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What's Going On?
February 22, 2021 Update:

We received more applications for this position than we thought we would. That is a good thing!

The Search Committee finished our first round of interviews. This helped identify the candidates who we took to the next round of interviews.  

This second set of interviews were more in depth and allowed us to get a better idea whether the candidate might be a good match for CBE. At the same time we vetted the candidates via internet, speaking with members or other congregations they have been associated with in the past and other sources that we knew. We attended their religious services and educational classes when able to do so. We gathered as much information as possible. 

The committee met, at length, after each interview and after all the interviews were completed. 

We are up to the next step in the process which will be to introduce our top candidate(s) to the Executive Board. 

Once the search committee is ready to recommend a candidate to the Executive Committee, negotiations will begin.

We hope to bring you some more information in a couple of weeks.  As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact rabbisearch@bethemeth.org.

Robyn Feuerberg
Rabbi Search Committee Chairperson


What is an Interim Rabbi and why are we hiring one?

An Interim Rabbi is someone who will provide a year of transition for our congregation as we are ending a relationship with Rabbi Mina and seeking a new Permanent Rabbi.    

Most importantly, the Interim Rabbi will help ensure that a Permanent Rabbi is positioned for success.

An Interim Rabbi is NOT a candidate for the Permanent Rabbi’s position.


What does an Interim Rabbi do?

The Interim Rabbi will: 
  • Act as a full Rabbi; handling all day-to-day traditional rabbinic functions (life cycle rituals, pastoral care, religious/ritual leadership, engagement with Children’s Learning Program, coordination with staff and board, engagement with Adult Education);
  • Lead and manage all day-to-day rabbinical responsibilities;
  • Advise and support the congregation through the transition process by serving as a transition consultant;
  • Provide a neutral zone with a time of reflection and identification and assist our congregation in answering the important question of, “what does Congregation Beth Emeth want as it continues as a congregation and a community?”;
  • Guide and support the congregation in reflecting on the transitional aspects of the rabbinic change and assisting in processing these changes. Will work at a deep emotional level with the congregation on issues of separation, conflict, possible change and rabbinic transition;
  • Provide the congregation a chance to explore other ways of thinking about things;
  • Provide stability for the congregation as it processes the departure of the outgoing Rabbi, searches for a new Rabbi, and prepares for the arrival of the new permanent Rabbi;
  • The Interim Rabbi will not participate directly in the search process for the Permanent Rabbi position but may make suggestions to the Search Committee.

How do we find an Interim Rabbi?

The Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly (RA) assists us in finding candidates who are interested in filling an Interim Rabbi position. The RA provides us with an Application Form. We have filled this out, and the information about Beth Emeth and our requirements will be posted on the RA job website. This should take place by the end of January. Applicants will then contact us about their interest in the job.  

We have been informed that most Interim Rabbis are rabbis who have retired from other congregations and are interested in short term employment. The Interim Rabbi will serve in the position for 1 year only. They cannot become our Permanent Rabbi. 


Who is going to interview the candidates?

Your FIRST (Fabulous Interim Rabbi Search Team) 

Robyn Feuerberg (Chair) has been a member of Congregation Beth Emeth (CBE) for the past 29 years. She has been involved on many committees over the years and has been the Board Member at Large the past 2 years. Robyn ran the Gift Shop for many years and just recently created the Online Gift Shop. She planned and executed 36 programs for our 36th Anniversary. Robyn was instrumental in planning the farewell weekend for Rabbi Steve when he retired. Robyn also read Torah for many years.

Robyn's husband Stan is a regular Service Leader and Haftarah Reader. Her elder daughter Danielle (Feuerberg) Arthur was involved in our USY, locally and regionally and is now a 2nd generation member. Her younger daughter, Amy, an adult with special needs, lives in a Jewish Foundation Group Home in the Reston area and was one of the first B'nai Mitzvah in the country to use an assisted speaking device to aid her in reading Torah for her Bat Mitzvah in October, 2003.

Robyn chaired the recent search committee for our new Executive Director. Most recently, she has educated herself with the many features of Zoom and is serving as Zoom Gabbai for most of our on-line services. Robyn is looking forward to working with the congregation to find an Interim Rabbi and a Permanent Rabbi.

Denise Moldover (Vice-chair) and her family have been members at Beth Emeth for 15 years. She is a long standing member on the Ritual Committee and has served on the Religious School Committee as well as the co-chair of the Youth Committee. Denise is currently Vice President for Ritual.

