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Rabbi Search Update


Rabbinic Search Update, September 12, 2019


Countdown to Rabbi Kenter’s First Visit!


Bnai Israel’s First Focus Groups!


This Sunday is Shul Day! Plan on being part of this event, which will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM. Congregants will have their first opportunity to meet Bnai Israel’s interim rabbi, Rabbi Barry Kenter, and participate in 1 of 2 Focus groups that day. You’ll get to learn more about the various groups which keep our synagogue thriving and also get information about High Holiday tickets, Membership and Shul Cloud. There will be food!

President Barry Weiss will give an overview of the Shul Day activities and introduce Rabbi Kenter at 11:15 and again at 12:15.

Focus groups will take place from 11:30 to 12 noon and from 1:00 to 1:30. Each focus group will consider and prioritize a number of duties and roles that they consider important—for themselves and for the congregation—in a permanent rabbi.

The Search Committee members completed the focus group activity this week and found it engaging and challenging. It gave everyone much food for thought.

Elements of the focus group feedback will help us better define the desirable qualities for our next permanent rabbi and will also be incorporated into a future congregational survey.

The Search Committee has been guided by professionals at United Synagogue (USCJ) in composing the list of duties and rabbinic roles for each group to discuss. The groups will be led by congregants from the Search Committee and the results will be shared with both the Search Committee and the Board of Directors.

You’ll have many opportunities to weigh in during the Rabbinic Search. Besides the focus groups and the survey, don’t forget the blue suggestion box in the foyer. Please use it to express your opinion about what you hope for in Bnai Israel’s next Rabbi. We need your thoughts!

At two other events you can meet and engage with Rabbi Kenter. The first is on Monday, September 16th at noon. Lunch & Learn returns, with Rabbi Kenter discussing, “Are We There Yet?” Lunch will be served and there is no charge. On Tuesday evening at 7pm, you won’t want to miss his Adult Education talk on “Fifty Shades of Pray.”

See the complete schedule for Shul Day and Rabbi Kenter’s first visit elsewhere in this newsletter!



Rabbi Search Committee Update: September 4, 2019



Our interim rabbi, Rabbi Barry Kenter, will visit Bnai Israel, beginning on Shul Day, Sunday, September 15. On Shul Day, set for 11 AM to 2 PM, Rabbi Kenter will be introduced to congregants and meet with One Room Shul House students and their parents, Sisterhood, Men’s Club, and the KavaNotes. Rabbi Kenter will be a great resource as we move forward with our rabbinic search.

Also on Shul Day, there will be two focus groups meetings, (11:30-12:00 and 1:00-1:30), where congregants can discuss the roles a permanent rabbi should fulfill , as well as the desirable characteristics in a rabbi that would make a good fit with our congregation.

Rabbi Kenter will remain in Wilmington until September 19. During that time activities planned include: a Lunch and Learn Meeting and an evening Adult Education program; meetings with the Bnai Israel Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and the Rabbi Search Committee; and other kinds of social interactions with Rabbi Kenter. Rabbi Kenter will return September 26 for the High Holidays, remaining in town till October 10.

Other ways that congregants can stay informed and weigh in on what they see as the important duties and most desirable traits of our next full-time rabbi include:

  • Continued weekly updates in the newsletter.
  • A new drop-down box on the Bnai Israel website where members can access updates on the rabbinic search
  • A Suggestion Box, (in a lovely shade of blue), which now sits on the table in the lobby of the synagogue, at the Chestnut Street entrance. Cards and pens are available for you to write comments and suggestions regarding your vision of the best rabbi for Bnai Israel. These will be read by the Search committee and at the Board of Directors meetings.
  • Additional group meetings in the future to provide all congregants with an opportunity to take part in this very important process. We want and need your input!
Tue, September 17 2019 17 Elul 5779