Letter to the Congregation: Rabbi Metz Leaving Beth Mordecai in June

April 6, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Letter to the Congregation: Rabbi Metz Leaving Beth Mordecai in June

Dear Beth Mordecai Community Member,

I hope this letter finds you and your families in good health and that you are finding your connection to Judaism and to our congregation a source of comfort during this difficult time.

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Rabbi Sara Metz has accepted a position at Cong. Anshe Israel in Tucson, Arizona.  She will continue in her full rabbinical duties at Beth Mordecai through May 31.  Pending the lifting of quarantine restrictions, we will have a Friday night Shabbat service & dinner in June so all may personally wish the Metz family well in their next adventure!

Please understand that the decision for the rabbi to search for alternate employment was solely a financial one.  As you know, the synagogue was having a difficult financial time even before the world changed so drastically.  As noted in January’s dues letter, there was a significant budget shortfall at the end of 2019.  The Rabbi (and Executive Director) agreed to salary reductions in 2020 to help reduce the financial impact.  This came with a commensurate reduction in responsibilities.  We were able to make these changes with minimal impact to the congregation:

Eliminated: Saturday morning Shabbat services (for which there has been virtually no attendance for several years now)

Reduced: Friday night Shabbat services led by the Rabbi (though lay leaders filled in to ensure continuity)

No Change: Pastoral care, programming, and communications.

The salary reduction was the driving force behind the need for Rabbi Metz to search for other employment, as there was no guarantee that Congregation Beth Mordecai would be able to reinstate her full salary.  The Board of Trustees was painfully aware of this possibility.

The Board met virtually on March 31 to discuss next steps.  To balance the need of providing a full and rich synagogue experience within the limits of our shrinking budget, the decision was made to search for a part-time rabbi.  A job description is currently being drafted and will be posted on the appropriate rabbinical job sites.  As in previous rabbinical searches, the Board will keep everyone updated on its progress as it brings promising candidates before the full congregation.  (Please note that with the ongoing health crisis, we will do our best with virtual interviews & experiences.)

It is very important that we continue to stay connected with each other!  Please let me know if you are not receiving the invitations to our online experiences or if you have ideas for connecting with our community virtually.  Additionally, feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and/or concerns.  Beth Mordecai is here for you and to support you.

Please continue to stay safe & healthy

Sharon Bender

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