FT Rabbi of a newly merged congregation (Am Tikvah) in San Francisco, created from two well-established communities—one affiliated with the Reform and the other with the Conservative movement.
This is a solo Rabbi position, and our community is a blend of seniors, younger families, interfaith families, and BIPOC and LGBTQ+ families and individuals. Our new rabbi must be personable, flexible, progressive, and creative. Leading our newly-formed community provides a Rabbi with an excellent opportunity to connect with people in multiple ways, build on long-held traditions, guide the creation of new traditions, and lead the members to live and “do Jewish” in a manner that transcends labels.
What We Are Looking For
A dynamic, innovative pulpit Rabbi to
- partner with lay leaders and the congregational community in creating the spiritual, ritual, social justice (Tikkun Olam), and educational practices for the new congregation moving forward;
- attend to the pastoral needs of the congregation;
- lead and co-lead with congregants musically exciting Friday night and Shabbat services, including Torah Study;
- lead and co-lead with congregants High Holy Day services and other holidays and festival observances;
- work with congregational leaders and staff to create, promote and execute synagogue activities and other opportunities to connect with each other and engage the larger Jewish community
- help recruit and welcome new members of the community;
- prepare students and families for B’nai Mitzvot including reading Torah, leading and participating in services, and discovering their own way of living Jewishly.
For more information, see our Congregational Profile.
Am Tikvah in San Francisco was formed through the merger of two congregations in the Southwest Corner of San Francisco—Congregation Beth Israel Judea (“BIJ” Reform) and Congregation B’nai Emunah (“CBE” Conservative). Each of our congregations has a rich and extensive history in San Francisco.
BIJ was formed in 1969 from the merger of two San Francisco communities: Congregation Beth Israel, founded in 1860 and Temple Judea founded in 1953. Congregation Beth Israel was originally an Orthodox synagogue and subsequently became the oldest Conservative synagogue west of the Mississippi. Temple Judea was a young and growing Reform Jewish community and the first Reform San Francisco temple built in almost 125 years.
B’nai Emunah was founded in 1949 by mostly German Jews who had fled the Nazis to Shanghai, China, in the late 1930s. CBE evolved from a Shoah-refugee heritage institution to a twenty-first-century synagogue seeking innovative means to bring Jews into a modern religious community with traditional roots. CBE is one of the few remaining congregations founded by Jews from Shanghai. CBE became a progressive congregation within the framework of the Conservative movement.
The merger was approved by both memberships in September 2021. The two communities joined together to blend resources and create a fulfilling synthesis of traditional ritual and contemporary Jewish practice.
We are builders. Join us in creating a place of Jewish learning and engagement, friendship, and caring. We strive to make a difference in the lives of our members and in the San Francisco Southside Jewish community.
We are welcoming. We will meet you where you are: Jews and non-Jews, experienced prayer leaders and newbies, Jews of all ages. We are inclusive: People with disabilities and learning differences, BIPOC and LGBTQ+.
We are a family. We are excited about your curiosity, spirituality, friendship, and commitment to building a caring community and a just world. There is a place set at our table for you.
Make a difference. Be welcomed. Join us.
While all synagogues claim to be warm and welcoming, we truly live up to this claim. We foster a feeling of belonging and closeness to all, not just our members. We truly function as an intergenerational, diverse family composed of seniors, families with young children, singles, members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, Shoah survivors, Russian and Iranian immigrants, Jews-by-choice, and partners and friends who are not Jewish. Our congregation is unique in its ability to be genuinely heimish and to make people feel welcome and at home. We are highly participatory and somewhat informal, placing a great value on ruach and kavanah. We value celebrations of the spirit, Jewish culture, our children’s education, life-long learning, music, social justice, and Tikkun Olam. At Am Tikvah, we strive to be a place where everybody really knows your name.
Volunteerism is a deeply held value of Am Tikvah. Our leadership created a governance structure where the essential functions of the synagogue (religious practice and events, education, finance, administration, and staffing) are overseen and run by teams of volunteers working collaboratively with clergy and staff.
The community can boast a deep reserve of volunteers and lay leadership that maintain the operations of Am Tikvah and facilitate the provision of meaningful spiritual, social, religious, and educational programs. During the two-year+ merger process, about ninety volunteers from both communities worked on eleven action teams to complete specific tasks related to location, community building, membership, programming, communication, and so on. About fifteen members of our community can and regularly do lead services, read Torah and haftarah, and offer Torah commentary. In addition, we have several lay leaders who have been trained and meet regularly to clean and preserve our Torah scrolls.
We are collaborative and not limited by the “label” of our affiliation (Reform or Conservative). For almost a decade, we formed and participated in the Southside Jewish Collaborative, which enabled us to come together and get to know—worship, learn and celebrate with—members and clergy of other synagogues on the south side of San Francisco. This affiliation with multiple rabbis and other resources has enabled us to offer expanded programming including joint holiday celebrations, adult learning opportunities, and Tikkun Olam/Social Justice events, which include feeding the food insecure, addressing climate change, limiting our carbon footprint, cleaning the beach, and recycling.
Am Tikvah has approximately 200 family units. Demographically, the mean age skews around 55+. Attendance at weekly services reflects our demographics. We make a great effort to engage our youth and celebrate the occasions where a recent Bat/Bar Mitzvah is given an Aliyah or asked to reprise their Torah reading.
One important goal is to keep our adolescents and young adults participating and engaging in our services and events.
Music is very important to our community. Our newly-merged community is fortunate to have members with musical talent and sufficient knowledge to lead prayer and services (or at least portions) that create joy. We wish to expand this “pool” and create programming to teach/explore more varieties of musical liturgy, worship, and celebration.
Ordination after completion of a multi-year program of rabbinic study.
Retirement Plan Contribution
About Congregation Am Tikvah
We are a heimish, multigenerational community embracing the diversity of San Francisco. We love to schmooze, sing, and nosh.