TBI’s Next Rabbi

We have opened the search for TBI’s next rabbi.

Learn about the congregation, the position, and how to apply:

About Temple Beth Israel of Waltham, MA

We are an egalitarian, traditional, friendly, unaffiliated synagogue that has served the Jewish community in the Waltham area for more than 100 years. Throughout its history, our congregation evolved from Orthodox to Conservative. Today, Temple Beth Israel is unaffiliated and our congregants represent a range of personal practice, but our services and rituals largely follow Conservative practice.

We are committed to providing multi-access options for all services and events that we offer to the extent possible. We hold multi-access (in person and on zoom) services every Shabbat morning and most Yom Tov mornings, as well as morning minyan on Thursdays (currently zoom only). Our Friday evening services increased from once to twice monthly (once with dinner) before the pandemic, and then to weekly on Zoom (kabbalat shabbat and community check-ins), and currently we have Shabbat evening services multi-access monthly (kabbalat shabbat and maariv), and online each week (30 minutes, kabbalat shabbat only).  We hold services for some evening and most Festival mornings. We are open to evolving other options based on congregational needs. To that end, we use computers and mobile devices on Shabbat to set up and run zoom.  We do not cook food on Shabbat but will reheat prepared food on hot trays.  A consistent group of 20-25 members attend on Shabbat mornings; a bit fewer in the evenings, and 100-150 may attend at the high holy days.

We are a participatory congregation: While the rabbi holds responsibility and accountability for the service, members of the congregation and the rabbi usually share leading different parts of our services or reading Torah.   Members usually give a dvar torah approximately once a month.  Since we returned to meeting regularly in person in 2021, we have followed a triennial Torah reading cycle. Shabbat morning services begin at 9:30 am.

Eating together is a sacred and community building ritual:  pre-pandemic, a group of Thursday minyan attendees would join in the TBI kitchen for breakfast after morning minyan, we held monthly Shabbat dinners, and weekly Shabbat lunches after services.  As we emerge, we have arranged quarterly Shabbat dinners, Shabbat lunch is back, and plans are underway to revive a Sunday morning monthly minyan with a breakfast afterward.

Members with a particular interest or skill are welcome to suggest, plan, or lead social or educational activities.

Our membership includes about 90 households from Waltham and the surrounding towns. We have a mix of individual and family members, of varying ages, genders, incomes, family compositions, and identities. We have an elder population who are deeply rooted in the community. They, their parents, and grandparents grew up here, or were synagogue founders. Our congregation also includes members who are new to the Waltham area, many attracted by reasonable housing, proximity to work, and strong local schools, both public and private.  We have an active “NextGen” group of members in their 20s, 30s and 40s who gather regularly for Havdallah and other social and educational activities. Many of these young adults are learning liturgical skills to be able to participate or read Torah at services. Gann Academy, the Jewish Community Day School, and Chabad of Lexington’s pre-school are all nearby. Students from Brandeis or Bentley also join us for services on occasion.

We have a strong commitment to social justice and supporting the Waltham community. TBI hosts or sponsors a warming center for members of the local unhoused community and makes our kitchen available to a volunteer organization that prepares weekly vegan meals to be distributed to members of the unhoused community.

Our outgoing rabbi, David Finkelstein, who will have been with us for 9 years when he leaves, notified us in February 2023 that he will depart Temple Beth Israel at the end of June 2023.

About our Next Rabbi

For the first time in our congregation’s recent history, we now are looking for a full-time rabbi, an increase from the current 75% time position. We are open to the flexibility of lower FTE for the right candidate.

Our next rabbi will:

  • Uphold our synagogue’s commitment to tradition, community, and inclusion through their involvement in ritual, social, pastoral, and administrative activities.
  • Be an inspiring prayer leader, a skilled Torah reader, able to lead and hold responsibility for leading services, and willing to share these responsibilities with capable members.
  • Be an engaging teacher, whose classes and sermons make us think in new ways, relating text and tradition to today.
  • Be a compassionate listener, who sees personal counseling, visiting the sick and those unable to attend in person, and providing social and spiritual support to be important to their role.
  • Be our guide to Jewish tradition and practice, working with us to evolve our understanding of Jewish law and its implementation in the synagogue, and helping us find meaning through observance and practice.
  • Be an effective community builder, finding ways to create connections between members of the greater Waltham community and Temple Beth Israel.
  • Have a vision for and an active leadership role in growing our congregation to build and celebrate a diverse and inclusive Jewish community, where families and individuals, including inter-faith, LGBTQ, Jews of color, people with disabilities, and members of varying levels of Jewish observance and practice, can feel welcome.
  • Work as a member of a team with synagogue leadership, our managing director, and the cantor who, for the past 22 years, has officiated at high holy day services and on some special Shabbat mornings during the year.
  • Represent Temple Beth Israel in the greater Waltham community at civic events, and through involvement in the local interfaith clergy association and the Mass. Board of Rabbis.

Job Description

The rabbi will work in these capacities:

Services / Ritual

  • Lead and hold responsibility for engaging multi-access (online and in person) services on Shabbat evening, morning, holidays, high holy days, and morning minyans (one or two mornings per week)  in partnership with the high holy day cantor and lay leaders
  • Have skills to lead a traditional prayer service, read from the Torah, chant Haftarah and Megillot with appropriate trope, and deliver a d’var Torah
  • Guide the congregation related to matters of ritual (maintaining a kosher kitchen, Shabbat and holiday observance, services, etc.)
  • Serve as a ritual guide and informer as halakhic matters are discussed

Adult and Family Education

  • Offer Torah study and additional adult learning opportunities
  • Supervise and collaborate with any youth director or family/children’s programming leaders that may be in place as staff or volunteers

Pastoral Care

  • Hold weekly office hours
  • Officiate at and prepare congregants for their life cycle events (bar/bat mitzvahs, funerals, weddings, conversions, etc.) and other spiritual needs
  • Visit sick and homebound members

Community Building

  • Work with leadership to establish and actively engage in reaching goals for increased membership, membership demographic diversity, and member engagement
  • Partner with volunteers and board members in support of their initiatives
  • Be a visible face of Temple Beth Israel and help steward the congregation’s relationships with the local Waltham faith/civic community and the greater Boston Jewish community
  • Build valued relationships with congregants


  • Attend board of directors and ritual committee meetings, and other meetings as appropriate
  • Meet with synagogue leadership regularly to review progress and planning
  • Draft and submit on time an article for the monthly Temple newsletter
  • Have the organizational and time management skills to effectively balance the many aspects of the role


  • Often our rabbi leads services, teaches, attends meetings online, so basic technical skills to start and run a Zoom meeting—or a willingness to learn them–are desirable.

For more information about Temple Beth Israel, view the rest of this website or, if you have questions about this position prior to applying, please email rabbisearch@tbiwaltham.org .

To apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, and any other supporting material (sample bulletin articles, videos, or other recordings) to rabbisearch@tbiwaltham.org . Please include in the cover letter what interests you about serving as rabbi of Waltham’s Temple Beth Israel community.

We will acknowledge each application when received, and follow up with the next steps.

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