Young Families Engagement Coordinator

Start Date: May 24, 2021

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 fifth 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 Jewish Families in their full diversity.

With the fourth pillar particularly in mind, we are seeking a Young Families Coordinator to join the Family Life and Learning team, with the primary responsibility of overseeing young family education from birth through 2nd grade.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, proactive leader, able to relate to young children, primary school-aged children and develop relationships with their parents and guardians. The position will rely heavily on the coordinator’s administrative and organizational skills to help support and implement new programming for this crucial demographic. As such, this position requires a high level of interpersonal skills and the ability to be effective in various roles. The ideal candidate will search out creative ways to connect with young families and to the wider BJ community. 

The Young Families Coordinator is a full-time position and candidates should be willing to make at least a two year commitment to this department. The Coordinator is 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 Young Families Coordinator will report to the Director of Family Life and Learning. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Create a new vision for how we welcome support and offer programming for families with infants and toddlers.
  • Oversee and expand on the success of Bim Bam, Shira with Shirah, Tot Shabbat, and Day of Service programs by experimenting with new, innovative models and offerings for young families.
  • Coordinate all young family programs, including management of curriculum, staff, recruitment, and communication for existing and new programs.
  • Recruit and retain families from birth through 2nd grade, building community through holiday programs, parent gatherings, etc.
  • Work in partnership with the Young Families committee on programming, new initiatives, and opportunities for parental/family involvement. 
  • Work with the Director to create learning opportunities and support groups for parents.
  • Responsible for the creation and facilitation of age-appropriate holiday and Shabbat programming for families.
  • In collaboration with the department and lay leaders, oversee the vision and implementation of our Young Families Retreat, assist with planning, and serve as an educator for all immersive programming, including the Reach for Shabbat Retreat.
  • Capitalize on opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Inspire young  families to deepen their own commitments to spiritual growth and Jewish practice.
  • Be a presence on Shabbat, holidays, and at other community-wide programs.
  • Inspire families to deepen their own commitments to spiritual growth and Jewish practice.
  • Other duties may be assigned by the Director of Family Life and Learning.

Management and Administration 

  • Coordinate logistics and programmatic details for young family programs, including scheduling, virtual sessions, room set-up, food, and materials. 
  • Oversee budget of young family programming, in conjunction with the Director of Family Life and Learning.
  • Work in conjunction with the Assistant Rabbi to build points of young family engagement on Shabbat and Holidays 
  • Work with the communications department to manage various forms of communications and publicity, including 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.
  • Document and publicize the success of young family programs to the BJ and wider Jewish community.
  • Attend and participate in various activities, as designated by the Director, including workshops, meetings, parent events, professional learning, field trips, cultural projects, congregational events, and other programs.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience

  • A  B. A or masters degree in early childhood education or Jewish education and two 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 young families.
  • Ability to organize ideas, people, and time into a coherent action plan, and 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 children from birth to seven years old, 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.

Work Location 

While BJ is primarily a virtual organization at the time of this posting, we anticipate a structured return to in-person programming and work over the summer of 2021. As such, all candidates must be able to work remotely comfortably, and be available to report to the campus in-person as needed related to their work, with 72 hours advance notice, while following all relevant city and state COVID-19 travel guidelines.

To Apply

Please send your cover letter and resume to Danielle Freedman, Program Administrator for Family Life and Learning, at dfreedman@bj.org.

Compensation

Benefits package will be offered to full-time employees, including health insurance, dental, vision, professional development, and more.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
B’nai Jeshurun (BJ), in recognition of our values, commitment to social justice, and responsibility to our spiritual leaders and staff, congregants, and the communities within which we live and work, is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQIA+ applicants.

Mike Witman

Written By Mike Witman

Michael Witman currently serves as the Director of Family Life and Learning at B'nai Jeshurun in New York City. He previously served as the Director of Education at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck. Mi...