Special Message from our Board President

Click here to watch the Board’s strategic plan for Shaarie Torah’s bright future. 

Dear Congregation Shaarie Torah (CST) Community,

We are writing to share some important news: after much deliberation, Rabbi Rose has decided that he wants to pursue a different career path in the future and no longer serve as a congregational rabbi. Therefore, he will conclude his role as Shaarie Torah’s rabbi in June of 2021. While we are saddened by the Rabbi’s decision, we are 100% supportive of it. We are also happy that Rabbi Rose and his family will stay in Portland and plan to remain connected to the Shaarie Torah community. We will be forever grateful to Rabbi Rose for his committed service and leadership to CST. Rabbi Rose’s personal note to you is included at the bottom of this letter.

While Rabbi Rose’s departure from CST is not for another 18 months, the Board has already begun the Rabbinical Search process with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (the umbrella organization for Conservative Judaism, of which CST is a member). The Board is confident that this process will result in hiring a rabbi who will lead, instruct, and inspire our community, just as Rabbi Rose has done for the past 6 years.

While the departure and replacement of a beloved rabbi is never easy, it is a challenge that countless synagogues have successfully met before. The meticulous hiring process your CST board put in place, which resulted in the successful hire of our excellent Executive Director, Jemi Kostiner Mansfield, is also being implemented to find and hire a full-time Education Director in the spring of 2020, and will continue to be leveraged for the Rabbinical Search through 2021.

The Rabbi’s departure also coincides with a Board decision to produce a multi-year strategic plan with the goal to create an innovative institution of Conservative Judaism. Our welcoming community, grounded in tradition, is primed to bring life, energy, and culture into CST and the wider Portland Jewish community. And we will have Rabbi Rose’s guidance as we undertake this planning process and the transition in general.

Please take a moment to view the video clip to learn more about the Board’s strategic plans. Click here to view the video.

The Board will be in regular communication over the next 18 months, and we welcome your questions and feedback; please feel free to contact the Board at boardmembers@shaarietorah.org or the CST Future Committee directly at CSTFuture@shaarietorah.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

In closing, we are deeply thankful to Rabbi Rose and Channah for all that they have given to our community, and we wish them the very best.

Daniel Petcher, Board President

A Letter from Rabbi Joshua Rose

Dear CST Community, 
 
I have some news to share. I’m not sure how to begin, so I will state it simply: As of June 2021 – one year from this summer – I will no longer serve as the rabbi of this wonderful congregation.  
 
This was a decision that I made along with my family. The truly wonderful people who give their time as Board members tried to persuade me to remain and did and said all the right things.  
 
The challenges I feel I must now embrace as a student and teacher of Torah no longer fit within the role of congregational rabbi, with all of its obligations, duties, honors, privileges and joys. In a comment on the second verse of this week’s Torah portion, Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev teaches that the further one walks down the path of Torah the more one realizes that one has not yet begun. There are new beginnings ahead for me and for you.  
 
I’m happy to share more about my intentions at another time but I’ll tell you that we are staying here in Portland, so thank goodness that I will still be able to connect with you as part of the Portland Jewish community. I am neither joining another shul or Jewish organization, nor starting a new synagogue. For now, I want you to know three things:
 
First, being the rabbi of this storied shul has been the greatest privilege of my professional life. This is a one-of-a-kind community and you have given me, Channah and our boys more than we could ever pay back. 
 
Second, this shul has a brilliant future. The current Board is blessed with new leaders who have an ambitious vision and the wherewithal to realize it. That this has emerged now is thanks to the boldness, openness and phenomenal commitment of effort and resources from multiple Boards over the past few years under the presidencies of Jordan Schnitzer and Rick Cohen, Phil Cohen and Peter Lyman. With our current Board in place under the direction of our new president, Daniel Petcher, and working together with our extraordinary Executive Director Jemi Kostiner Mansfield, I have never felt more confident in the future of Shaarie Torah.
 
Third, you and I still have a lot of important work and wonderful things ahead of us in our year and a half together. There is Torah to learn, community to continue to build, simchas to celebrate, and no small amount of fun to have. In particular, we are continuing the search for a new Education Director who will help raise up the next generation of Shaarie Torah children. 
 
I’ll just close by expressing my thanks to the current Board leadership for handling this moment so well for me and so well for the Congregation.  
 
Both Channah and I look forward to the blessings you and we will share together in the remainder of my time as the rabbi here. 
 
L’shalom,

Rabbi Rose

920 NW 25th Ave

Portland, OR 97210

(503)226-6131

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