Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood Center
Senior Director of Early Childhood Education
About Temple Emanu-El
Temple Emanu-El (TE) is a vibrant Reform Jewish community that strives to be a place of sacred encounter. It is a place where learning, prayer, and deeds change people’s understanding of themselves, of their world and their responsibilities in it.
They welcome more than 2,500 families through our doors and help them find their Jewish path through prayer, music, learning, and community. We are a warm and inclusive spiritual community, welcoming interfaith families, the LGBTQ+ community, and worshipers of all abilities.
TE was founded in 1872 in Dallas, Texas. We are currently celebrating our 150th year! Dallas is home to a large and vibrant Jewish community and is currently home to about 75,000 Jews and multiple congregations. TE is the largest reform congregation in the South and one of the largest in the United States.
Dallas is a thriving, diverse, and energetic city. From a thriving arts district to a downtown park that brings the city together, from a large farmers’ market to a dynamic restaurant scene to a magnificent arboretum and museums for every interest, from vibrant Hispanic culture to professional sports teams that inspire passion and heartbreak, Dallas has its multigenerational natives, and countless people each year who choose to make it home.
About the Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood Education Center
The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) is a vital part of the TE community, and our mission is to create a welcoming, Jewish, inquiry-based, play-driven, and child-centered community that empowers thinkers, innovators, and globally minded children, who embrace other cultures while shaping the future.
Situated within the larger TE complex, the ECEC includes 26 classrooms, several atelier (studio) spaces, two Farm to Table garden classrooms, and a library with an extensive collection of children’s books and resource materials. Classrooms are infused with natural light, visually pleasing and curiosity-inducing natural materials, as well as the culinary arts teaching kitchen. Multiple outdoor spaces provide numerous open-ended opportunities for play and exploration.
Being an integral part of the greater TE community, the ECEC fosters a sense of Jewish identity, values, and culture among Temple’s youngest members. ECEC member families actively engage in greater Temple life, creating opportunities for spiritual growth, supporting Jewish community building, and cultivating leadership development.
The ECEC welcomes children ages 3 months through kindergarten, and offers families the assurance of a safe, caring, and nurturing environment with a variety of schedule options. The ECEC currently enrolls approximately 330 children and employed nearly 100 educators and administrative staff.
As one of the premier early childhood centers in Dallas, demand for admission is high. Our community is diverse, made up of TE members, non-member Jews, and non-Jews. TE members and current student siblings receive priority in the registration process. Tuition ranges from $6,000 to $28,000, and need-based aid is available.
The ECEC is licensed by the Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory Services and participates in the Early Childhood Education of Reform Judaism, The North American Reggio Alliance, Dallas Association of the Education of Young Children (DAEYC), the Teacher Learning Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the Jewish Preschool Director’s Council.
The ECEC is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for having demonstrated substantial compliance and excellence with nationally recognized criteria for high-quality early childhood programs. We are currently on track to receive our IB certification by the end of this school year.
The ECEC’s philosophy is rooted in the collaborative pedagogy approach of Reggio Emilia coupled with the International Baccalaureate program, facilitating authentic exploration opportunities with the experiential world. We enhance this philosophy through the embrace of our Jewish values, the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile. and the social constructivist theory which asserts that children build meaning from the world around them.
The ECEC provides open-ended materials which invite and cultivate thinking, collaboration and representation of ideas. Learning is embedded in all aspects of our day through meaningful experiences and opportunities for hands-on and minds-on engagement.
The ECEC Senior Director Position
The ECEC is seeking a warm, energetic, passionate, and inclusive educator who is also a forward-thinking, visionary leader with excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and communication skills to oversee the goals, mission, and educational philosophy of the school.
In addition to our outstanding educational offerings, the community at the ECEC is one of TE’s greatest assets and calls for a leader who will continue the traditions that bond the school - Jewish values, collaboration, honor and respect for children and others. The connection between administration, educators, children, families, and the extended Temple community is what sets us apart from other schools and the Senior Director will sustain and continuously invest in this connection through their leadership and efforts.
The Senior Director is an essential part of the greater Temple Emanu-El TE community. The Senior Director will assist TE staff and clergy by co-leading services, attending religious events and milestones, and overseeing programs sponsored by TE that are intended for or attract our member families with children in the early childhood years, regardless of their enrollment at the ECEC.
The Senior Director reports directly to the Executive Director of Temple Emanu-El. The position oversees nearly 100 faculty, as well as administrative team of 8 people.
The TE ECEC Senior Director Roles and Responsibilities:
- Oversee day to day operations of the school, including the curriculum, programming, and operations of the ECEC.
- Celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of the Reform Jewish movement.
- Manage the ECEC’s $7 million budget and work collaboratively with TE financial staff and lay leadership during the annual budget process.
- Create relationships with schools in the Dallas area, both private and public, to ensure seamless post-ECEC transitions for our families.
- Foster warm, personal relationships with each existing, new and prospective family, through engaging, proactive and consistent communication.
- Manage scheduling and payroll for the ECEC and summer Camp Emanu-El.
- Support the vibrant Parents’ Association and their leadership to organize school and fundraising events.
- Collaborate with the Parents’ Association, as needed, on capital expenditures of funds.
- Recruit new faculty and staff who can meet the school’s high standards.
- Support professional development programs that will continuously train both new and seasoned faculty and staff.
- Conduct annual reviews for nearly 100 faculty and staff members.
- Support faculty and families during parent conferences, written child reports, and the private school application process.
- Coordinate with the Facilities department to ensure that the indoor and outdoor spaces of the ECEE are clean, safe, and well-maintained.
- Preserve the core educational philosophy supported our Reggio Emilia approach and the IB PYP framework and maintain NAEYC accreditation.
- Uphold the school’s current philosophies, while also being an innovative leader, leading the school to greater heights.
- Manage, through strong leadership and inspiration, a diverse team of both seasoned educators and staff alongside more novice educators.
- Lead senior ECEC administrative team.
- Support the broader TE community through events and programming for our youngest members and their families, fostering a seamless connection for TE members between the ECEC and greater TE engagement.
The ECEC Senior Director Qualifications and Experiences
- Demonstrate an inclusive management philosophy and style that encourages creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving.
- Experience with the Reggio Emilia philosophy.
- Desire to master both the International Baccalaureate program and social constructivist theory.
- Experience with NAEYC accreditation.
- Knowledge and embrace of Reform Jewish values and culture.
- Strong listening and communication skills, both written and verbal.
- Proven leadership experience, including a demonstrated ability to inspire, be empathetic, motivate, and develop a team of educators and administrative staff.
- A familiarity with current trends and developments in the educational and the Jewish educational worlds.
- A community builder who is genuinely eager to engage with all constituencies and forge strong connections within and outside the organization.
- The ability and knowledge to ensure that all state and local regulations necessary for the licensing of the school are always met and adhered to.
- Willingness to understand the role of the ECEC within in the larger Temple Emanu-El community.
- Track record of identifying, recruiting, developing and retaining educators, staff and administrators; experience establishing and achieving annual goals with faculty and staff.
- Experience leading or facilitating fundraising efforts, including collaboration with parents’ associations and identifying key initiatives for capital contributions.
- Ability to navigate delicate conversations between educators, staff and parents, exhibiting exceptional emotional intelligence.
- Proven experience in early childhood education.
- A master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Certification is preferred.
This position description is based upon material provided by Temple Emanu-El, an equal-opportunity employer.
Sarah Raful Whinston, Principal
Dave Yi, Associate