The Rabbinic recruitment working party (RRWP) have been continuing with preparatory work, including the documentation on the website and a request for members to email the question they would like applicants to answer.

The current position is that the Rabbinic post has been advertised with a closing date of 31st May. Currently the demand for Progressive Rabbis significantly exceeds supply, in the UK, EU and North America (https://www.hartman.org.il/the-great-american-rabbi-shortage/). It is quite possible that our first efforts will not result in finding a suitable candidate for the post. Other UK congregations have had similar experiences, some taking several years to find a Rabbi.

We were fortunate that Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner undertook the role of interim Rabbi for a time, and we are trying to set up a similar arrangement for the future. Members have expressed understandable concerns regarding spiritual leadership, Bar/Bat Mitzvot, and other life-cycle events. I am trying to ensure that we can cater for these needs. We are able to call upon many of our members with the skills and expertise to undertake these roles and responsibilities, but the trustees recognize that we do need Rabbinic guidance and input to the congregation.

Last Shabbat our services were led by student Rabbi Eleanor Davis. I was not present on Friday evening, but those who did attend the service and the meal were full of praise for Eleanor’s service and the later events, including a challenging quiz. I did attend the Shabbat service and like everyone else, was impressed with the service, her sermon and Torah reading, and her regard for Sinai’s minhag. She also scheduled time with the pre-Bar/Bat Mitzvot group.

Her next visit will be later in May – taking the services on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st – so please look out for announcements of events scheduled for that weekend.
The RRWP and the trustees continue to welcome input from members, and will respond to all ideas and requests. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have specific concerns or suggestions.