News from the Senior Cantor Search Committee:
You asked these important questions; our answers will bring you up to date!
Question: How was the job description prepared?
Answer: The Senior Cantor job description was inspired by and depended on the wishes and expectations expressed by you, our congregation. The committee consolidated the feedback from the 12 open forum and focus group sessions and from the online survey, which was completed by almost 300 members. From all this information we derived the following job description:
We’re looking for a mensch, a maestro/maestra, and a mover. We expect our new cantor to be serious about music in general, and chazanut in particular. The new Senior Cantor must have a solid foundation of Jewish tradition and Hebrew, and be able to encourage participation in worship. And that’s just the beginning!
Question: Where are we in the process? Has the position been posted, e.g. in the Star or the CJN?
Answer: Yes, the position of Senior Cantor has been posted, and it’s available to members of both the Reform and Conservative Cantors’ associations.
Because we are a member of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), the recruiting process is managed by the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the Reform Cantors’ association. We also have permission from the URJ to post our position with the Cantors Assembly, the association of Conservative Cantors. It is protocol to post only with these associations.
Question: Is there interest in the position?
Answer: Yes. Holy Blossom Temple is a prominent synagogue in a large and vibrant Jewish community. Mainly because of Cantor Maissner, Holy Blossom is widely known for the high quality of our chazanut and our music programming. Interested Cantors started planning to apply when the news of Cantor Maissner’s impending retirement spread across the synagogue communities. We have a number of highly qualified applicants.
Question: Have we started to interview candidates?
Answer: Yes. We’re currently conducting video interviews with the most promising candidates.
Question: When should we expect to see the announcement of our next Senior Cantor?
Answer: After completing video interviews, we will invite a shortlist of candidates for in-person interviews. We expect to make a recommendation to our Board by March 2020.
Question: What if we don’t find the right person?
Answer: Our objective is to find a “worthy successor” to Cantor Maissner. We have strong candidates. But if the committee and our Board conclude that none are right for the position, we would seek an interim Cantor and recruit again the following year. Each year a different pool of candidates is available. Candidates become available in the last year of their contract at their current congregation or if they receive special permission to apply from their congregation during other contract years.
For past updates from the committee, please see the links below:
Introduction to the Senior Cantor Search Committee (November 2018)
Senior Cantor Search Committee Update #1 (January 2019)
Update & Congregational-Wide Survey Email (March 2019)
Update & Final Open Forum Invitation (April 2019)
Update from the Senior Cantor Search Committee (August 2019)