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Community Engagement Program Associate

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 path that is authentic, profound, and helps all members of our community seek and live their purpose to the fullest.

Our spiritual leaders and our nearly 1,800 member families share a vision of a diverse, dynamic, and inclusive 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 a vibrant, contemporary, and relevant Jewish life for all who are seeking it. 

Our community is led by Rabbi Rolando Matalon, together with a senior leadership team that comprises Rabbi Felicia Sol, who oversees all programs, and Executive Director/COO Colin Weil, who oversees advancement, communications, finance and administration, and operations. BJ has a staff of approximately 40 full-time and 10 part-time employees. 

Job Overview

B’nai Jeshurun seeks a passionate individual to join its Community Engagement department as a Program Associate. Guided by values of hesed (lovingkindness), tzedek (justice), and kehilla (community), the mission of the Community Engagement department is to create accessible opportunities within the BJ community and beyond for learning, service, and spiritual connections while fostering authentic relationships and a culture of belonging. The Program Associate will contribute to this mission by strengthening and expanding gateways to the BJ community; developing educational opportunities and programming for specific demographics and constituencies; building relationships with and among congregants; and identifying additional ways to create a synagogue culture of relationality, ownership, and radical embrace.

This position reports to the Director of Community Engagement, and will work with all members of the Community Engagement department, the BJ staff, and lay leaders from across the congregation. The successful candidate will possess a passion for building relationships, organizing for social change, and fostering community; excellent communications and project management skills; the flexibility to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment; and the experience to partner with colleagues across the organization, as well as with lay leaders and external partner organizations.

B’nai Jeshurun is committed to creating a staff culture and congregational community that is accessible, inclusive, and equitable. In particular, we have been on a journey over the past several years to understand the history and impact of racism in America, within the American Jewish community, and within the BJ congregation and staff in particular. We seek to build a community and staff that reflects and celebrates the diversity of America, as well as of the Jewish community, and are looking for team members who want to be part of our ongoing learning, and to contribute to it. People of Color, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities

  • Develop and strengthen strategies of engagement and relationship-building for populations often marginalized in Jewish life including women, multi faith and multi heritage families, LGBTQIA individuals and families, Mizrahi Jews, and Jews of Color;
  • Oversee Aviv (BJ’s 20s and 30s program), bringing creative and innovative approaches to engaging this demographic. In particular, identify and develop opportunities for this constituency to be engaged with other areas of BJ life, including hesed (efforts to build a caring community), social action and social justice, and Jewish learning;
  • For all constituencies noted above, build relationships with individuals, identify and cultivate leadership, collaborate with other program areas to engage these populations in all aspects of BJ communal life, and develop and manage partnerships and collaborations with appropriate external organizations;
  • Support the expansion and institutionalization of BJ’s small-groups initiative;
  • Support the development and implementation of BJ’s strategy to engage members who live outside of the New York area;
  • Collaborate with Community Engagement team to develop an innovative approach to volunteer recognition initiatives, including High Holy Days honors, volunteer appreciation events, and other opportunities
  • Manage all budgetary, communications and administrative elements of program implementation;
  • Employ key tools to consistently collect and analyze engagement and demographic data across Community Engagement programs
  • Participate in and support major BJ-wide programs and experiences, including but not limited to:
    • Staffing select High Holy Days services
    • Supporting membership department as needed during membership season
    • Participating in significant community events (in recent years this has included Sanctuary Centennial Celebration, and Building Rededication)
  • Other opportunities may be available depending on the skills and interests of the candidate.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience

  • 2+ years professional experience or equivalent, with demonstrated expertise in community building and project management;
  • Personal commitment to building a meaningful and diverse Jewish community, and the ability to communicate that meaning to others;
  • Demonstrated ability to move ideas and programs forward;
  • Exceptional collaboration and partnership-building skills;
  • Talent for juggling multiple tasks under tight deadlines and performing in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment;
  • Highly organized and detail oriented;
  • Excellent analytical, verbal and written communication skills, along with excellent interpersonal skills; and
  • Ability to build relationships with diverse individuals and populations.

Personal Qualities and Values

  • Self starter with an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks;
  • High emotional intelligence and maturity;
  • Relational orientation and team player;
  • Flexibility, willingness to listen effectively, seek and receive feedback;
  • Humble confidence, openness to being mentored;
  • Commitment to life-long journey of learning, especially regarding diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Belief in stretching oneself and growing as a spiritual practice; and
  • Sense of humor.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time non-exempt position, with a salary between $45,000-$55,000 based on experience level. BJ offers medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, sick, and holiday (national and Jewish) pay, and 403(b) retirement plan.

Working Conditions/Physical Demands

Physical demands include dexterity for office machine/supply operation including but not limited to computer, telephone, copy machine, and printers. Stooping, bending, and reaching for and carrying files or supplies, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time are common. Stooping, bending, and reaching for and carrying files or supplies, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time are common.

To Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to careers@bj.org with the subject line, “COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM ASSOCIATE.”

Join or renew today!

BJ’s 2022-2023 membership season is underway. Our spiritual and social justice work together has never been more vital, and if you’ve been joining us on Shabbat and consider us your spiritual home, we hope you consider becoming a member, no matter where you live.