B'nai Israel then established a search committee that identified and secured the services of a "new" rabbi.
Not as well as we all had hoped.
As many of us in the Albuquerque Jewish community also recall.
There is a new B'nai Israel search committee now, that has just posted what used to be known (way back, when Abq Jew was very, very young) as a Help Wanted ad on the website RabbiCareers.com.
Yes, amazingly (or perhaps not), there is such a website.
The goal of RabbiCareers.com is to continue helping connect rabbis with opportunities for paid work anywhere (full-time, part-time, or even one-time): pulpit work, nonprofit, Hillel, school, or a new kind of venue.
Rabbis Without Borders is a program of CLAL- The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
You can read the full ad right here. It begins
Seeking Interim Rabbi in the Land of Enchantment
Congregation B’nai Israel, a vibrant Conservative egalitarian Jewish community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, seeks an experienced interim rabbi for 1-3 years to serve our spiritual, communal, and educational needs in the heart of the Southwest.
After a few years without consistent rabbinical leadership, our community seeks an individual to guide our lay membership. We are looking for a steady hand who can help us heal from past divisions and guide us toward a unified future.
Which of course brings to Abq Jew's misfiring mind the glorious flick Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
And his 2016 classic Wanna Be Our Rabbi?
And his 2016 classic Wanna Be Our Rabbi?
What are the questions that Abq Jew would like to ask each candidate? Abq Jew joyfully recalls (as he is sure you also do) The Bridge of Death. As every Monty Python fan knows, the first two questions are always
What is your name? What is your quest?
The third question, we surely recall, varies, with distinctly varying outcomes. Here are some of Abq Jew's possibilities. You're welcome!
1. How many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man? Yes and how many roads must a woman walk down before they call her a woman? Are these numbers the same? Discuss.
2. You live in T or C. You are a guest at a Sunday wedding that will inexplicably take place at a megashul in downtown Pittsburgh. You are staying the weekend at the Steeler Stele, a 42-storey architectural wonder that offers self-directed elevators and electronic room keys. Your room is on the 27th floor. The Friday night Oneg Shabbat runs a bit late, and you stay at shul for the Hashkama Minyan on Saturday. Describe where, when, how, and why you take your Shabbos nap.
3. You are the new rabbi in a a well-established congregation. Every week on the Sabbath, a fight erupts during the service. When it comes time to recite the Shema prayer, half of the congregation stands and the other half sits. The people who are standing yell at the people who are sitting, "Stand up!" while the people who are sitting yell at the people who are standing, "Sit down!" Should the congregation stand or sit for the Shema? What is the tradition?
Hint: The Story of Shabbat 505
4. According to some (but, of course, not all) commentators, the purpose of performing mitzvot is to guide us in living good lives, being good people, and doing good things in the world. Describe in discrete mathematical terms the exact correlation between performing mitzvot and being a good person. Carefully but completely explain why there is a need for kosher food in our prison system.
5. Your local JCC offers excellent facilities for exercise and very good Jewish programming. It also offers no pleasantly functional performance space ("theater") and no kosher food service (although pescatarian fare is available). Your synagogue currently offers a beautiful sanctuary (with comfortable seats, good sight lines, and superb acoustics) and full meat and dairy kosher food service. How can your synagogue work with the JCC to provide a magnificent performance space, outstanding kosher dining, and terrific Jewish programming?
6. Your new synagogue has a strong tradition of congregational singing during worship services, often with instrumental accompaniment. You are not comfortable with this arrangement. If the instrumentalists promise not to tune their instruments, will this ameliorate your concerns? If not, describe the concrete steps (or earthen ramp) you will take to transform the choir into a powerhouse a capella group (like Pizmon or, lehavdil, the Maccabeats) suitable for weddings and b'nai mitzvah.
Hint: Rabbi School Dropout
7. Who wrote the Five Books of Moses? Who wrote the Book of Mormon? Who wrote the Book of Love?
Maftir. If and only if the candidate responds both earnestly and meaningfully to the above questions, he or she may be entitled to attempt the tie-breaker. Which is (Abq Jew's favorite!)
Define the universe. Give three examples.