Overview

Roles and Responsibilities
The Rabbi will serve as the spiritual and moral leader of the Kolot community. The Rabbi is
expected to bring their own ideas, experiences, skills, knowledge, philosophy, and personality
to our congregation while working in close collaboration with the Cantor, staff, and other lay
leaders. Some specific responsibilities include (not in order of priority):

Congregational Leadership

  • Work in alignment with Kolot Chayeinu’s values as a congregation and help hold
    the congregation and its leadership to our values
  • Be everyone’s Rabbi by actively engaging, meeting and connecting with all Kolot
    members
  • Serve as an Ex-Officio member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee
  • Participate in strategic planning, visioning, and other leadership and long-range
    initiatives
  • Work with board members on fundraising, with a particular focus on special events
    and major donors to the community
  • Serve as a conduit to and from the congregation and the wider Jewish community
    and, along with other Kolot representatives, help represent the congregation in the
    wider Jewish community and the interfaith community in NYC
  • Work closely with the membership committee and administrative staff to set the
    tone for Kolot’s membership outreach, retention and connection efforts
  • Cultivate and center the leadership of congregants–with particular attention to
    those who have historically been excluded from synagogue life, such as non-Jewish
    members, members of color, LGBTQIA members, and members with disabilities

Ritual/Avodah

  • Responsible with Cantor for all religious celebrations, including holidays, and
    Shabbat services
  • Help plan and implement decision-making processes about Jewish observance (e.g.
    a siddur, mahzorim, kashrut and Shabbat policies)
  • Work with lay leaders, staff, and clergy to ensure the functioning of all holiday
    celebrations and life cycle rituals

Communal Learning/Limud

  • With lay leaders, staff, and clergy, develop and oversee adult learning programs, as
    well as teach classes
  • Rabbi and Cantor are responsible for the B’nai Mitzvah program and meet with
    families and individual students who are preparing
  • Help oversee and participate in congregation-wide learning initiatives

Pastoral Care/Chesed

  • Provide pastoral care and rabbinic guidance for members on the full range of spiritual,
    personal, health, and family-related issues
  • Work with the Gemilut Hasadim committee to coordinate support for congregants
    Justice/Tzedek & Community Relations
  • Represent Kolot Chayeinu in Jewish communal spaces, citywide interfaith settings,
    and also publically in connection with movements and campaigns aligned with the
    congregation. Support the leadership of other Kolot leaders to do the same
  • From the pulpit, in meetings, and in one to one conversations, lead the congregation
    in our pursuit of justice and with open ears and heart, be led by the congregation as
    well
  • Work in direct partnership with the Director of Learning and Action and lay leadership
    of the social justice working groups

Administration

  • Work with staff and the Board to set vision for the year and with the staff to
    coordinate annual congregational and school calendars
  • Supervise student rabbis/interns, senior program staff, and other senior staff where
    appropriate and in consultation with Board; participate in the hiring process for such
    positions

We seek to further shape the roles and responsibilities of our next Rabbi based on their unique
talents and passions. We also acknowledge that being a full-time Rabbi can be a consuming job
and we look forward to learning about and respecting our rabbi’s boundaries and need for
personal and spiritual growth and development.

Community Description:

About Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives

As our mission statement says “Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives is a Jewish congregation in Brooklyn, where doubt can be an act of faith and all hands are needed to build our community. We are creative, serious seekers who pray joyfully, wrestle with tradition, pursue justice, and refuse to be satisfied with the world as it is. We share a commitment to ending structural racism and becoming an antiracist congregation. And, as individuals of varying sexual orientations, gender identities, races, family arrangements, and Jewish identities and backgrounds, we search for meaningful and just expressions of our Judaism in today's uncertain world.”

Kolot’s membership of about 425 adult members and almost 200 school-age children comes from all over Brooklyn, and beyond. Diversity is a hallmark of the Kolot Chayeinu community. We continue and grow as we began, with profound respect for the individual and the community, believing in and striving for broad inclusivity, sharing meals, conversation, and camaraderie. Our experience has taught us that a wide range of Jewish background, practice, and understanding is necessary to a vibrant community, as is the active presence of interfaith families, non-Jewish members, their children, loved ones, and friends. We are proud to be a community comprising individuals of varying Jewish traditions, sexual orientations, races, ages, and family arrangements.

