Today is August 17, 2019 /

BEGINNING AUG. 1, RABBI SEGELMAN TRANSITIONS TO A ROLE HE DESCRIBES AS “ASSISTANT RABBI”

BY JACQUES STEINBERG, TRANSITION COMMITTEE

With the arrival this summer of Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz as WJC’s new Senior Rabbi and with the departure of Rabbi Adir Yolkut as Assistant Rabbi, congregants can expect to see a familiar face in a supporting clerical role over the next year: Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman.

“I am calling it ‘Assistant Rabbi,’ ” Rabbi Segelman said. “That is the role I see myself in.”

One of Rabbi Segelman’s key responsibilities will be to serve as the “spiritual leader” of a fundraising campaign for the Center.

“It will involve my actually being out there, raising money, and thinking about the best way for us to be successful,” Rabbi Segelman said.

“My other job,” he said, “is to make sure Rabbi Arnowitz is successful. To help him understand, including by tapping whatever institutional memory I have, what this place is like and how it works and who are the cast of characters—and to help him execute his policies.”

“Rabbi Arnowitz is in charge,’’ Rabbi Segelman said, looking ahead to a transition that will begin on August 1. “He is the policymaker. He is the Halachic authority of the synagogue. It will be my role to help him. He will give me my marching orders.”

“Sometimes it will mean getting out of the way and staying offstage,’’ Rabbi Segelman said. “Neither he nor I am exactly sure what it will look like. But one thing we are sure of is that it will look the way he wants it to look. This is his show.”

Meanwhile, we as a congregation will have a number of opportunities in the coming year to celebrate Rabbi Segelman and his wife, Marla, and the more than three decades they have been part of our community with details to come as those plans take further shape.

“I am grateful to the congregation and to Rabbi Arnowitz for letting me have this opportunity,” he concluded. “I think it is going to ease my transition. And hopefully, it is going to ease Rabbi Arnowitz’s transition.”

Rabbi Arnowitz said he was “excited about the opportunity to work with Rabbi Segelman next year,” and that they’ve “already begun having weekly conversations as we navigate this important transition together.”

“I feel blessed to have the best resource to help me understand the synagogue’s history, policies, and personalities,” Rabbi Arnowitz added. “It will also be a great privilege to be part of honoring him and his incredible legacy throughout the year.”

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