The Tiferet Community
Tiferet Israel Congregation (“Congregation”), located in Dallas, Texas, is a 132-year-old congregation with a membership (Full and Associate) of approximately 160 families: 72% over 65 years of age and 3% under the age of 45. Our membership has declined in recent years from about 230 in 2010. Despite that decline, until Covid, we have had an active program of speakers, classes, adult and youth activities, Shabbat dinners, holiday events as well as daily morning and evening minyanim. Shabbat and Yom Tov services have always been reasonably attended although very few of our current members are Shomer Shabbat. Since Covid, our activities have been significantly curtailed. That said, our membership has remained loyal to the shul as illustrated by our restart of in-person High Holy Day services in 2021 for which 150 individuals from 84 families purchased tickets, and donations from High Holy Day fundraising efforts were 20% better than 2020 and 95% of pre-Covid results in 2019.
We have an Orthodox charter and until the 1940’s there was a mechitza at which time it was removed and we have been known as a Traditional shul since. This means, we daven in an Orthodox manner (using the Art Scroll siddur) and have three seating sections (men’s, women’s, and mixed) for most services although there is a moveable mechitza for daily minyanim and when requested by a congregant for a Simcha or special event. While the congregation follows Ashkenazi nusach we have members of various backgrounds and levels of observance. With the retirement of our current Rabbi and significant input from younger members, the Congregation recently voted to remove from the organization’s constitution the provision prohibiting a mechitza in the main sanctuary thereby allowing for a mechitza at all services. At the same time, the Congregation voted to seek a Rabbi with Orthodox semikhah who would both be understanding of our current membership and lead the Congregation as a progressive Modern Orthodox institution. With these changes, we are hoping to attract younger unaffiliated families to our already warm and Hamish shul.
On a totally different note, Tiferet has been the home of the Dallas Kosher Chili Cookoff since it originated in 1994. This annual, Dallas Vaad supervised, a daylong event in which over 40 local Jewish organizations compete for the title of the best kosher chili in North Texas routinely draws from 3-4,000 attendees.
Dallas and the North Texas Jewish Community:
North Texas is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW) encompasses 11 counties and has a population of nearly 8 million. Dallas County itself has a population of 1,300,000. There are over 38 colleges and universities in the Dallas area and Dallas itself has the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation. Nationally ranked museums in Dallas include the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. The region has a robust and diverse economy and is home to 23 Fortune 500 companies as well as a number of nationally recognized hospitals including Children’s Medical Center Dallas and the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dallas is centrally located in the middle of the country allowing for easy access by air, either from Love Field or DFW Airport, to both coasts as well as international destinations.
Tiferet Israel is located in North Dallas a quiet, upscale residential community of large homes on very large lots. It is just over a mile from the Jewish Community Center of Dallas and the offices of the Dallas Federation. Given that Dallas is an automobile-centric city the location of the synagogue, near a number of major highways, means it is not far from either downtown Dallas or the large Jewish community in the city of Plano to the north.
The North Texas Jewish community itself is estimated to include approximately 70,000 Jews. Of these, 10,000 to 12,000 are affiliated with some Jewish organizations (not only synagogues). The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas currently lists 27 congregations in North Texas (the Congregation’s market area) including 10 Orthodox, 2 Traditional (including Tiferet), 6 Conservative, and 9 Reform. At least four of these congregations are within very long walking distances from Tiferet and two are a short drive away. There are over ten Jewish/Israel advocacy or political organizations that are active in Dallas along with five Jewish agencies which provide financial or other social service support to families (including Jewish Family Service) and a wide array of social and cultural organizations such as Hadassah and the 3 Stars Jewish Cinema. Within a short drive from Tiferet there are six Jewish pre-school programs and a total of five Jewish day schools which collectively offer a variety of K-12 educational opportunities. Kosher provisions (including baked goods, fish and meat) are available in Vaad supervised sections of two large grocery stores as well as from two independent stores. There are also three Vaad supervised fleishig and four dairy restaurants within a short drive of the synagogue. Finally, there are four mikvahs in Dallas including one at Tiferet.
