Congregations and Institutions are not permitted to contact candidates directly prior to interview week. This includes all phone, email, and social media contacts. This allows for a level playing field for everyone.
At the request of synagogues, we have two “blackout” periods in the placement process for graduating rabbis. These blackout periods afford search committees the time to consider candidates and include stakeholders in their communities without feeling that they must act immediately in order to avoid losing candidates. The blackout periods described below are designed in response to the feedback of congregations and institutions and are intended to make it easier for congregations to interview candidates in a thoughtful and reflective way, without feeling that decisions must be made on the first day or the first hour of the process.
- After the initial meetings during Interview Week, congregations and candidates are not permitted to contact each other until Wednesday, February 20, 7 PM EST (note the change from 10 AM EST). Starting Wednesday, February 20, congregations may begin to offer invitations to Graduating Rabbis for an on-site visit to the congregation. This is the first blackout period.
- Congregations may invite candidates to visit their community on a Shabbat. There are four Shabbatot during which candidates can visit congregations. These Shabbatot are: March 1/2, March 8/9, March 15/16, and March 22/23. We request that you do not make, discuss or speculate upon any offers with the candidate during this time.
- Starting on Thursday, March 28, 7 PM EDT (note the change from 10 AM EDT) congregations may begin to offer positions to graduating rabbis (second blackout date). This date allows both congregations and students to enjoy their Pesah s'darim, and allows congregations to meet formally and finish their deliberations even if a candidate has been with the congregation over the previous weekend.
- It is likely that a number of congregations and institutions will continue to interview after Shabbat March 22/23, but these guidelines provide some breathing room during the first exciting month following the initial Interview Week meetings.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation in adhering to these guidelines, as we want to create a level playing field for congregations and institutions seeking new rabbis. We have instituted this policy based on congregations’ feedback and rely on your honor in order to make it work. Should it come to light that a congregation or a student did not adhere to these guidelines, it would become a matter for review by the Joint Placement Commission. For those of you who have not been in the placement process before, please let us acknowledge that this is a time of great anticipation, or even anxiety, for all parties involved. We do our best to lower levels of anxiety. MAZAL TOV. Welcome to Student Interview Week.