May 2018 Temple Times Article


We are pleased to share an update of the Rabbinic Transition Committee (RTC) progress. Since the group first assembled in January, we have been busy fulfilling our original goals including helping The Temple and its congregants with this transition and helping Rabbi Cohen and his family feel welcome while they learn about our rich history, traditions and dynamic culture of imagination and innovation.

Our committee has managed the tasks by splitting into two working groups. The Engagement work has been ably led by Jamie Light. The Communications work has been the passion of Dan Silver. We are so appreciative of all their hard work and additional hours and hours of commitment. And we thank their working groups and our staff for their engagement and support on these important tasks.

Rabbi Cohen has made the 255-mile trek from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati to TTTI five times in the last four months. These visits have been extremely productive. The Engagement working group has managed his extraordinary schedule for these visits. Our incoming Senior Rabbi is tireless and energized, going from early morning coffee dates to late evening committee meetings with continuous focus and enthusiasm. He has met congregants at one-on-one meetings or in small group settings. In addition, he has attended meetings of many of The Temple affinity groups and committees, including groups from Ganon Gil, Tot Shabbat, The Temple Learning Council, the Madrichim, TWA, Shabbaton, Brotherhood, and our youth group TEFTY. He also has attended TGIS and Kabbalat Shabbat services during his visits. We were delighted that his wife Yael was able to join him when he met with some of these affiliates.

The Communications working group has continued to update the congregation as we go through this transformation. They have added a section on the Temple’s website with updates from the RTC. They have also reported updates in the E-Times and have added photos and stories on social media, including posts on Facebook. Recently you received a document that includes RTC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which was developed to keep you fully informed about the transition process. We plan to post on Facebook an introductory video from Rabbi Cohen as he reflects on his visits here, his personal journey and his excitement about his future role at TTTI. These communications with the Congregation will continue over the next several months.

In July, Rabbi Cohen will arrive in Cleveland as our next Senior Rabbi. He will focus initially on getting his feet and family firmly planted in his new Temple and their Cleveland home. Starting that month, we will plan more opportunities for you to meet him. We plan to hold his formal installation next Spring, before Passover.

Please continue to share your comments or suggestions with us at and visit the Temple website ( for any updates.

– Jeanne Tobin and Gregg Levine, Co-chairs, RTC