Our facility, which lies within one of the two North Dallas Eruvs, is 28,000 square feet on a three acre campus. Part of the building was built in the mid-1950’s and part in mid-1960’s. Our sanctuary has permanent theater type seating for approximately 400, however, when the doors are opened to the social hall we can expand to over 1,000. The social hall can seat approximately 250 people with tables and chairs. Adjacent to the social hall there is a large foyer which can seat 100 and is used for Kiddush on Shabbat. Our building also has a chapel that can seat c.100. We have two commercial kitchens (meat and dairy). There are four classrooms, one of which is also used as a library, and a mid-sized room for meetings and events that can seat thirty people. The building has a business office and a large private office for the Rabbi. There is also a small residence available on the campus for visiting clergy, a playground and a large parking lot (which is utilized by many of our members on Shabbat and Yom Tovim). The Congregation owns its building without debt and has other financial reserves to support its future operations. Additionally, we own a residence a block from the shul for the Rabbi and his family with all costs paid by Tiferet.
The Dallas Jewish Community Mikvah, which is generally used for conversions and by men, is housed in our building. While financially supported by the Rabbinic Association of Dallas it is operationally overseen by our staff.
The successful candidate will provide the Congregation with leadership to re-energize and grow our synagogue. We are looking for a self-starter who can “think outside-of-the box” and aspires to lead a dynamic shul in partnership with our Officers, Board of Directors, and members. Perhaps more importantly, we are looking for a Rabbi with a commitment to Orthodoxy who has a love not only of Torah but of all Jews no matter their level of observance. We need a Rabbi who can understand the needs of our current membership, one who can draw in and educate members of the Dallas community who have not grown-up Orthodox but are seeking inspiration, spirituality and Torah along with those who have always lived an Orthodox life.
The successful candidate will be instrumental is sowing the seeds for our future. We expect the Rabbi to possess and show exceptional people skills. He will be the key figure (supported by the Officers, Board, and Members) that brings new families to our Congregation. The right candidate will empower new families, helping them to become engaged and valued members of our shul and Kol Israel. We anticipate that to achieve this the Rabbi (and his family) would need to develop strong personal relationships with both our members and members of the Dallas Jewish community through social interactions both in and outside his home.
Key Areas of Focus
• The Rabbi will provide the Congregation with leadership to re-energize and grow our Congregation.
• Develop and lead a formal outreach program (religious services, programs, and events) to build a younger family group in our Congregation.
The Rabbi will focus on the following areas:
• Rabbinic & Pastoral
° Develop and lead a formal outreach program to build a young family group in our Congregation.
° Attend and encourage member attendance at all weekday, Shabbat, festival, and holiday services and events.
° Lead davening.
° Deliver sermons/drasha
° Serve as Ba’al Koreh
° Serve as Megillah reader
° Officiate at life cycle events
° Make hospital and home visits
° Counsel our members.
° Supervise Kashrut in the synagogue’s kitchens
° Work in partnership with the Ritual Committee, the Officers, the Board of Directors, and members to re-energize and re-build our Congregation.
° Develop and present educational programs in conjunction with the Education and Programming Committees:
° New programs for individuals, groups, and interest groups.
° Revisit our programming for all holidays and create new ideas to engage, teach and learn.
° Devise interesting religious/educational/cultural/social activities.
° Network to bring speakers and events to the community.
° Establish Learning Minyanim and Learning Shabbat Services
° Be seen and recognized throughout the Congregation’s immediate neighborhood and the broader North Texas community as the Rabbi of the Congregation.
° Market the Congregation in the immediate neighborhood of the Congregation and the broader North Texas Jewish Community.
° Interact with members of the wider Jewish community, irrespective of their level of religious observance, particularly those who are considered “unaffiliated”.
° Provide spiritual guidance for families experiencing life cycle events.
° Write an article for the shul monthly newsletter, Hakol.
° Be comfortable and adept with Zoom and the use of social media as well as being proficient in the use of software such as Microsoft Word.
° Work with the Officers, Board, and Staff to develop and implement a marketing plan for the Congregation including an online presence through the website and social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
° Semikhah from a recognized Orthodox yeshiva
° Prior experience as a Congregational Rabbi
° Bachelor and/or master’s degree from a recognized university or college
° Inspiring speaker and educator
° Highly trained in Jewish law, ritual, and tradition
° Warm, empathetic, sense of humor
° Hospitable and engaging
Salary commensurate with experience, benefits include health and disability insurance, a car allowance, stipends for entertainment and professional development as well as fully paid housing for the Rabbi and his family within walking distance of the synagogue.
The Rabbi will report to the President and the Board of Directors who will provide an annual review of his performance.
If you are interested in applying, please submit your resume to Resumes@TiferetIsrael.org