Spiritual Leader Search

March 17, 2014




Chochmat Halev is Seeking a Spiritual Leader

Chochmat Halev, in Berkeley, California, is a beloved and vibrant Jewish Renewal spiritual center aspiring to live by “wisdom of the heart”. We are calling for renewed inspiration and creativity from a spiritual leader who resonates with our unique celebratory, musical and contemplative traditions of practice. We are seeking an individual with passion for this path and the interest, energy and ability to innovate in our quest to build a Jewish tradition that is relevant and resonant with our times. This special person must be able to connect authentically and empathetically with congregants, collaborate with our leadership team, and be grounded in ethical integrity. We hold an intention to grow internally and beyond Berkeley, and invite you to join us on this exciting journey.

This is a part-time position, based in our beautiful sanctuary and community building – with a dynamic school and many service and learning offerings. We embrace practices and wisdom from all traditions and are radically inclusive of anyone wanting to join us on our Jewish journey – including all religious traditions, races, ages, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender orientations.

The successful candidate will be a leader of leaders – joining our rich community of teachers and service leaders in bringing forward several exciting initiatives. A special focus for the next year will be on infusing Mussar teachings and practice into our teaching, services and programs. We have been selected as one of only twelve organizations in the first cohort to participate in the innovative Tikkun Middot national program, sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

We have a diverse, multi-generational membership of close to 200 households including many families with young children. We own our building. We have an active Board of Directors, a small staff, and are blessed with many amazing teachers and musicians who serve our community. We are a member of ALEPH – Alliance for Jewish Renewal.

Job Duties


Create and lead compelling, accessible, and meaningful services for Shabbat, High Holy Days and other holidays, including kavanot, drashot, chanting, meditation, prayer, music (with amplified instruments), and movement
Write and deliver inspiring drashot
Build community by engaging heart to heart with congregants and other leaders
Encourage and support adult education
Encourage and support the meditation program
Lead life-cycle events, welcoming and inclusive of everyone, inculding interfaith and same-sex families
Participate in Board of Director’s and Spiritual Leadership Team meetings
Participate in and promote membership development and fundraising activities


Plan liturgical calendar and services
Teach adult classes
Lead Torah and text study
Hold the container for spiritual and emotional counseling
Collaborate with other Jewish Renewal communities in the Bay Area
Desirable Qualifications & Qualities

Formal Jewish training; Rabbinic ordination or smicha preferred
Familiarity with Jewish Renewal movement and teachings
Knowledge of progressive liturgy
Experience leading inspiring services and Jewish meditation
Ability to hold the mantle of leadership, while still collaborating with other service leaders, musicians, teachers, Executive Director, and the Board
Ability to relate to, and be welcoming of, a community encompassing diverse cultural backgrounds and spiritual practices
Ability to inspire and take congregants to a deeper spiritual level
Ability and desire to build community and membership
A personal daily spiritual practice consistent with Jewish Renewal or progressive Judaism
High integrity and ethics
Groundedness and maturity
Excellent communication skills
Counseling skills and experience; pastoral training preferred
To Apply

Application deadline is April 30, 2014

Complete the attached Application form with resumé and send to:

Chochmat HaLev
Spiritual Leader Search
2215 Prince St.Berkeley, CA 94705
Or email to Jen@chochmat.org

All documents must be attached to one email
All attachments must be in pdf form
All documents must be named in the following way:
Lastname.Firstname.[document name].pdf — for example: Doe.Jane.Resume.pdf.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Inquiries for further information can be sent to: search@chochmat.org

January 2013

Search for our New Spiritual Leader

At the end of 2013 the Chochmat HaLev Board resolved to form a Spiritual Leader Search Committee. The committee has been asked to complete a search and selection process and report back to the board, and the community, with a short list of candidates who will each be invited to meet the community and lead service. At that time the committee will make a recommendation to the board of a single candidate for approval.

Members were invited to participate in the committee and at the annual membership meeting on January 26th the committee was announced and introduced. We have now begun the process of discerning the qualities we will seek in a new spiritual leader, and the role we would hope that person will fulfill.

The hiring process will include:

  • Develop criteria
  • Publicize job announcement
  • Review applications
  • Interview candidates
  • Presentation of final candidates to the board & the community

 Community Involvement

As part of this effort we will be reaching out to Chochmat members to hear your priorities and concerns. You are also encouraged to reach out to committee members listed below with your input, and/or contact us via: search@chochmat.org or contact Executive Director Jen Roitman jen@chochmat.org

 Committee Members

Amielle Zemach
Charley Lerrigo
*Inette Dishler
Janie Riley
Jeffrey Kessler
Jen Roitman
Mark Rubin
Nadine Rosenthal
Nancy Newman
*Neil Goldberg
Yiskah Rosenfeld
* = Co-Chairs


We intend to post regular updates on this page as we proceed through our process. We will also include announcements in the regular Chochmat emails as appropriate.