The Joint Placement Commission (“JPC”), after unanimous vote, released a statement that there is to be no travel related to search processes and no in-person interviews until April 1, 2021.
It is the duty of the JPC to establish policies and procedures that advance a fair, orderly and dignified career transition process for RA member rabbis seeking positions in USCJ member congregations. The JPC acknowledges that this temporary policy may pose added difficulties to an already challenging time, but they feel it is their obligation to protect life more than to protect the previous format of interviews. They take this seriously and expect RA rabbis and USCJ communities to take this seriously too.
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.
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.
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.
The 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 questionnaire was recently redone and released in August 2020. Please use this updated version. When you have completed the questionnaire, please scroll back up to page 3 to the Table of Contents, click on the table, click “Update Table” in the top left corner, select “Update page numbers only,” then click OK. Then, save your document again. This will help candidates navigate your document easily. You can submit the questionnaire as a Word Document or in PDF Format. It is divided into five sections: General Contact Information, Your New Rabbi, Your Jewish and General Community, Your Congregation, and Proposed Compensation. This is REQUIRED, and applications without actual numbers will not be processed.
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.