Our worship is participatory, with contributions from member artists, activists, scholars, Torah readers, and children. Shabbat services are jointly crafted week-to-week by our Rabbi and Cantor and are based on Kol HaNeshama, the Reconstructionist Siddur. This enables us to reflect our commitment to tradition, while responding to events in our community and the world. Joyful singing and lay participation are cornerstones of our Shabbat morning service. The weekly D’var Torah (or drash) is usually given by a member, and the congregation warmly welcomes each new Darshan to the bimah. Our High Holyday Services, which draw over 2,000 people each year, do not require tickets and have been based on Gates of Repentance, the Reform Machzor, supplemented deeply and broadly with additional liturgy, poetry, writing, performance and music, from ancient tunes to modern and original compositions. We also collaborate with Jewish and non-Jewish communities in New York City for some holidays, celebrations, and observances.

Members engage in the community in a multitude of ways, reflecting our diverse skills, interests, and talents. We offer opportunities for lifelong Jewish learning, including our Children’s Learning Program, adult Torah Study group, Jewish History book group, Wise Aging, Tikkun Middot, and Adult B’Nai Mitzvah. We have a strong infrastructure of congregational committees, including Fundraising, Gemilut Hasadim, Multiracial Families Network, Education, and Membership. We also have a body of active working groups dedicated to addressing issues of social justice and inclusion, including our Israel/Palestine Working Group, Queer and Trans Working Group, Race Working Group, Immigrant and Refugee Working Group, and Plant A--the environmental justice group. These lay-led working groups, initiated by congregants and supported by staff, address issues of long standing concern within and beyond the community, such as the commitment to becoming a visible anti-racist and queer and trans-embracing Jewish congregation.

Within our congregation there are people who hold a wide range of views on Israel and Palestine. While some members are passionate and committed to their views and to organizations that represent them, there are also some who are highly conflicted and others for whom this is not an important issue. We call this the “Open Tent,” and fully welcome this diversity of private and public positions among our members, leaders, staff, and clergy. We are currently exploring how to clarify, deepen, and strengthen our congregation’s Open Tent and look to find ways to build the trust and compassion necessary to sustain continuing dialogue about such issues.

Work Remotely: no
Qualifications:

Qualifications and Qualities

Kolot Chayeinu is an independent, unaffiliated congregation; rabbis from any denominational
background and ordination are welcome to apply. Many of the qualifications and qualities for our next Rabbi are derived from conversations amongst members in a series of house meetings.
More information about these meetings can be found at kolotchayeinu.org/Rabbinic_Transition

This position is not open to current members of Kolot.

We hope to see in a successful candidate:

  • Demonstrated commitment to values that are consistent with Kolot’s mission, vision,
    and values
  • Smikha (rabbinic ordination) from a recognized, accredited seminary (or equivalent) before July 1, 2019
  • Meaningful experience of leadership in a congregation, including leading the full range of life-cycle events and Jewish liturgical celebrations, teaching and providing pastoral
    care
  • Track record of pursuing social justice through a Jewish lens
  • Collaborative approach to leadership
  • Warm pastoral presence
  • Innovative and deeply spiritual teacher
  • Effective communicator with strong interpersonal skills
  • Flexiblility and calm in the face of challenges
  • Ability to authentically embrace the diversity of opinions among Kolot members,
    particularly on the topic of Israel and Palestine, and to fully engage and include the full spectrum of voices within our community
  • Antiracist with demonstrated analysis of systemic racism as acquired through training,
    proven track record, and/or lived experience
  • Demonstrated embracing of LGBTQIA community and attunement to particular needs of
    queer, trans and nonbinary congregants
  • Experience with and enthusiasm for working with people from a wide variety of Jewish
    backgrounds, practices, and understandings, as well as interfaith families
  • Familiarity with New York City and Brooklyn, including the Jewish communal landscape
    preferred
Position Start Date: July 1, 2019
Benefits:

See job description: http://kolotchayeinu.org/pdfs/RabbiJob.pdf

Salary Range: This is a full-time position with a salary range of $110-130,000, commensurate with experience, and benefits.
Send resumes and cover letter to:

RabbiSearch@kolotchayeinu.org

About Kolot Chayeinu / Voices of our Lives

See our Mission and Values statements: http://www.kolotchayeinu.org/values