by Gary Berman, President

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Nearly 2,500 years later, his words remain relevant.

During the past 65 years, Temple Judea has experienced many changes, growing from a few visionary families–meeting in homes or at Hillel–to a vibrant, caring, wonderful community of more than 630 families worshiping, learning and giving back to our community in a beautiful synagogue.

We have grown from strength to strength thanks to our devoted clergy, staff, lay-leaders and congregants, and we have proven time and again that we’re stronger together than we are individually.

As you know, beginning in July, Rabbi Goldberg will be continuing his spiritual journey at Temple Sholom, a venerable congregation in Chicago. Temple Judea has been blessed with his love, wisdom and vision for the past 17 years. We all share a sense of loss about his decision, while at the same time we want the best for Rabbi Goldberg and his family. These feelings are normal and if any of you would like to reach out to me, or other Temple Judea Board of Trustees. I encourage you to do so to discuss your feelings or ask any questions. On behalf of the entire congregation, we wish Rabbi Goldberg, Melanie, Joey and Benjy good health, spiritual fulfillment and all of the blessings that life has to offer. We will miss them tremendously.

Rabbi Judith Siegal, whom we have been blessed to have at Temple Judea for seven years, will continue to provide Temple Judea with her spiritual leadership. She will continue to lead us in prayer and life cycle events, teach our students and adult learners, provide spiritual counsel, assist in our “Building on Tradition” campaign and help us continue to grow as a warm and welcoming congregation. We are very happy that she, Brian and their family will continue to be a part of our journey and will be very involved in the selection of a new rabbi.


The Temple Judea lay leadership will undergo a thoughtful and thorough process of figuring out what we want for our future. We will be sharing information on our website, and we look forward to opportunities to hear your thoughts during the selection process and in many other forums on a recurring basis to ensure that thoughts, feelings and questions are incorporated into the selection process.

“Intentional Interim Rabbi”

The Temple Judea Board of Trustees has voted to engage an “Intentional Interim Rabbi” for the coming year (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014). The Intentional Interim Rabbi program of the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) embodies a “best practice” recommended by the Union of Reform Judaism in transitioning to selection of a new congregational rabbi. An intentional interim rabbi is a rabbi specially trained in helping congregations deal with transition. The intentional interim rabbi serves during the transition period and is deliberately — that is, intentionally — someone who will not seek the permanent rabbi position.

Following are four of the most frequently asked questions regarding this approach:

Q. What is an intentional interim rabbi? 
A. A rabbi with a defined and short-term contract of one year (July 1st to June 30th). The rabbi is sometimes referred to as a “transitional rabbi” or a “rabbi between rabbis.” They are specially trained and educated.

Q. When should a congregation consider an intentional interim rabbi? 
A. After the retirement or departure of a long-term beloved rabbi.

Q. What does an intentional interim rabbi do? 
A. Handles day-to-day, traditional rabbinic functions along with our present clergy and allows a congregation time for thoughtful, intentional work, enabling success for the permanent rabbi and future of our congregation.

Q. Will the intentional interim rabbi become our permanent rabbi? 
A. No. It would be unfair to other candidates (including Rabbi Siegal), if the intentional interim rabbi would have the inside track and would keep other qualified candidates from applying.

We are blessed that during the past 65 years, Temple Judea has grown and thrived. I’m confident that our community will continue to move from strength to strength.