I Am Proud to Introduce Our Next Senior Rabbi


On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my privilege and honor to announce that Rabbi Shoshanah Conover will be the next Senior Rabbi of Temple Sholom of Chicago.

Rabbi Conover’s appointment follows a nationwide search in which the Search Committee spoke and met with many extraordinary rabbis, each who brought great talent and ability to their shared vocation. Throughout the search, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Search Committee made the unanimous determination that the most able and talented Rabbi, the greatest teacher and leader, and the best person to lead Temple Sholom, is already a member of our community.

As with those who preceded her, Rabbi Conover has demonstrated in ways big and small, through celebration and sadness, B’nai Mitzvah and births, that she lives a life in service to both the teachings of Torah and Talmud, and to the Temple Sholom community. She brings a fresh lens to contemporary issues that reflect the culture and times in which we live. In short, Rabbi Conover has shown what being a rabbi today means.

Rabbi Conover joined us 13 years ago as an Associate Rabbi and in that time she has led, served, participated, spoken, written, taught, published, and shown repeatedly that she has the capability and agility to manage a large, diverse sacred community. There is no issue or human condition in which Rabbi Conover refuses to work to make better, and she brings this extraordinary dedication to every aspect of her role as our Rabbi.

During her time at Temple Sholom, we have also watched her family — husband Damian and sons Eli and Ben — grow along with her and could not be more fortunate to have the entire Conover family as part of our sacred community.

There is no one better suited, with a steadier temperament, to guide us and bring us together, to confront not just the obstacles we face as Jews, but the issues that all people face. She is a leader who understands the foundation on which this great institution has been built and will build on the learning and experiences of the generations who preceded her.

We will share more details soon about the transition of the Senior Rabbi position from Rabbi Rossoff to Rabbi Conover, including information about upcoming events and opportunities to come together as a community to celebrate this wonderful news. In the meantime, a short note from Rabbi Conover is included below.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Search Committee, please join me in congratulating our next Senior Rabbi, Shoshanah Conover. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to contact me directly at templesholomjed@gmail.com.

Jed Silberg
President, Temple Sholom of Chicago

 


 

Dear Friends,

With deep gratitude, I have accepted the invitation to be your next senior rabbi beginning July 2020. I am thrilled and honored. It has been my privilege to serve as your associate rabbi for almost 13 years. With each successive year, my love for this community—and the people who make it so special—continues to grow. I appreciate the times we’ve shared celebrating blessed moments, studying Torah, supporting one another in times of trouble, opening our hearts in prayer, and engaging in acts of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Damien and I are thankful and proud to raise our sons Eli and Ben in this caring congregation. I have been profoundly touched by the ways that Temple Sholom is a sacred community that embraces, inspires, and matters. From this place of deep connection, I will serve as your senior rabbi.

In this next chapter of Temple Sholom, I look forward to guiding our congregation to face the challenges of the world around us by deepening our sense of community, civility, and faith. The light of Torah values and Torah living will guide our way. I am deeply grateful to the legacy of incredible rabbis who have served Temple Sholom in the past, and I feel blessed to continue to serve Temple Sholom well into the future with some of the nation’s most gifted clergy.

I conclude this note with a prayer. It may be familiar to you. It began as a private contemplation by Rav recorded in the Talmud. His personal meditation has become the communal prayer we traditionally offer on Shabbat before a New Moon. As the Hebrew month of Shevat approaches—coinciding with our own new beginning in the cycle of Temple Sholom of Chicago’s journey of light and blessing— I offer this prayer:

May it be Your will, Adonai our God, that you grant us long life,
A life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing,
A life of freedom, a life of honor, a life of love of Torah,
A life in which You help us fulfill these desires of our heart for good.

L’sholom,
Shoshanah Conover
Associate Rabbi, Temple Sholom of Chicago