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Rabbi TelRav's Sabbatical - Frequently Asked questions

Sabbatical Leave: January 1st-25th, 2020

What is a sabbatical?
The word "sabbatical" has its roots in the biblical concept of Sabbath ("to rest" or "to cease"). Sabbatical leave is a time for a rabbi to shift gears in order to rest, disengage, study, reflect and travel, in order to return to the congregation renewed and refreshed in body, mind and spirit.
The agreement between Rabbi TelRav and Temple Sinai specifies three weeks of sabbatical to be taken each year.    
Do other clergy go on sabbatical?
A growing number of clergy of all faiths are taking sabbaticals. The trend reflects what the Reform movement has recognized as a new model for clergy-congregation relationships: a b'rit kodesh, or "sacred partnership." Clergy and congregations experience fewer instances of burnout and dissatisfaction and find themselves moving instead from strength to strength. Cantor Morgovsky has similar language in her agreement with Temple Sinai.
What will Rabbi TelRav be doing on his sabbatical?
The Rabbi plans to do things to nourish his body, mind, and spirit.  His plans include ongoing learning with The Clergy Leadership Institute, participation in various religious worship forms (both Jewish and others).   He also plans to recharge his body and soul with some self-care, lots of reading and writing, and precious time with his family.
Who will serve the congregation during Rabbi TelRav's sabbatical?
Our incredible professional staff will continue to serve the congregation with the same degree of commitment that they always do.  Given our significant programming calendar, lifecycle needs and the myriad happenings on during the week, there may be some moments when others will lead classes, services or programs at which you expected the rabbi but Cantor Morgovsky will step into the position of head clergy-person and will handle all life-cycle, pastoral and administrative roles.  The month of January was chosen by the Rabbi with the President as a time with the least disruption to programming and without any celebrations of our students becoming b'nai mitzvah.
Who do I call if I have a personal or family crisis?
In the event of a personal or family crisis, please call the Temple at (203) 322-1649. Please do not call Rabbi TelRav's cellphone, though many of you have the number. The office staff will know whom to call, and how to reach Rabbi TelRav or Cantor Morgovsky when appropriate.
Will Rabbi TelRav be in contact with us during his sabbatical?
Generally speaking, no. One aspect of the sabbatical is for the rabbi to be able to turn his attention elsewhere so that he can refocus on his rabbinate with renewed energy and clarity. Being wrapped up in the day-to-day goings-on at Temple Sinai defeats the purpose of the sabbatical.
Will Rabbi TelRav be in contact with Cantor Morgovsky or the office staff during his sabbatical?
The instructions are for Temple staff to call him if there is a major crisis or something important going on that will require his immediate attention when he returns.
Will Rabbi TelRav be reading his email during his sabbatical?
No. A rabbi needs a sabbatical from email too. His email account,, will not be a reliable way to reach him during sabbatical. Email sent to that account during the period of January 1st-25th, 2020 will be read by our clergy assistant, Jayne Vasco, and forwarded to others or archived as she will determine.
Who do I call with questions about the sabbatical?
You may speak with Rabbi  TelRav or Temple President Alan Cohen about any aspect of the sabbatical that requires further clarification. We will be able to answer your questions or point you toward someone who can.

Fri, December 3 2021 29 Kislev 5782