Jewish communal professionals and clergy nearing retirement who have jobs cannot afford to stop working, closing off opportunities for the next generation of leaders. Meanwhile, the professional preparation institutions continue to graduate teachers, educators, communal service workers, cantors, and rabbis, who enter a shrinking job market, often laden with significant student loan debt. What shall these people do? Some will have no choice but to hang their own shingle and offer their services to an increasingly savvy population of Jews who, whether forced by the economic circumstances or because they do not see the value of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars over a number of years, decide to forgo “membership” in Jewish institutions and hire single practitioners, eager for their “business”.
Dr. Ron Wolfson, Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2013), 32.