Summary of Rabbi’s Responsibilities:
September through June: the Rabbi leads weekly Friday evening Shabbat services and delivers a sermon or D’var Torah. The Rabbi leads Saturday morning Shabbat services once a month with a Torah service and/or Torah study. In July and August the Rabbi leads one Friday evening service each month.
The Rabbi leads High Holidays services, including Rosh Hashanah (Erev and 2 days), Shabbat Shuvah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur.
The Rabbi officiates at Bar/Bat Mitzvah Friday night and Saturday morning services.
The Rabbi leads services for additional holidays and celebrations – including Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Purim, and Passover, and also works with Rabbis of other local temples to organize and jointly lead communal observances and services/programs for S’lichot, Shavu’ot, and Yom HaShoah.
The Rabbi is a member of the Education Committee and assists in running the school, including advising on the curriculum and helping to train teachers and review student performance. The Rabbi also conducts a 30 minute service on Sunday mornings to help the students become familiar with elements of the Shabbat service, especially Saturday prayers.
Religious School is held on Sunday mornings in September – May, about 25-27 sessions. Our students range from age 5 through Bar/Bat Mitzvah students. We currently have 12-15 students, and are working on growing our enrollment. About 3-5 students become Bar/Bat Mitzvah each year.
The Rabbi meets with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah class for additional instruction, one afternoon a week in the year leading up to each student’s simcha. Student lead their Friday night and Saturday morning service, chant Torah and Haftarah portions, and present a speech about their Torah portion and Mitzvah project. CKI’s Trope Teacher teaches the students their Torah and Haftarah portions with the assistance of the Rabbi.
Adult Education – the Rabbi is a member of the committee and works with them to choose topics and design programs to expand the Jewish knowledge of our congregation. The Rabbi presents an Adult Education program monthly from September to June.
The Rabbi also shares educational and inspirational messages with our congregants through articles published in CKI’s monthly newsletter.
Life Cycle Events – the Rabbi conducts life cycle events for members without charge (including baby namings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, shivas, burials, funerals, and unveilings). At members’ request, the Rabbi may conduct life cycle events for their first-degree relatives (siblings, parents, and children) for a fee determined by the Rabbi and set forth in a schedule.
Pastoral Care – the Rabbi reaches out to and visits the sick, bereaved, or otherwise-troubled members of the congregation. When requested, the Rabbi will meet with members to counsel and advise them on personal problems within his/her area of expertise. The Chesed Committee works with the Rabbi to identify and track those in need of support.
Supporting the Congregation –the Rabbi assists in activities to attract new members, and helps retain current members. The Rabbi assists the Fundraising Committee in efforts to raise money within his/her capabilities.
Representing the Congregation in the Community – the Rabbi represents our congregation to the local area and to the larger Jewish community, taking part in inclusive religious programming and outreach with local organizations such as Jewish Federation, Bound Brook Ministerium, and the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition. The Rabbi also organizes our congregation’s participation in the greater Jewish community’s holiday celebrations and observances, and community-wide events such as Interfaith Thanksgiving services.
Work week –The work week is approximately 25 hours.
The Rabbi is required to be at CKI on:
Friday nights for Shabbat services
Saturday mornings for monthly morning services, and Torah study when scheduled
Saturday nights for monthly Adult Education programs
Sunday mornings when Religious School is in session
One weekday for the 90-minute B’nai Mitzvah class
Office Hours – the Rabbi is required to be present at the synagogue for regular office hours, scheduled over several days each week, for congregants who are seeking advice.
Other events requiring the Rabbi’s presence include monthly Board meetings (Sunday mornings) and committee meetings (Education, Adult Education, Ritual).
Vacations – The Rabbi receives 3 weeks of vacation, to be scheduled from September through June.
From September – June, the Rabbi has one scheduled weekend off each month (Friday through Sunday).
The Rabbi has summers off, typically July 1 –August 31.
Clergy / Staff / Volunteer Support
CKI‘s Cantor works together with the Rabbi at the High Holidays, at B’nai Mitzvot, at selected Shabbat services, and at holidays such as Purim & Simchat Torah.
CKI has an Administrative Assistant who can help the Rabbi with office administrative work.
The Rabbi is a member of the Ritual Committee, and works with them to plan and implement CKI’s religious services, as well as addressing matters of ritual concern. The Ritual Committee arranges for lay service leaders for Friday nights when the Rabbi will not be present.
