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Blog - Senior Rabbi Search Update

04/09/2019 09:28:09 AM


Thank you to the entire congregation for your participation in Senior Rabbi candidate visits over the last several weeks. Each candidate we met provided us with meaningful Shabbat experiences and demonstrated the differences each would bring to the pulpit.  After thorough review of the interviews and references, the interactions in Charlotte and the feedback provided by our congregational family, the Senior Rabbi Interview Committee has unanimously recommended, and the Board of Trustees has unanimously concurred that rather than move forward with any of these candidates at this time, we will pivot and pursue an Interim Rabbi to serve our congregation next year. This will provide us with the opportunity to refine what we are looking for in our next Senior Rabbi while ensuring we have appropriate coverage for all of our daily, weekly and holiday services and programs, pastoral needs and lifecycle events for the next year as we continue our search for our next Senior Rabbi. 

We remain committed to seeking the Senior Rabbi candidate who is the best fit for our community and we hope that by engaging an Interim Rabbi, we will position our next clergy leader for long term success. We look forward to continuing this journey with you.

Blog - Senior Rabbi Candidates to visit Temple Israel in March

03/07/2019 01:16:28 PM


We're excited to welcome two additional candidates for our Senior Rabbi position to Temple Israel later this month (March 22-24 and March 29-31, 2019).  We hope you will join us to meet and interact with our candidates. 

For details on these upcoming visits and candidate bio information, please see The TI Insider (e-blast), March 7 edition.

Blog - Senior Rabbi Search Update

02/23/2019 06:35:09 PM


Thank you to our entire congregational community for your involvement in our Senior Rabbi search.  As you know, we had a very busy candidate weekend at the beginning of February and then our congregation had the opportunity to weigh in regarding the possibility of this candidate becoming our next Senior Rabbi.  Although we met a wonderful rabbi, the Search Committee has decided to continue our search until we find the individual who will best meet the congregation’s needs at this time. 

The Senior Rabbi Search Committee continues to receive applications from interested candidates and we are taking each of them through our interview process. Our interview team just spoke with new applicants this week.  At this time, we do not have any additional candidates scheduled to visit Charlotte, but we will notify the congregation as soon as any visits are added to the calendar. 

We are pursuing all options available to us and we will continue to update the congregation as the search process evolves.   

Thank you,

Amy Udoff and Gary Michel
Senior Rabbi Search Committee Co-Chairs

Blog - Senior Rabbi candidate to visit Temple Israel

01/18/2019 11:32:51 AM


We're excited to welcome our first Rabbi candidate to Temple Israel in a couple of weeks (February 1-3, 2019) and hope you will join us.


For details on his upcoming visit and bio information, please see The TI Insider (e-blast), January 18thedition.

Blog - Congregational Community Forum Feedback

01/14/2019 12:21:06 PM


Hello Temple Family,

We had two very productive Congregational Forums in December. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to attend one of these sessions and share your feedback related to our Senior Rabbi search. Here are some of the things we learned during these sessions: 

Our congregation is looking for a new Senior Rabbi who will be a visionary, relate well with and compliment Cantor Lissek, demonstrate leadership, and be able to engage with all generations within our kehillah. We want a Rabbi who will uphold the values and traditions of Conservative Judaism while being open to contemporary music and modern programs ideas.

Based on your feedback, we will be incorporating opportunities for our candidates to engage with multiple groups within our congregation during their visits to Charlotte and also to meet with our Shalom Park partners.   

To view all of the notes capturing the thoughts and ideas shared during our two forums, please click here.  

Thank you again to everyone who attended. 

Amy Udoff

Blog - Congregational Questionnaire

12/06/2018 09:15:59 AM


Click Here to read the Congregational Questionnaire submitted to the Rabbinical Assembly for potential candidates to learn about Temple Israel. 

Blog - Senior Rabbi Search Committee Presentation

11/30/2018 03:43:06 PM


To view the presentation, please click on the image below.

Blog - Congregational Community Forum

11/27/2018 09:36:57 AM



Please be a part of the discussion and join us for one of the following dates:




  • Sunday, December 9  (11 a.m.)
  • Tuesday, December 18  (6:15 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, December 19  (7:45 p.m.)

Blog - Senior Rabbi Search Committee 

11/25/2018 09:58:31 PM


On Sunday, November 4, 2018, an orientation meeting of the Senior Rabbi Search Committee was convened. This Committee is Co-Chaired by Amy Udoff and Gary Michel. Seven working groups have been formed, each tasked with specific duties and responsibilities, and supporting the Co-Chairs of the Committee. In turn, each working group is comprised of team members led by a Leader or Co-Leaders. Names are listed in alphabetical order. The Committee is a fluid, dynamic entity, subject to change without notice.