Denise's husband, Dan, has also been active in the Men's Club and is currently the chair of the Technology Committee. Her children Adam and Sarah have been active in Kadima and USY both on the chapter and regional level. Adam is currently active with George Mason University's Hillel.

Denise's family are regular participants in Religious services. Denise chants Torah and Haftarah and often serves as Gabbai. Both Adam and Sarah lead services and chant Torah. Dan serves as floor Gabbai and most recently is tech Gabbai for our services on Zoom. During the week, Denise teaches first grade at Gesher Jewish Day School.

Fran Besalel and her family have been members of Beth Emeth for 14 years. Fran lives with her husband, Sami, and her mother-in-law, Anita. Her two children attended religious school, celebrated b'not mitzvah and confirmations, and enjoyed USY at Beth Emeth. She has served on the board as chair of the Youth Committee, Education VP, Executive VP, President, and Past President. She is currently the Chair of the Nominating Committee and is often a health screener at Shabbat services. During the week, Fran is a Learning Specialist at Gesher Jewish Day School. 

Liz Cordeiro and her family have been members of Beth Emeth since they moved to Northern Virginia in 1999. Liz and her brother Ben both celebrated their B'nai Mitzvah and Confirmations under Rabbi Steve. After she returned from college out of state, Liz began a slow return to the Beth Emeth community by attending High Holiday services and occasionally reading Torah. In 2015, she celebrated her wedding to Josh Cordeiro with an aufruf that reignited her passion for Judaism and all things ritual. Liz joined the Ritual Committee soon thereafter, began to volunteer frequently as a Floor Gabbai and Torah reader, and has been the Ritual Director for Holidays since 2017. 

Steven Pregozen has been a member of CBE since 2018.  Prior to joining Beth Emeth, Steven was a student in Rabbi Mina's Introduction to Judaism course. This course inspired Steven to reconnect with Judaism and to join the congregation. Since becoming a member, Steven has learned Hebrew, participated in an adult Bar Mitzvah, read from the Torah, and acted as a Hagbah. Steven also volunteers for the Finance Committee and participates regularly in social action events such as hypothermia prevention meal service. Steven has extensive experience interviewing candidates for a multitude of positions, and is enthusiastic about providing his insight in identifying an Interim Rabbi for Beth Emeth.

Josh Winston and his family have been members of Congregation Beth Emeth for 13 years. Josh is lucky to be married to Angel Winston and they have two children, Ezra and Kate. He has seven years' experience on the synagogue's Board in positions including Finance & Budget Chair and Treasurer. Josh and Angel organized and lead the Purim Carnival for seven years, and Josh was an FJMC (Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs) Blue Yarmulke Man of the Year. In addition to chanting Torah and Haftarah, Josh participates in ritual leadership as Shaliach Tzibbur (prayer leader), Gabbai, Floor Gabbai, and helps to certify new Torah lifters (Hagbah). The path of Torah and lifelong learning is important to Josh and his family.  


How long will this search take?

The process for hiring an Interim Rabbi is very different from that of hiring a Permanent Rabbi. Once we have applicants, the FIRST (Fabulous Interim Rabbi Search Team) will begin the process of  assessing the candidates. We will not be holding Town Halls or providing surveys to the congregation for this search as it is a short-term position with a very quick turn-around.  Town Halls and surveys will happen with the Permanent Rabbi Search.  However, if you would like to provide any thoughts you might have, please send your input to rabbisearch@gmail.com. This is the best way to contact the team, both for the Interim Rabbi and then for the Permanent Rabbi Search.

Interviews for the Interim Rabbi Search will be completed by April or May. 


How can a congregant share ideas with the Interim Rabbi Search Team or ask a question?

Contact us at rabbisearch@gmail.com. This is the best way to contact the team, both for the Interim Rabbi and then for the Permanent Rabbi Search.


Will the congregation be able to vote for the Interim Rabbi?

The hiring of an Interim position falls into the same category as any contracted short-term or  part time position (ie. High Holy Days Cantor).  The congregation does not vote on this hire.  

The Permanent Rabbi position is handled very differently and will be voted on by the entire congregation!

How can I keep track of new developments?

We will update this website on a regular basis. All new information and developments will be posted here. Check back regularly. We will also include updates in the Shofar newsletter.

Thu, March 4 2021 20 Adar 5781