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An egalitarian Conservative congregation serving the diverse Orange County Jewish Community

Introducing our New Rabbi!

Dear CBI Family:

On behalf of myself, Mike Vishny, and the entire Search Committee, I am so excited to share with you that we have concluded our search process and Rabbi Adam Greenwald has agreed to become the next spiritual leader of CBI succeeding Rabbi Spitz and our interim leader, Rabbi Goldstein. Rabbi Greenwald will begin his new role and exciting journey with us in July of this year.

As you all have come to know, Rabbi Greenwald is a committed and dedicated religious leader, hardworking, insightful, and eager to work with our staff and lay leadership to set the foundation for the next chapter of our great CBI community. His “hamish warmth”, humility, commitment to Jewish inclusion and strong teaching skills, along with his 12-year relationship to our community, make him an ideal choice to lead our congregation.

I know you all will join me in congratulating Rabbi Greenwald for a great process and warmly welcome him, Anne, and Gracie to our community.

From the outset, the congregation embarked on an extensive search process spanning two (2) years, two (2) committees and conversations with many congregants to find a full-time successor to Rabbi Spitz. The process was thoughtful, thorough, and as transparent as possible while respecting the privacy of our applicants. We made your voices a priority in this process, culminating in our surveys on both our finalists that between the two, generated approximately 300 responses for the search committee to take into consideration. Throughout the process, we corresponded and communicated with you and those efforts paid great dividends. In this hyper-competitive environment with too few rabbis chasing too many openings, CBI showed very well and was fortunate to have 12 applicants for our role and yielded three finalists, two of which met the congregation for in-person long weekends.

The search committee and I would like to thank you all again for your inputs and participation, your welcoming warmth during the pandemic and just showing up in numbers – it made a significant difference in the quality of our process (noticed by our applicants and especially felt by the finalists) and in the quality of our great outcome. You are all to be congratulated and we thank you.

At this time, on behalf of the Board and myself, I want to say thank-you again to our search committee who conducted themselves with great care, integrity, and energy on behalf of our congregation. Please join me in saying a special thank-you to the following individuals who worked alongside me and helped bring us to this point today:

Mike Vishny (Chair of the Committee), Sheri Bilewitz, Brigitte Frankel, Jacob Green, Arie Katz, Joey Tendler, Mika Daniels, Marc Goldin, Michelle Greenberg, Bob Sklar, and Diana Velazquez.

Their commitment and contributions in this environment were unprecedented.

I also want to thank Rabbi Ben Goldstein for his guiding hand to me during this time and the strength and stability he has maintained during this phase of the pandemic after Rabbi Spitz’s retirement. We will have time to thank Rabbi Ben more formally as we approach the summer, but I wanted to acknowledge his contributions to our community now as well.

Last, we now move to a next phase as a community where we will be planning the onboarding of Rabbi Greenwald and create chances for you all to meet and get to know him better. We will certainly be organizing those welcome opportunities leading into the high holiday season. And we know that all of you, our wonderful CBI community will welcome Rabbi and his family with great warmth and open arms.

In the meantime, have a great rest of the week and Shabbat Shalom. See you soon in shul.

Best regards,

Phyllis Abrams
President, CBI