Shomeret Position Created for Interim AOP Administrative Leadership

VAAD appoints Rabbinic Pastor Tivona Reith to Position 

In August 2021, Founding Dean of the ALEPH Ordination Programs (AOP) Rabbi Marcia Prager and Associate Dean Rabbi Steven Silvern announced their plans to retire effective January 1, 2022, after many years of service to the ALEPH seminary. The AOP VAAD (Academic Council) created a Search Committee, which issued an official Request for Applications for the Dean position on November 15, with a December 31 deadline for applications.

Because it is likely that the next Dean may not be installed until spring or summer 2022, the VAAD, in conjunction with AOP’s Administrative Committee, identified the need for a “guardian”—a shomer/shomeret—who could provide stability and leadership until a new Dean is installed.

Rabbinic Pastor Tivona Reith was appointed unanimously by the AOP VAAD and Administrative Committee to this Shomeret position. Reb Tivona was ordained through ALEPH as both a rabbinic pastor in 2012 and a mashpiah ruchanit in 2014, and has been serving as a Director of Studies for the Rabbinic Pastor Program since 2019. She brings strong administrative leadership skills from her 25+ years of environmental and organizational consulting and serving as executive director of a land trust. She also brings emotional and spiritual sensitivity from her 10+ years as a hospice chaplain and grief counselor. She has provided a steady hand in her previous roles as student coordinator of the 2010 and 2011 OHALAH shabbatons, manager of the 2013 and 2014 OHALAH conferences, and chair of the ALEPH Ethics Committee from 2018 to 2020.

Reb Tivona will serve in this interim position effective January 1, 2022 until a new Dean is installed. While the Shomeret is not empowered to make structural or strategic change, she will make executive decisions in the administrative domain related to budgets, technological infrastructure, and information dissemination. She will work closely with the Administrative Committee (Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, Operations Manager, and AOP Administrator) and maintain close contact with the ALEPH Board and Executive Director, as well as with the ALEPH Student Board.

Because Reb Tivona currently has other roles within AOP, discernment is underway to determine potential conflicts of interest with theShomeret position and to establish ethical safeguards or temporary coverage for those other roles.

For more information, contact Shelby Haverson, AOP Operations Manager,

Rabbinic Pastor Tivona Reith