Dear Fellow Members:

We are writing to invite you to participate in a Self Study that Beth Israel is embarking on to establish goals and parameters for the search that will commence this fall for the next senior rabbi of our congregation. As Rabbi Michael Berk announced a year and a half ago, he will retire in June 2019, and we look forward to bestowing on Rabbi Berk the esteemed lifetime honor of Rabbi Emeritus.

We envision the Self Study as a period of discussion among members to define what Beth Israel means to our community, to clarify our members’ thoughts about our future, and to determine the characteristics and qualities desired in our next senior rabbi. In addition, Beth Israel leadership wants to more generally obtain feedback as we contemplate future programs and enhancements to better meet your needs. The Self Study Task Force will listen carefully to member input, organize and compile the ideas, and distill them into a presentation of findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Your participation in the Self Study is critical to its success.

· We invite each member to contribute insights by completing the Member Survey online. To request a link of the online self study survey, click HERE. Additional members of your household may complete their own survey online or may download additional copies of the paper surveySurveys are due by Thursday, February 22, 2018.

· The Task Force will convene meetings and focus groups of representatives from many temple constituencies including chavurot, worship groups, our temple programs, school families, committee chairs, past presidents, board members, our professional staff and others over
the next three months.

· Next fall, when the search commences for the new senior rabbi, we will be back in touch to invite member involvement.

I’ve asked temple leader Kimberly Carnot to chair the Self Study Task Force, and she has accepted the responsibility. Also serving on the Task Force are:

David Bark
Mitch Dubick
Dan Jones
Irv Kass
Robin Layton
Greg Markow
Dana Meiselman
Lori Shearer
Robyn Spiegel
Louie Vener

Kim is a board member who has chaired Beth Israel’s Governance and Nominating Committees, served as Vice President of Strategy and Gala
Co-Chair. Professionally, she is an attorney who is Senior Director Physical Resource Management & Capital Asset Strategies for UC San Diego Health Sciences. Her portfolio includes organization planning, operational efficiency and change management. Kim and her wife, Traci Carpenter, joined Beth Israel in 2010. Their children attend Beth’s Israel’s Lee and Frank Goldberg Family Religious School and are graduates of the Bill and Sid Rubin Preschool, and her parents are longtime members of the congregation. Kim also served on the board of Jewish Family Service.

Beth Israel will be strengthened by taking this time to identify future needs, assess strengths and weaknesses, and carefully prepare for the selection of a new spiritual leader.  We want to hear from you in this process, and we thank you, in advance, for your input as we embark on this important and sacred work to shape the next chapter of our beloved 157-year-old congregation.


Gary Hirschfeld                                                       Kimberly Carnot
President                                                                Chair, Self Study Task Force                                  
858-774-6200                                                         858-354-3339