We are delighted to inform you that we have successfully completed the search for the newest member of our clergy team. With the unanimous approval of our Board of Trustees, we have finalized an agreement confirming Joshua Fixler as Congregation Emanu El’s next Assistant Rabbi. The two of us, along with the many other staff members and congregants who spent time with Josh during his visit to Houston, were consistently and deeply impressed by his intellect, warmth, approachability, sensitivity and authenticity. We are confident that he will be an outstanding addition to our team, and an exceptional spiritual leader who will carry on the wonderful work that Rabbi Samantha Kahn has done during her years of service to our congregation. We are eager for you to become acquainted personally with Josh after his arrival in Houston, but for now, we are pleased to share a few details about his professional and educational background.
For the past two years, Josh has served as the Rabbinic Intern at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, NJ. In December, he also completed a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from New York University. Previously, Josh served as Rabbinic Intern for B’nai Israel Synagogue, in High Point, North Carolina; as a Summer Intern at Temple Micah in Washington, DC and at Temple Emanuel in Denver; and as the Senior Educator at Shwayder Camp, a Reform summer camp in Colorado. Before beginning his studies, Josh served as the Assistant Educator and Youth Director for Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, VA, and prior to that, as a Program Coordinator at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an interfaith social justice organization. Additionally, he has participated in a number of leadership training programs which have contributed to his professional and spiritual growth, including the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship. Josh graduated from the University of Maryland in 2007 with a degree in Organizational Development and Community Leadership.
Josh will be ordained as a rabbi this May at the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and will be officially beginning his tenure at Emanu El this summer. We will be so excited to introduce him and his wonderful wife Annie to you, and we know that you will be certain to welcome them warmly to their new home in Houston!
We cannot conclude this announcement without mentioning our gratitude for the hard work of the Open Tent Committee, and to Helen Dreyfus who served as its dedicated, hard-working Chair. This committee oversaw all of the countless details of our candidates’ visits and ensured that they became acquainted with all of the wonderful aspects of our congregation and our Houston community. The importance that this committee played in the process of identifying and securing our next rabbi cannot be overstated, and we are both profoundly thankful for their commitment to the spiritual life of our congregation.