One of the most important things I've learned during my tenure as President is that change is a certainty. It's how we, as a community, manage change that helps determine the ultimate outcome and whether the changes provide opportunities for us to grow and evolve.
One of the most impactful changes that a community can experience is when there are staffing transitions. As such, it is with very mixed emotions that I share with you that Rabbi Bearman has decided to pursue a new opportunity as Associate Rabbi at Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO. I am very excited for her, not just as a Rabbi seeking new experiences but also as my friend. She will be challenged in new ways and have an opportunity to grow as an individual and a Rabbi. I know that her presence in our community will be greatly missed. Over the last 6 years Rabbi Bearman has led us through so many celebrations, family lifecycle events - both happy and sad - community events, and local and world challenges. She has helped us lead better Jewish lives through her teaching, her prayers, her counseling, her leadership and her friendship.
While the next few months will be filled with changes and many emotions, the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees have already been hard at work to put a plan in place and we will keep you updated on Rabbinic transition plans. We have been in contact with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and have discussed options to ensure that we have Rabbinic leadership in place once Rabbi Bearman leaves TBC in June. The Executive Committee has completed the application for an Interim Rabbi and should be interviewing candidates shortly. The interim rabbi search is very different from that of a settled rabbi - in that it involves a much smaller candidate pool and is focused on maintaining stability and having a rabbi that will help us assure a strong, vibrant and inspiring community. We will be looking closely at our needs, our wants, our resources and what makes the most sense for our community going forward.
As part of our transition plan we will be having a leadership development event on March 29th to ensure that current and potential leaders within the community have a chance to hear about the leadership opportunities and to ensure that their voice is counted on official TBC business.
Additionally, we will be having a Community Town Hall on April 1 to give everyone an opportunity to ask questions about our plans and to discuss the direction that the community will be headed in the coming months.
Rabbi Bearman, the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees are available to listen and support each other in this time of change as we work to ensure the ongoing strength of our community. We will keep you informed throughout the process and invite you all to take an active role in planning our future.
Please don't hesitate to reach out.
Cindy Baulsir, Temple B'nai Chaim President
Dear Temple B'nai Chaim Family,
Today, I am writing to tell you about the next chapter of my life's journey. This summer, I will begin serving as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Emeth, the largest synagogue in St. Louis, Missouri. I have known for a long time that it would take a truly remarkable congregation to inspire me to leave our TBC family, and I believe that I've found just that in Shaare Emeth where I will work with an incredible team of clergy, staff, and lay leaders while also being only hours away from most of my family members.
Serving as your rabbi for the last six years has been an incredible honor. TBC is and will always be my first rabbinic home, and being a part of the TBC family has been everything that I hoped it would be when I accepted this position.
In the tapestry of my rabbinate, I will forever be able to see stitches for every infant that I've named, every child that I've danced with, every Torah study class that I've laughed and learned with, every family that I've mourned with, and every person and couple that I've blessed. Thank you for welcoming me into your families and for allowing me to be a part of your journeys. Thank you for showing me what it means to be the rabbi of such a loving congregation.
I am so grateful to have served alongside so many dedicated lay leaders during my tenure at TBC. I know that they will continue steering TBC towards a bright and exciting future. Please know that even after I am no longer TBC's rabbi, I will always care about our community and- most especially- about the members of the TBC family.
When I leave for St. Louis, you won't hear me say, "goodbye." Instead, I will be wishing everyone a heartfelt, "L'hitraot," or, "See you soon."
With love and gratitude,
Rabbi Rachel Kay Bearman