able to participate.  Feel free to sign up for either a mixed or cohort group but just one until all who wish have had an opportunity to participate. 

Your voice matters!  All information gleaned at these meetings will be totally confidential in that no names or identifying information will be shared.  Please use the link below to sign up for the focus group meeting that will best fit your schedule.

If you have any questions, or if these events do not fit into your schedule,  or if you would prefer to speak with us more privately, we invite you to reach out to us personally via our email, .


Ellen Kischel and Adina Newman, Co-Chairs

Fri, November 27 2020 11 Kislev 5781