Ordination (prior to start date)
The Rabbi must have a cell phone with voicemail, texting, email, and data capabilities. The Rabbi will need a vehicle for travel in the execution of his/her duties.
3 weeks vacation
1 weekend off per month (Friday - Sunday)
Summers off (July-August)
Bound Brook is located in Somerset County, New Jersey. While we have a small town flavor, we are also close to major shopping centers and within 90 minutes of the attractions & museums of both New York City and Philadelphia. The Raritan Valley train line, with a station in downtown Bound Brook, runs to Newark and NYC.
Bound Brook has a full public school system from pre-Kindergarten through High School, local recreational sports leagues and activities, and outdoor community pools which are open during the summer. The town holds annual community events including: carnivals, a street fair, a Memorial Day parade, and professional bicycle races. The town also celebrates its pre-Revolutionary War roots with annual reenactments of the Battle of Bound Brook, and July 4th ceremonies at Washington’s Campground.
The downtown and the Route 28 corridor have many shops, businesses, and restaurants. Our town has a branch of the Somerset County Library, and the Brook Theater, which dates to the 1920’s and features a variety of classic films, concerts, and live performances. Nearby in Bridgewater are Patriots Stadium, home of the Atlantic League Somerset Patriots Baseball team, several large shopping centers, cinemas, and the new county Senior Wellness Center.
Our area offers many resources for Jewish families:
- Local supermarkets in the area carry a wide range of kosher foods, and we are 20 minutes from Highland Park which has many kosher markets and restaurants.
- The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center is 15 minutes from town. It has fitness, swimming, and recreation facilities, a Jewish summer camp, and hosts a wide range of social, cultural, and educational programming in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties.
- Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties, in nearby Somerville, offers a variety of services and programs for families, children, seniors, and Holocaust survivors.
- The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living offers senior residences and hospice care for older adults in a way that respects Jewish traditions and values.
- Raritan Valley Community College is home to the Resource Center of the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, with an extensive collection of materials.
- Rutgers University in New Brunswick offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Jewish studies, and has a new Hillel Student Center as well as Chabad House.
About Congregation Knesseth Israel
Congregation Knesseth Israel in Bound Brook is a non-affiliated, egalitarian, and inclusive congregation that has been serving the local Jewish community for almost 100 years. We offer opportunities to embrace the traditions of Judaism through religious services, life-long learning, social activities, and mutual support.
Our congregation currently has 75 households, who come from various towns in Somerset, Middlesex, and Hunterdon counties. Our membership includes individuals, single parent families, families with two Jewish parents, interfaith families, and seniors. Our members have a wide range of backgrounds of Jewish traditions and practices. Some attend services and events every week while others participate less often.
As a non-affiliated synagogue, we have established our own customs, for example, recognizing Jewish heritage from both matrilineal and patrilineal descent. Women and men participate equally in all aspects of synagogue life.
CKI celebrates Shabbat every Friday night. Our Cantor joins us about once a month to lead us in song, occasionally with instrumental (guitar) accompaniment. We have Saturday morning Shabbat & Torah services once a month. During the High Holidays we observe Rosh Hashanah (Erev and 2 days), Shabbat Shuvah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur; we also hold observances and celebrations for Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Tu BiShvat, Purim, Passover, and Shavu’ot. We use the Siddur Hadash (Media Judaica) series of prayer books for our Friday night, Saturday morning, High Holidays, and Shiva services. Members of the congregation lead lay services on Fridays when the Rabbi is not present.
Life-long learning is important at CKI. Religious School takes place on Sunday mornings, and B’nai Mitzvah students meet with the Rabbi during the week for additional instruction. The Rabbi leads a monthly Adult Education class on a variety of topics.
Our members find our close-knit community a source of support and comfort. The Rabbi provides spiritual leadership as well as pastoral care: visiting the sick, bereaved, or troubled members. The Rabbi also officiates at lifecycle events for members (including Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, funerals) without charge.
Many of our congregants volunteer their time and efforts to run our synagogue's committees, activities, and social events, as well as day-to-day physical operations. The Rabbi has the direct support of various temple committees, including the Ritual Committee to help organize High Holiday and other services, the Adult Education Committee to help run programming, and the Chesed Committee to help identify congregants in need of support.