June 2021 Statement on Interviewing

In November 2020, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Joint Placement Commission (“JPC”) voted unanimously to institute a temporary policy requiring all candidate interviews, including call-back interviews, be conducted via video-conferencing.

The JPC is now lifting the ban on travel and in-person interviewing and recommending instead that each candidate and congregation make informed decisions on their interview policies based on the individual concerns and the mutual assent of all parties. The JPC will continue to evaluate the circumstances of the pandemic as it relates to the interview processes as the year progresses.

Joint Placement Commission Rules

These rules govern the pulpit placement process for rabbis and congregations in North America, Europe and Israel. The rules have been agreed upon by USCJ and the RA. By registering and posting a job on the job board, you are agreeing to abide by the rules in this document.

Diversity and Inclusive Hiring Statement

The modern Conservative rabbinate comes from diverse backgrounds. Graduates of our seminaries are various ages, sexes, gender identities and expressions, and races. The Career Center believes strongly that congregations do themselves a disservice if they insist that their next religious leader fulfill an antiquated stereotype. While the Career Center does not expect your congregation to engage a particular candidate solely for the sake of diversity, you should expand and broaden your search as you seek the right candidate, not narrow it. It is the policy of the Career Center that a congregation cannot refuse to interview a rabbi on the basis of their sex, gender identity or expression, or other extraneous factors. There is an expectation that congregations will elect rabbis to serve them exclusively on the basis of their qualifications and experience.

Aliyah - A Congregation's Rabbinic Search Guide

This complete guide to the search process is intended to make the process as anxiety-free and as efficient as possible. Each situation is unique, yet we recommend a careful reading of this guide to ease the experience for the committee, the community and the rabbi. This guide is based on the accumulated experience of many congregations and employers, and reflects the wisdom and guidance of both laity and rabbis. We hope this manual will elevate your confidence in the process. The appendix includes helpful exercises such as The Role of the Rabbi, as well as guides for focus groups and sample interview questions. A short and condensed version can be found in this excerpt.

2021 RA-USCJ Pulpit Rabbinic Search Worksheet

This questionnaire is used for pulpit positions, and it is your first contact with potential candidates and the foremost source of facts about a congregation. It presents your synagogue’s story and strengths to interested candidates. The form is now completely online. You can use this worksheet as a draft, but it will all need to be transferred before posting. If you prefer to complete it online from the start, you can work on it slowly and save it as draft until it is complete, then click submit. PLEASE NOTE: there are now character limits. If you wish to use this worksheet, please double check your characters so you will not be cut off when transferring it to the online form. Characters include spaces and punctuation.

Here is a video tutorial to walk you through the process.

Model Contract Template

The Model Engagement Agreement summarizes the mutually accepted standard contract advocated by both the USCJ and the Rabbinical Assembly since 1991. Most congregations choose to adopt this document in full, while some others use a few of the clauses and add their own.