Modern Orthodox Rabbi (Congregational)

Congregation Beth Israel | Metairie, LA, United States

Posted Date 12/09/2021

Congregation Beth Israel is a Modern Orthodox congregation located in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana. An historic OU-affiliated congregation, we moved into a new, beautiful facility following Hurricane Katrina. Now our congregation of seniors, young families, those whose families have been members for generations, and recent additions to our community seeks a rabbinic family with a warm, dynamic spiritual leader, community builder, and teacher to serve as our next rabbi.

Congregation Beth Israel is a true Southern haimish shul, and we welcome our rabbinic families as extensions of our own. Despite our size we are a dynamic congregation. As we enter our next phase, emerging from Covid-19 restrictions and the challenges of recent years, we are focused on energizing our existing membership as well as fostering long term, slow and sustainable growth. The Congregation has enjoyed evening classes, lunch-and-learns, monthly community Shabbat dinners with engaging speakers, and women’s and Rosh Chodesh programming. Weekly one-on-one learning for each child with the rabbi, and Shabbat and holiday morning children’s classes and programming enhance the shul experience for our younger generation.

The Jewish community of greater New Orleans is unique and must be experienced. We have one of the highest synagogue affiliation and participation rates of anywhere in the country. We enjoy exceptional cooperation amongst all of our synagogues and Jewish communal organizations--a rare and beautiful feature of our community.

Although one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States, dating to the mid- eighteenth century, we’re constantly innovating. The community boasts two Jewish Community Center locations, one just blocks away from Beth Israel; two Jewish day schools located in Metairie; three kosher restaurants, kosher catering, and the world famous Cafe Du Monde; two open mikvahs, a women’s mikvah run by Chabad and a privately run men’s, and a groundbreaking on the new community mikvah in mid-December 2021; an expansive eruv surrounding Congregation Beth Israel; and many strong local agencies and organizations, including a robust, centralized young Jewish professionals network

The greater New Orleans area is perfect for families. While New Orleans tends to enjoy a reputation for tourism and conventions, the region is one of the best places in the country to raise children. Our unique New Orleans culture permeates even our largest corporations and, even in business, attention is paid to quality of life, with a deference to family concerns and focus on our local lifestyle of year-round festivals. The Metairie neighborhood is the idyllic combination of quiet, safe, affordable suburban life with proximity to all things New Orleans. 

Over one-quarter of the city is dedicated to parks and playgrounds, including the second largest urban park in the country. The city is home to the world-class Audubon zoo and aquarium. We have numerous award winning museums, such as the National World War II Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, and our newest treasure, the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. The city has both professional NFL and NBA sports teams. A hub for higher education, the city is the home of Tulane University, Loyola University, University of New Orleans, Xavier University, Southern University, and Dillard University. Our year-round, family friendly festivals, from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to the family parades of Mardi Gras, from French Quarter Festival to the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and Satchmo Summerfest, to name just a few, there is always something to do. The arts permeate the city’s DNA, with theater, dance, and, of course, music! Did someone say jazz?

The economic climate in the New Orleans metropolitan region is red-hot. We’re open for business, stronger than we’ve been in generations. In addition to the recent multi-billion dollar expansion in medicine and biotechnology, New Orleans is becoming an international hub for all things digital—from software and game development, to advanced manufacturing, to media and film. We also have something for the traditional disciplines, too. All these factors combine to make New Orleans an attractive home and the place to put down roots.

Rabbinic Responsibilities
The rabbi will provide an inspiring vision of Modern Orthodoxy for both members and potential members of the Congregation. The rabbi should be a sophisticated teacher of Torah and an outstanding communicator, able to create and deliver sermons and classes in concise, passionate, meaningful, and relevant ways. He should understand that our congregants are interested in classes that present a halachic way to be a modern, American Jew. He should also maintain an open and respectful attitude towards women and contemporary Orthodox halachic considerations.

Significant duties of rabbi will focus on congregational and community engagement. In-reach will target our existing seventy-plus full member units and more than forty associate member units. More than ever, as we emerge from isolation and communal activities resume, we need to reinvigorate our membership. We seek compelling programming for both our active, core members and those who  have remained distant,  including  our observant families and our more traditional, older members. In addition to teaching, the rabbi will also be integral in developing children’s programming and curriculum. Shabbat and Yom Tov home hospitality for congregant and visitors, as well as home-based programming such as Rosh Chodesh events and Havdalah, should occur regularly in the congregant-provided rabbinic domicile.

Outreach, to develop and implement specific strategies to engage potential new synagogue members, will be essential to keeping Congregation Beth Israel on a sustainable path. Components of these duties include identifying new target demographics, creating relevant programming, leveraging strategic partnerships locally and nationally, and developing metrics for success.

Finally, the rabbi will be responsible for the ritual and halachic life of the congregation, including providing guidance to congregants; setting Kashrut policy and supervising standards for the synagogue, including its kitchen facilities, and the larger community; officiating lifecycle events; providing compassionate and skillful counseling to those needing pastoral support; leining a significant amount of each week’s Torah portion and davening; and maintaining the eruv. Finally, he will also engage with community organizations as the Congregation’s representative, such as serving on the Jewish Clergy Council of Greater New Orleans and the Community Mikvah Rabbinic Advisory Council.

Please apply online, remit resumes and any questions to the Rabbinic Search Committee co-chairs Bradley Bain and Myron Goldberg via their email addresses, [email protected] and [email protected], or contact the synagogue office.

Full Time
housing benefit | leave early for Shabbat | Paid Holidays | paid vacation | relocation option available | sick leave
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