The Rabbi Search Committee is honored to embark on the holy task of finding PSC’s next spiritual leader. We are committed to engaging our community in the process. Please check back often as we will update this page regularly to keep you informed about the search process and offer ways to lend your voice and get involved.
The following is a rough timeline of what to expect over the coming year. Of course, we will likely tweak this timeline along the way and keep you posted on progress and any changes as we anticipate them.
Why are we searching for a new Rabbi?
After ten years at PSC, Rabbi Corey Helfand has taken a new pulpit position in Maryland and PSC has begun its search for a new rabbi.
Who is in charge of the rabbi search?
Our Rabbi Search Committee (RSC) includes eleven diverse members of the PSC community selected for a variety of demographics, years at the synagogue, and involvement at PSC. As PSC bylaws dictate, the committee also includes members of the Executive, Education and Religious Practices committees. You can learn more about the committee’s members by reading their bios below.
How can I get involved?
Your involvement is critical to a successful search process. Our series of facilitated Community Conversations are designed to give you the chance to share your vision of our community’s strengths, characteristics and priorities for a new rabbi, as well as the values we share as a congregation. The outcome of this process will guide the search committee in crafting a description of PSC to share with candidates. As additional opportunities to be involved arise we will communicate them to the congregation. You may also always reach out to [email protected] with any questions or feedback.
What are the key steps in the search process?
The Rabbi Search Committee’s first important task is to engage the community in a period of reflection as we determine what we are looking for in our next rabbi. We plan to reach out to you in a variety of ways, including a series of Community Conversations over Zoom. Over the summer, the committee will write a detailed job description in the form of the Rabbinical Assembly’s (RA) rabbinic search questionnaire. After we submit our questionnaire in the fall, we will screen resumes, conduct interviews, and continue to meet as we determine who will be the best fit for PSC. Opportunities for the community to interact with a potential candidate or candidates will be communicated in the future. Ultimately, the Rabbi Search Committee will make a hiring recommendation to the Board of Trustees. We will then hold a special meeting of the congregation to vote on making an offer to the recommended candidate.
What are the procedures for hiring a new rabbi?
As a Conservative Synagogue affiliated with the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, PSC must follow the procedures of the RA, the organization of Conservative Rabbis. The RA’s Joint Placement Commission (JPC) sets forth specific and helpful rules for recruitment and hiring of rabbis, including when and how a job may be posted and how many minimum years of experience a rabbi must have to seek placement at congregations of our size.
Does PSC have to hire a Conservative Rabbi?
Yes. As a Conservative Synagogue and member of the USCJ, PSC’s by-laws require our rabbi to be affiliated with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis.
How will Cantor Doron be involved in the search process?
We recognize that hiring a new rabbi for the congregation also means hiring a new partner for Cantor Doron. The RSC will regularly consult with Cantor Doron and seek his input throughout the process.
How will I hear about the search process?
We have created a communications subcommittee charged with keeping you informed about key steps in the process, updates about progress, and important ways for you to get involved. This subcommittee will ensure transparent and thoughtful communication with you throughout the process, including keeping this FAQ updated. You may also find updated information on the Rabbi Search page at https://peninsulasinai.org/rabbisearch and you may always send an email to [email protected] with any questions you may have.
Mina and her family have been members of PSC since 2019. During that time she helped lead the PSCares initiative which continues to connect congregants during our year of social distance. A twenty-year Bay Area resident originally from Los Angeles, she began her professional career in public policy and government before shifting focus to become an art therapist. She serves as a trustee on the board of Wornick Jewish Day School and PSC. Mina, her husband Dan, and two daughters live in San Mateo. As a family, the Bressler’s love to hike, bake, play board games and make art.
Allan, a life-long resident of the Bay Area, is serving his second stint as an officer of PSC. He previously served during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, not long after joining our congregation. He lives in Belmont with his wife, January, and retired in 2019 from his work at a family-owned glass and mirror business. He previously founded and operated a printing business in Burlingame and applies his business background to his role as Vice President and as a volunteer in our office.
Yedida has been a member of PSC for 8 years. She serves on the ritual committee and loves reading Torah. Yedida has a PhD in East European history; as an educator, she teaches about the Jewish past to enlighten the Jewish present. When not at PSC, Yedida loves activism, bird watching, and playing with her dog, Gabby.
Irene and her husband, Stephen, have been PSC members since moving to the Bay Area in 2004. Their two teenage children, Yossi and Galit, have grown up surrounded by the warm embrace of the PSC community. Irene has served in many lay leadership roles at PSC, including being President in 2017-2019 and serving as the Rabbi Search Committee Chair in 2010-2011 for the search that brought Rabbi Helfand to PSC. As a pediatrician, she has had the unique opportunity during the pandemic to combine her Jewish community and professional lives in serving on the Health and Safety committees for PSC, Wornick Jewish Day School, Camp Ramah of Northern California, and USY. Irene is excited to participate in the search for a spiritual leader who will share her pride in who PSC is and will be ready to explore with us who we will become.
Rodney and his wife Anne joined PSC in 1985, after moving to the Bay Area from Austin, TX. Their daughters Jessica and Ilana, who grew up at PSC, now live in Berkeley with their families. Rodney heads a research foundation developing treatments for early onset dementia, and he and Anne live on the coast, near Half Moon Bay.
Ornit and her family have been PSC members since 2012. An Israeli-American, she lives in San Mateo with her husband, Jack, and their children, Danny (18), Tommy (15), Ellie (13) and Addie (10). Ornit is committed to PSC, serving as a Trustee since 2017, as 2nd Vice President for the past two years and as President as of June 1, 2021. She has also chaired PSC’s Education Committee, DYEP Search Committee and Reentry Team. She is a non-practicing corporate attorney who enjoys traveling, exercising, reading and spending time with her family.
Jessica is a Bay Area native who has been engaged Jewishly her whole life. She and her husband Aaron, a New Yorker, joined PSC when they moved back to Burlingame in 1999. They’ve raised their children at PSC, from namings/Brit Milah through B’nai Mitzvah and BBYO. Lilah (19) attends college at the New School in NY, Ilan (17) is off to University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall, and Sivana (14) will be starting San Mateo High School. Jessica’s parents joined PSC (in addition to PTS, where Jessica was raised) as another way of spending time with their family and supporting our community. Jessica is a Clinical Psychologist who conducts psychological evaluations to differentiate between learning, behavioral, and/or emotional causes for symptoms that children are presenting at home and at school. When she’s not figuring out how to help kids, Jessica can be found weightlifting or taking long walks with friends and her dog Maccabee.
Joy has been a member of PSC since her family moved to Foster City in 1976. She grew up here, had her Bat Mitzvah here, worked here before and after college, and then had her son, Cayden’s, Brit Milah here many years later…and the story repeats itself through him, now 11. She was part of our Torat Chaim committee and is currently the Education Committee Chair and a member of the Board of Trustees. By profession, Joy is a public school administrator, having worked with children kindergarten through eighth grades. She is a 20 year volunteer for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Adam and his family joined PSC in 2016. Adam and his wife Lisa, children Jeffrey and Kayla, and cats Hermes and Fern live in San Carlos. When not exploring the hiking trails and campgrounds of California with his family, Adam leads a drug discovery research team at a biotech company.
Peter has been a PSC member for over 20 years. Peter is married to Anne and all three of their children have grown up at PSC. Both Anne, Peter and their daughter Adi have held PSC board positions. Peter has served in many different capacities at PSC as well as serving as President during the first years that Rabbi Helfand joined us. Peter and Anne run a jewelry design company with US and international clients. Peter has many hobbies, his biggest one being spending time with Anne.