Associate Director of Family Life and Learning (full-time)
Since our founding in 1825, B’nai Jeshurun (BJ) has been at the forefront of the American Jewish experience. As we approach our third century, our vision is focused on the spiritual work of transformation and on the creation of a Jewish spiritual path that is authentic and profound, and helps each member seek and live their purpose to the fullest.
Our spiritual leaders and our almost 1,800 member families share a vision of a diverse, dynamic, and welcoming community that offers many paths to Jewish religious life, while supporting one another in their spiritual quests. We are committed to honoring tradition while re-imagining and innovating our practices and programs to create vibrant Jewish life for the 21st century.
BJ is in its fourth year of implementing a strategic plan that was completed in spring 2015 after more than a year of intensive work by our members, spiritual leaders, and staff. The plan is built around four pillars: Strengthening Community Connections and Building a Shared Sense of Belonging; Prayer, Music, and Spiritual Practice; Responding to the Prophetic Vision through Social Justice and Hesed; and Engaging and Supporting 21st Century Jewish Families in their full diversity.
With the fourth pillar particularly in mind, we are seeking an Associate Director to join the Family Life and Learning team, with primary responsibility for Kadima@BJ, our elective-based congregational school.
Kadima@BJ places an emphasis on music, spirituality, and tefilah (prayer), and engages student and family cohorts in order to create meaningful human connections. The program aims to foster a deep sense of Jewish identity, and to create socially aware, Jewishly knowledgeable, and empowered individuals. Kadima@BJ provides individualized prayer-based Hebrew learning for our students. We offer our families schedule flexibility and a variety of elective options, ensuring that our students feel ownership over their Jewish learning and identity formation.
We are looking for an enthusiastic educational leader, able to relate to young children, primary school-aged children, and adolescents, and develop relationships with their adults. The position will rely heavily on the educator’s ability to inspire children and families of all ages. As such, this position requires a high level of interpersonal skills and the ability to be effective in various roles (e.g. informal learning, formal teaching, leading staff meetings, and facilitating large groups). The ideal candidate will search out creative ways to connect with BJ members and to connect families to the wider BJ community. In addition, the Associate Director will keep their finger on the pulse of current education models.
The Associate Director is a full-time position; an active part of the Family Life and Learning Department; and a regular fixture on Shabbat, holidays, and in the community of BJ families. The Associate Director will report to the Director of Family Life and Learning.
Management and Administration
- Implement and coordinate grades pre-K-7 and the elective model of Kadima@BJ, including curriculum planning and development.
- Recruit and retain students and families for Kadima@BJ.
- Organize and implement special events for the Kadima@BJ program and Family Life and Learning Department (opening day, festivals, etc).
- Build relationships with, and between, students, their families, and professional staff.
- Supervise part-time educators, including overseeing recruitment, retention, professional learning, mentoring, and evaluation and assessment of the faculty.
- Identify and respond to individual needs and interests of students and families and create opportunities for connection, achievement, and greater involvement.
- Evaluate student progress and achievement.
- In partnership with the Inclusion Coordinator, identify special needs and develop and implement interventions and accommodations.
- In partnership with the Program Administrator, oversee Hebrew education, including the Hebrew Homepage program.
- Communicate with parents about program goals, curricula, initiatives, and innovations, and provide mechanisms for feedback and evaluation.
- Handle first-level discipline issues and respond to initial parent questions/concerns.
- Collaborate with volunteer parent advisory committees on programming, new initiatives, and opportunities for parental/family involvement.
- Work with the Communications Department to manage various forms of communications and publicity. These include social media, phone recruitment, regular email communication with families, updates for the Kol Jeshurun (weekly print publication), other print materials, advertising, and the BJ website
- Oversee budget of Kadima@BJ, in conjunction with the Director of Family Life and Learning
Curriculum Development and Learning Culture
- Collaborate with Director and spiritual leaders to design and implement a rich Kadima@BJ prayer experience.
- Ensure alignment between Family Life and Learning’s vision and priorities, program goals, and all activities for Kadima@BJ.
- Foster and supervise the development of an integrated, consistent, and innovative curriculum and materials.
- Design and implement Kadima@BJ program evaluation and assessment, including benchmarks for success.
- Be a presence at Shabbat morning services, holidays, and other community wide programs.
- In conjunction with the Director, plan and implement Kadima@BJ Family Shabbat experiences, including the Reach for Shabbat Retreat.
- Oversee the 6th grade spring retreat and the 7th grade immersive experience.
- Other duties may be assigned based on skill set.
- Develop relationships with colleagues to keep abreast of best practices, innovative programming, and to build collaborative partnerships.
- Keep up-to-date on new research and trends in the education field to promote innovation.
- Attend weekly meetings to review responsibilities and upcoming programs, but also to think creatively and strategically about Jewish education in the BJ community.
- Be an active member of a JEP Cohort of educators and attend meetings where possible.
- Be aware of opportunities for professional development within the network of rising Jewish educators in the field.
Qualifications, Skills, and Experience:
- We seek an educational leader who is devoting their career to Jewish education; who is enthusiastic, accessible, and a skilled Judaics teacher and leader; and who can communicate with, and be responsive to, adults and children alike. The successful applicant will be comfortable with change and be willing to experiment with different kinds of educational programs.
- A masters degree in Jewish education and three years of experience in the field.
- Comfortable and literate in traditional liturgy.
- A self-starter who takes initiative; a highly motivated, creative, and strategic thinker who seeks out new and creative ways to engage families.
- Ability to organize ideas, people, and time into a coherent action plan, and be able to clearly communicate the plan to all stakeholders.
- Creative, energetic team player with high standards of excellence and the ability to foster those qualities in others.
- Excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and strong organizational skills.
- Comfortable working with new technology; experience with Salesforce a plus.
- Provides vision, leadership, strong project management, and experience integrating values into age-appropriate educational programs.
- Demonstrated success working with 4-18 year olds, creating welcoming environments, and building meaningful relationships.
- Is passionate about Jewish living and learning, fun, creative, enthusiastic, and has a good sense of humor.
- Is excited to work as a part of a team to create new and exciting opportunities for learning.
Please send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A competitive salary and benefits package will be offered to the right candidate, including health insurance, dental, vision, retirement, and more.
Equal Opportunity Employment
In recognition of our values, commitment to social justice, and responsibility to our employees, congregants, and the greater civic and national community, BJ is committed to equality of opportunity. To this end, BJ’s policy is to comply with the laws, regulations, and orders that provide for and impose obligations on employers with respect to the management of their equal employment opportunity programs. Accordingly, BJ conducts its business and practices in a manner that fully complies with all federal, state, and local laws governing equal employment opportunity. BJ’s compliance with such laws are intended to eliminate discrimination against employees or applicants for employment on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, veteran’s status, disability, or other factors unrelated to a person’s ability to do the job.