CAI’s Rabbi will serve as a spiritual leader and guide within a Conservative Jewish congregation, promoting and upholding the principles of egalitarianism while adhering to the traditions and values of Conservative Judaism. This role requires a strong commitment to fostering inclusivity, community building, and a deep understanding of Jewish law and customs. The Rabbi will lead services, provide pastoral care, and engage the congregation in meaningful religious, educational, and community-building activities. Responsibilities include:

1.  Spiritual Leadership: 

  • Lead and officiate at religious services, including Shabbat, High Holidays, festivals, and lifecycle events.
  • Deliver inspiring and thought-provoking sermons that connect Jewish teachings to contemporary issues and promote egalitarian values.
  • Provide spiritual guidance and support to congregants, fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members.

2.   Pastoral Care: Together with the Ritual Committee,

  • Provide pastoral counseling and support to individuals and families in times of need, such as during illness, bereavement, or other life challenges.
  • Perform lifecycle events, including weddings, funerals, baby namings, and bar/bat mitzvahs, while incorporating egalitarian practices and principles.
  • Foster a strong sense of community by connecting with congregants on a personal level and promoting inclusivity and understanding.


3. Community Building and Engagement: Together with CAI leadership and Kol Yisrael,

  • Foster a sense of community within our congregation, our Kol Yisrael campus and the Greater Newburgh community.
  • Be proactive in connecting with many local and regional allies to collaborate on outreach and relevant programs.
  • Collaborate with local organizations and participate in interfaith dialogue to promote understanding and cooperation.
  • Encourage congregants to actively participate in social action programs and community service, aligning with the values of Conservative Judaism.


4. Jewish Education:

  • Offer new opportunities for continued learning and growth, including adult education classes and guest speakers.
  • Offer new opportunities for educational programs for children, youth, and adults, ensuring a well-rounded curriculum that emphasizes Jewish values, history, rituals, and ethics.
  • Conduct engaging and interactive Torah study sessions, promoting critical thinking and dialogue within the congregation.


5.   Administration and Leadership:

  • Be a rabbinic presence at community events.
  • Have an online presence to raise visibility.
  • Collaborate with the synagogue board and staff to develop and implement its Strategic Plan, ensuring the congregation’s growth and vitality for future generations.
  • Participate in ongoing professional development to stay informed about current trends, ideas, and issues related to Conservative Judaism.
  • Engage in fundraising and outreach efforts to sustain the financial well-being of the congregation and attract new members.
How do you do Jewish : Conservative Egalitarian
Rabbi Qualifications: See above
Community Description:

Historically, this part of the Hudson Valley was known for being an industrial powerhouse with strategic transportation networks and proximity to NYC. Many Jews established themselves and their synagogues. Congregations flourished as Jewish immigration peaked in America. 30 minutes NW of Newburgh, the popular family resorts in the Catskills were dubbed the Jewish Alps of America. However, starting in the 1950’s, the Hudson Valley started to suffer from industry moving south, transportation trends changing, loss of jobs, destructive urban renewal program and the beginnings of intrenchable urban poverty and de-population. Although many of the Jews that lived in the area moved to surrounding suburbs and their children moved out as well, today, we are seeing a resurgence of young families coming from the NY Metro area for a more affordable, spacious lifestyle. Locally, though, there is a trickling of second generation returning but not many. With continued growth, the Hudson
Valley boasts 1,172,607 residents in 2021.
In the region, there are several colleges who have Hillel houses, Vassar, SUNY New Paltz, Marist, and Bard. Chabad also has a presence. There are West Point Military Academy Jewish faculty that reside in Newburgh. The academy has a Jewish Chapel. Newburgh has 2 colleges, Mount Saint Mary College and SUNY Orange, a Community College. Neither have a Jewish life.
In Newburgh, nature provides us with magnificent colors throughout the year. The leaves on the trees in the fall and the flowers in the spring are inspiring. The summers can be warm and wet and winters, freezing and snowy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies
from 20°F to 84°F and is rarely below 5°F or above 92°F. The warm season lasts for 3.6 months, from May 29 to September 16, averaging a daily high above 74°F. The hottest month in Newburgh is July and averages high of 83°F and low of 65°F. The cold season lasts for 3.3 months,
from December 1 to March 10, with an average temperature below 45°F. The coldest month of the year in Newburgh is January, with an average low of 21°F and high of 36°. Tourists flock to the area to enjoy the seasonal local farm produce, fruit tree orchards and wineries.

Work Remotely: no
  • Ordination as a Conservative Rabbi from a recognized and accredited seminary.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of Conservative Jewish theology, customs, and traditions and commitment to egalitarian principles.
  • Strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in leading services and officiating at lifecycle events.
  • Ability to chant Torah.
  • Ability to engage and connect with diverse age groups and backgrounds.
  • Excellent teaching and educational programming skills.
  • Proficiency in Hebrew and a strong understanding of Jewish texts.
  • Pastoral counseling experience to provide emotional support.
  • Familiarity with current trends and issues within Conservative Judaism.
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development and growth.

Note: This is a general guideline and may be subject to change based on the specific needs of the congregation and community.

Position Start Date: August 1, 2024

Paid vacation (3 weeks) Health insurance, Convention allowance, continueing education (all negotiable)
Housing in a 3 bedroom home provided by congregation ($45, 000 annual value) less than 1/4 ,ile from the synagogue.

Salary Range: $95,000 - $135, 000 - Commensurate with experience
Send resumes and cover letter to:

Sharon Kelson, Board Member

About Congregation Agudas Israel

Congregation Agudas Israel prides itself in being a consistent conservative egalitarian congregation in the Mid-Hudson Valley area because we continually employed a full time rabbi, keeping traditions and providing the genuine warmth and family-like atmosphere. Continuing those values while also providing the younger generation other ways of finding meaning and purpose of being Jewish in the Hudson Valley.

Most recently, our current rabbi shepherded us through the terrible pandemic where we lost a lot of congregation members and where we were constrained and limited to do outreach to new unaffiliated residents that recently moved to the area because of  the exodus out of New York City. Compounding this, for a lot of time we weren’t visible enough to the greater community.
Harnessing the marketing and social media to promote the  Rabbi, their programs, their teachings will be essential. More impactful than that is for the Rabbi to be publicfacing, make introductions, and explore collaborative programming to reach new audiences. Integrating a stronger connection to Israel, managing the rise of antisemitism, or reacquainting ourselves with Jewish culture and traditions are ways of attracting a wider audience.
Collaborations within our Jewish campus are important but in the next five years, we need to collaborate with other existing Jewish and non Jewish entities in the nearby region so as to go beyond our comfort zone. At the same time, our core committed congregants need the introduction of a new rabbi to reconnect, be reenergized, and remain strong at the core so we can collaborate locally, regionally, and even to New York City or nationally but now we must rebuild ourselves.