Congregational Questionnaire Working Group: Ron Weiner, Leader, was supported by Glenda Bernhardt, Gary Michel, David Rosenthal, Amy Udoff and Jo-Anne Tucker-Zemlak, our United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Southeast Seaboard District Kehillah Relationship Manager. The work of this group has been completed with the acceptance of our Congregational Questionnaire and posting of our Senior Rabbi position with The Rabbinical Assembly.


Screening/Interview Working Group: Amy Udoff and Gary Michel, Co-Leaders, are supported by Arlene Berkman, Glenda Bernhardt, Sam Bernstein, Tom Bock, Stuart Breidbart, Sara Kulbersh, Adina Loewensteiner, Dan Ruda, Rachel Seymour, Lynne Sheffer, Ron Weiner, Steve Weiner and Barney Weinstock. At the time of this writing, Temple Israel has received five curricula vitae from candidates.


Congregational Engagement/Communications Working Group: Amy Udoff and Sara Kulbersh, Co- Leaders, are supported by Betsy Grant-Kaperonis (Red Cape Design, Temple Israel’s third-party marketing consultant), Karen Knoble and Beth Stillitano.


Group Connectors: Gary Michel, Major Donors; Lynne Sheffer, Past Presidents; Barney Weinstock, Ritual; Steven Cohen, Social Action; Ruth Goldberg, Social Club; Michael Abadi, Temple Israel’s Men’s Club; Rachel Seymour, Temple Israel Religious School; Eric Cohen, Torah on Tap; Adina Loewensteiner, Torah Tots; Dorothy Shapiro, Empty Nesters; and, Shellie Barer, Women of Temple Israel.


Hospitality/Visits Working Group: Amy Udoff and Sara Kulbersh, Co-Leaders, are supported by Glenda Bernhardt, Elissa Levine, Jodi Michel, Judy Miller, Andrew Rosen and Lynne Sheffer.


Negotiation/Testing Working Group: David Rosenthal, Leader, is supported by Sam Bernstein, Dan Biber, Stuart Breidbart, Teresa Brenner, Steven Cohen, Gary Michel, David Miller and Steven Rogelberg.


Transition/Onboarding Working Group: Marlin Jennes, Leader, is supported by Glenda Bernhardt, Melanie Brown, David Cohen and additional members, to be determined.


Advisory Group: Gary Michel, Leader, is supported by Milton Berkman, Barry Bobrow, Rael Gorelick, Steve Hockfield, Howard Levine, David Miller, Allan Oxman, Frank Rosen, Eric Sklut, David Swimmer and Ron Weiner.


An orientation presentation will be posted to the blog/website providing further detail on the Senior Rabbi Search Committee. Stay tuned!


11/16/2018 05:39:08 PM


Hello Temple Israel Kehillah,


My name is Amy Udoff and I am Co-chairing the Senior Rabbi Search Committee along with Gary Michel. I am a 4th generation Temple Israel member, my great grandparents, Harry and Rebecca Roth were one of the first weddings at Temple Israel. My grandparents, Marylin and Morris Roth, were also members of Temple Israel. My grandfather, Morris, was one of the founding members of United Brotherhood. My parents, Dorothy and Norman Shapiro, were married at Temple Israel on Dilworth Road and are still active members of Temple Israel today - my mom has helped transition the old “Young Couples Club” members to become the new “Empty Nesters” group at Temple Israel! (Time flies when you’re having fun at TI!) My husband Ross and I were married at Temple Israel by Rabbi Ezring and Cantor Roochvarg, who also helped me become a Bat Mitzvah. Most importantly, Ross and I have two children, Olivia (4) and Jacob (2) who love our Clergy and feel at home here at Temple Israel. Any chance they have to run up to both Rabbi Ezring and Cantor Lissek to give both of them big hugs means that it’s going to be a good day. My son Jacob even had a meltdown once because Rabbi Ezring wasn’t in the building when we were there; we had to call him later to schedule a visit.


Why am I telling you all of this? Because my children are only two of the many, many children who will be the future of our synagogue. It’s critical we find a rabbi who can share with our next generation of children, the traditions of Conservative Judaism while also allowing all of us to continue to grow in our own Jewish journeys.


Based on information shared via congregational surveys and focus groups, you have let us know that we would like our next Senior Rabbi to be:


Someone who is deeply versed in Jewish texts and committed to Jewish traditional practice, able to transmit the beauty and richness of Judaism to others.


Someone who has the vision and ability to energize others religiously, spiritually and intellectually, and to model the ideals of traditional Judaism in the contemporary world. The future of Jewish life requires nothing less.


Someone who has the tools to navigate the sea of Torah and Jewish living, bridging the applicability to all aspects of contemporary life.


Someone who is an innovative and authentic individual.


Someone who is transformative, willing to dare, combining action and leadership, connecting and activating what it means to be Jewish within the framework of our contemporary world


We hope and expect to find a wonderful individual who has all of these skills and embodies all of these characteristics to lead Temple Israel into the future. We look forward to updating you all as our search continues.



Amy Udoff


Mon, June 24 2019 21 Sivan 5779