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Rabbinical Review

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Rodeph Sholom

Rabbinical Review and Support Petition

Rodeph Sholom’s Board of Directors is scheduling a Board Meeting to discuss and vote on the renewal of Rabbi Joshua Hearshen’s contract. In order to preserve the congenial atmosphere within our congregation for generations to come, the signers of this petition support the following statements regarding both our current rabbi and any future rabbis that are employed by our congregation.

  1. At this time, we believe that the Board of Directors should renew Rabbi Hearshen’s contract and provide him with the support discussed below.
  2. We believe that Rabbi Hearshen has performed well under difficult circumstances for the first two years of his contract.
  3. Rodeph Sholom’s By-laws state: “A special committee may be set up for the purpose of determining the view of the Congregation in guiding [the Rabbi and an] effective way of discharging his duties and leadership.” We believe that a Rabbinical Liaison Committee should be established by the Board of Directors to, among other things: (1) communicate critiques to the Rabbi in a productive manner; (2) serve as a sounding board for the Rabbi when faced with complex synagogue political issues; and (3) assist with performance review protocols to be established by the Board of Directors.
  4. We believe that the termination or non-renewal of any rabbi’s contract without providing a platform to succeed and void of objective measurable criteria is not productive for our congregation.
  5. Prior to making any changes in clergy, we believe that the Board of Directors should: (1) conduct polls/surveys to obtain feedback from congregational members to ensure that the Board of Directors’ desire is consistent with congregational thoughts; (2) include in the evaluation process the employee’s success in meeting objective criteria previously provided; and (3) determine whether the relationship between the synagogue and the clergy is irreparable.

We, the undersigned agree to the above provisions.

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