1/22/18 Message to Congregants

January 22, 2018

Dear Congregants,

The Temple-Tifereth Israel is entering a transition period filled with promise and opportunity. In the coming days, weeks and months, we will have the joy of getting to know Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, who will become our new Senior Rabbi on July 1. We also will prepare to say goodbye to two beloved leaders, Senior Rabbi Richard A. Block and Rabbi Rosette B. Haim, who depart on June 30.

To help guide us down this path, Congregation President Don Scherzer has formed the Rabbinic Transition Committee (RTC).

The 18 members of this committee include congregational leadership as well as clergy and staff. We are excited by the opportunity to perform this mitzvah, and energized by the importance of our task. We are particularly eager to help our congregants meet their new rabbi, even as we introduce Rabbi Cohen and his family to their new home.

Ours is a warm and welcoming synagogue family where each person matters. The RTC’s preliminary goals, which reflect those values, are to:

• help The Temple and its congregation with the transition
• help Rabbi Cohen and his family feel welcome while they learn about our rich history, traditions and dynamic culture of imagination and innovation
• be supportive and loving of Rabbi Block and Rabbi Haim

For the next 6 to 12 months, the members of the RTC, working with other congregants and staff, will help us begin a future that builds upon The Temple-Tifereth Israel’s rich legacy within Reform Judaism.

The Rabbinic Transition Committee
Co-Chairs: Gregg Levine, Jeanne Tobin

Marilyn Bedol • Dr. Howard Epstein • Michael Frayman • Bruce Goodman
Dr. Seth Greenfield • Jane Joseph • Amy Karfeld • Nancy Libman
Jamie Light • Don Scherzer • Daniel Silver • Dr. Jordan Tobin
Rabbi Roger Klein • Rabbi Stacy Schlein
Executive Director Christie Yonkers • Membership Director Allison Shippy

The committee is committed to two basic principles: access and transparency. We will give congregants and other community members the opportunity to meet Rabbi Cohen in comfortable settings conducive to discussion. In addition, we will be open to ideas on how to welcome Rabbi Cohen and his family.

If you have suggestions on how we should proceed, or comments that you wish to share, please reach out to Jeanne and Gregg via email at rabbinictransition@ttti.org .

Rabbi Cohen and his family are planning numerous trips to Cleveland prior to July 1. He plans to meet with congregants, one-on-one and in small groups, and will seek out larger meetings as well. He is eager to connect to all of us. If you are interested in participating in one of these meetings, please let us know and we will arrange it.

You will find that Rabbi Cohen is an educator and a listener who possesses a rare balance of spirituality, empathy, compassion, savvy, and scholarship.

Please look for future communications from the RTC during the next several months.

Meanwhile, the business of The Temple continues. We are serving our members with the same commitment, joy, and inclusiveness you have come to expect from this congregation.

In the coming months, we know that The Temple-Tifereth Israel will go from strength to strength. The RTC is eager to walk that path with all of you as we embrace Rabbi Cohen.

Jeanne Tobin and Gregg Levine
Co-Chairs, Rabbinic Transition Committee (RTC)