Rabbi Sabbatical Brochure



Congregation Beth HaTephila
Clergy Renewal (Sabbatical)
January 13-March 31 2020

This brochure has been prepared by the Clergy Renewal Team for the congregants of Beth HaTephila to share information about Rabbi Meiri’s sabbatical in the year 2020 & our role will be in her absence.

Clergy Renewal Team

  • Tikkun Gottschalk, Chair
  • Seth Kellam, Director of RS and Sacred Music
  • JoAnne Rosenblum, Chair of Pastoral Support
  • Geri Garfinkel-Gershon, B’nai MItzvah and Confirmation Teacher
  • Channah VanRegenmorter, Caring Community Circle
  • Craig Frustaci, Executive Director

What is a Sabbatical?

“Beginning a sabbatical is like rebooting a computer and running software to clean out all the caches and shut down all the programs that automatically launch and run in the background.” -EmbodiedTorah.com

The word “sabbatical” comes from the word Shabbat (שַׁבָּת), meaning to cease, and has its biblical roots in Leviticus 25, where we receive the command to let the land rest every 7 years. Sabbatical Leave, or Clergy Renewal, is a time for Rabbi Meiri to “power down” in order to rest, study, reflect and return refreshed and renewed.

In August 2019, Rabbi Meiri began her 12th year at Congregation Beth HaTephila after 23 years in the rabbinate. The congregation’s current agreement with her provides for 6 months of clergy renewal time to recharge her spiritual batteries to be taken in two installments. The eleven weeks between January 13 and April 1 will be the first of those periods.

What will Rabbi Meiri be doing during this period?

Rabbi Meiri’s plans are still in process, and they will be in place soon. When they are finalized, she will share them with the congregation.

“There is no way to get from here to there except by joining hands, marching together.” Mishkan T’filah

Will our congregation be on a “holding pattern” while Rabbi Meiri is away?

Ours is a community of great vitality. We have strong relationships within and throughout Jewish Asheville and the community at large.

During this time of growth and renewal for Rabbi Meiri, we as a community can also grow and be renewed… and stretched. We are all in this experience together. The Rabbi’s renewal is the perfect opportunity to refresh our own participation in congregational life. Here are some ways to get involved:

● Join a new committee, Brotherhood or Sisterhood
● Act or sing in the upcoming Purim Schpiel (See Seth Kellam)
● Participate in Sunday morning adult education
● Lend a hand in the religious school
● Prepare food for an Oneg
● Introduce yourself to unfamiliar members at services and events
● Listen for updates from the bimah, or read in the Menorah about additional opportunities for engagement.
● Volunteer with Caring Community Circle (see Channah VanRegenmorter)

Who will perform clergy specific responsibilities?

Rabbi Rachael Jackson, of Agudas Israel in Hendersonville, is on call for our congregation during Rabbi Meiri’s absence. For the last 3 years, Rabbi Jackson has served capably in this capacity when Rabbi has been away.

Geri Garfinkel-Gershon will be working with our Bar/Bat Mitzvah students on their Divrei Torah and conducting Confirmation Classes.

Our capable musicians, Seth Kellam, Kim Wilde and Billy Jonas, as well as our Yad Squad, Torah chanting group will be planning beautiful worship. Guest speakers will also be invited when there is no other special programming (see dates to remember section.)
Whom should I contact when I normally would call Rabbi Meiri?

The Clergy Renewal Team has been formed to ensure continuity in all aspects of congregation life at CBHT.

Your first point of contact will be Craig Frustaci, our Executive Director. As needed, he will then communicate with Tikkun Gottschalk (President), or JoAnne Rosenblum (Past President).

JoAnne will head up a team of trained and credentialed congregants, to support and supplement as needed in special situations that may arise.

In addition, Seth Kellam, our Director of Sacred Music and the Caring Community Circle, under the capable direction of Channah VanRegenmorter, will undertake other pastoral responsibilities, such as hospital visits and helping community members in times of need.

What about Adult Education, will that continue?

Adult Education sessions will be held during this period. They are currently in the planning stage.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

Start with Craig Frustaci. He will direct you to the member of the Clergy Renewal team that can help you.

Dates to Remember

January 10/11 Abby Huter’s Bat Mitzvah, Rabbi on the Bima
January 13 MLK Jr joint services at St James, Rabbi present
January 17 Shabbat at Home
January 24 Kesher Poetry Shabbat w/Seth Kellam
January 31 Shabbat w/Kol Simcha and Guest Speaker TBD
February 7 Family Shabbat Service w/Seth Kellam
February 14 Shabbat w/Billy Jonas & Channah VanRegenmorter on D’var Torah
February 21 Shabbat w/Kol Simcha, Yad Squad (Torah reading)
February 28 Brotherhood Shabbat w/Seth Kellam & Kim Wilde
March 6 Family Shabbat Service w/Seth Kellam
March 9 EREV PURIM Potluck and Service w/SMT Team
March 13 Confirmation Shabbat w/Seth Kellam & Kim Wilde
March 20 Shabbat w/Kol Simcha, Tikkun Olam Shabbat
March 27 Sisterhood Shabbat w/Seth Kellam & Kim Wilde
April 2/3 Theo Margaritov Bar Mitzvah, Rabbi on Bima

Adult Ed- TBD

Check for updates via the Wednesday email, announcements from the bimah and the Menorah calendar.

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