October 18, 2021

Issued by AOP Search Committee Task Force

For more information, contact:

Shelby Haverson, AOP Operations Manager,


On August 13, 2021, Rabbi Marcia Prager and Rabbi Steve Silvern publicly announced their intention to retire in early 2022 as Dean and Associate Dean, respectively, of the ALEPH Ordination Programs (AOP).  The AOP VAAD/core faculty created a Search Committee (SC) to conduct the search for a new Dean.  The SC was fully constituted on September 3, 2021, just before the start of the High Holy Days.

Update as of October 18, 2021

The Search Committee resumed its work on October 1, 2021, following the conclusion of the month of chagim/holidays.  It is engaged in the following activities:

  1. Developing the official job description and solicitation announcement, as part of the Request for Applications (RFA) to be posted later this month or early November.
  2. Clarifying communication and confidentiality protocols that will govern its work.
  3. Researching best practices related to a position search of this importance.

The SC also developed a set of Understandings and Intentions for its work, as follows:

The search for a new dean for the ALEPH Ordination Programs is a holy task and a sacred obligation.  

Our work together has the potential to shape the future of the AOP, the legacies of Reb Zalman and Reb Marcia, and the training and deployment of Jewish Renewal clergy for years to come.

Our work is of critical interest and importance to many “spirit-holders” (aka stakeholders) for whom Jewish Renewal provides spiritual purpose, meaning, and sustenance. 

Our ultimate aspiration is to be guided by spiritual discernment, to craft a process that is both transparent and efficient, and to cultivate an inclusive, coordinated, and beneficial approach to sharing information and reaching decisions.