Woodlands Community Temple
Director of Congregational Learning Job Description
As an active member of our community, the Director of Congregational Learning (hereinafter the “DCL”) provides a comprehensive, coordinated, cohesive vision for educational programming, including religious school, youth and family programming and engagement, and adult education. The DCL leads, oversees, and manages all aspects of learning and educational programming in all formats, including both in-person, online, and hybrid.
The DCL reports to the temple’s Vice President of Education as a representative of the Board of Trustees. This professional works with the clergy and School Board to establish and perpetuate the educational goals of the temple. They also work with the Executive Director, the Israeli Shlichim, and various committees. The DCL supervises the Director of Youth & Community Engagement, Education Administrative Assistant, and religious school teachers and aides. The Education Administrative Assistant works part time and is supported, as needed, by members of the temple administrative support team.
The ideal candidate will be an innovative educator who:
- Has their finger on the pulse of the latest insights/trends in Jewish education and wants to apply them in our setting.
- Is flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances in the community and the world of education.
- Is a mensch - a caring, compassionate person who appreciates and champions diversity and values building relationships.
- Connects Jewish education to engagement for all ages, not only for temple membership but also to the overall Jewish community
The responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to, the following:
Education Administration and Management
- Formulates, develops, and innovates the temple’s annual and long term educational vision, goals, and themes in conjunction with the Vice President of Education, temple committees, clergy, and professional staff, and coordinates educational events and programming to support these overarching goals.
- Administers and oversees all aspects of the temple's educational programming, which include online and in-person educational experiences and curricula for children, teens, families, and adults in consultation with the Vice President of Education, and with support from the Executive Director, School Board, Adult Education Committee, and Youth & Family Engagement Committee.
- Oversees the development and implementation of religious school (hereinafter “Kesher”) and congregational immersive experiences in partnership with the Director of Youth & Community Engagement (i.e. late nights, shul-ins, adult retreats, trips, grade-level meals).
- Fosters learning communities through thoughtful student and staff placement based on understanding each child's developmental, educational, and social needs.
- Ensures the students with special needs have full access to the Kesher curriculum, are integrated into our community, and are provided appropriate educational support.
- Stays current with Jewish educational trends and insights; is well acquainted with current educational research and demographics as they impact Woodlands.
- Develops Israel-related programming for youth and adults in conjunction with Adult Education, Social Action, and Israel committees, creating partnerships with Israeli Shlichim.
- Develops curricula and programs that express a deep commitment to social action and social justice, connecting modern conversations to Jewish traditions.
- Coordinates with clergy on education-related rituals such as Consecration, grade-level Shabbat experiences, Confirmation, Graduation, and Adult B-Mitzvah.
- Acts as a consultant to the Cantor and B-Mitzvah tutors, matching students and tutors.
- Coordinates with the Cantor/other music faculty to facilitate the music curriculum for Kesher.
- Develops and oversees early childhood programs, creating a pipeline to Kesher and temple involvement.
- Oversees the recruitment and registration of participants in all educational programs, with intentionality to welcome people from all backgrounds.
- Hires, orientates, supervises, evaluates, and terminates Kesher faculty and staff (teachers, substitutes, aides) in coordination with the Executive Director, Vice President of Education, and School Board and in accordance with temple policies.
- Creates community among teachers and connects teachers to temple community.
- Is an educational resource for teachers; spearheads ongoing professional development.
- Supervises, mentors, empowers, and evaluates Director of Youth & Community Engagement, maintaining overall responsibility for effectiveness of the temple’s pre-teen, teen, and young adult programming.
- Supervises, directs, and evaluates Education Administrative Assistant.
- Addresses any complaints by or against Kesher faculty and staff, with support of lay leadership and in compliance with applicable temple policies and procedures.
Religious School and Adult Education
- Present during Kesher hours and participates in education-related rituals, meetings, and major congregation events as determined in conversation with clergy.
- Oversees the day to day operation of Kesher.
- Oversees the madrichim/leadership program by supporting the Director of Youth & Community Engagement; oversees the 7th grade program with support from the Director of Youth & Community Engagement.
- Teaches weekly in the 7th grade program and as needed in the adult education program.
- Partners with teachers to assist in development of grade-level curricula and lesson plans.
- Develops and leads Sunday morning tefillah with clergy.
- Develops relationships with parents to ensure they are appropriately advised of the Kesher philosophy, curriculum, and activities, and are fully informed of the expectations and performance of their children.
- Works with individual families and teachers to provide personalized care for all learners, including those with special needs, continuing the pioneering and high-quality work of Woodlands in this area.
- Addresses learning/behavior issues and disciplinary problems and confidently navigates conflict resolution.
- Assists in developing and oversees implementation of health, safety, and security procedures; manages medical emergencies.
- Develops relationships with new members and assists with their integration into Woodlands Community Temple in conjunction with the Membership Committee.
- Manages the promotion of temple educational programming through appropriate media, marketing, and community events.
- Participates in local community activities as a representative of the temple.
- Participates actively in the local and national Jewish educational community, including attending local Westchester Association of Temple Educator meetings.
- Partners actively with the Jewish Education Project, PJ Library, and relevant URJ departments (NFTY, camping, etc.)
Budget and Asset Management
- Develops and manages Kesher, Director of Youth & Community Engagement, Adult Education, and other educational budgets and fees in conjunction with the Executive Director and appropriate members of lay leadership.
- Oversees tzedakah collection, deposits, and distribution of funds.
- Determines asset needs (e.g. furniture, materials, books, supplies, religious objects, audio-visual equipment, and food) for the various educational programs and ensures those needs are met within the budget.
- Seeks, writes, and applies for grants to benefit educational programs.
- In consultation with the maintenance staff, ensures rooms are adequately and appropriately furnished, arranged, and maintained.
This is a full-time, director level position with broad responsibility. The DCL is expected to be on site during Kesher. They are also expected to be on site during certain evening and weekend education-related programs, ritual events, meetings, and major congregational events as determined in conversation with clergy and temple leadership.
Our Kesher religious school meets Mondays and Thursdays in the afternoons, as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings. Kindergarten-3rd grade meet once a week while 4th-7th grades meet twice a week. Our Monday evening teen program is robust and exciting. Adult and family programs occur at different times, depending on the program. While we have no nursery school, we do have a well attended and beloved early childhood program that consists of Shalom Storytime (ages 2 and under with a caregiver) and Temple Tots (3 and 4 year olds with a caregiver). Both meet once a month.
All professional staff, including the Director of Congregational Learning, are off on Tuesday. Woodlands is committed to working with employees to find a healthy work/life balance and as such, there is flexibility with regard to compensatory time/hours off and the possibility for some remote work when programming and operational needs allow.
Masters degree or equivalent experience in the field of Jewish education
Strong written and verbal skills
Strong familiarity with relevant technology, including Google Suite (particularly the Google Drive, Docs and Sheets) and Zoom. Experience with Shul Cloud is beneficial but not required.
$90,000 to $110,000, plus benefits
How to Apply
Please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected].
Starting Date: July 1, 2023
More About Woodlands
Established in 1966, Woodlands has grown into a vibrant Reform Jewish congregation of 400 households. We are proud to be a temple that innovatively combines ritual, education, and social action in a multigenerational environment. Located in southern Westchester County (about 30 minutes by train north of New York City), we welcome members of all backgrounds, and of all races and sexual orientations, together with their spouses/partners and, especially, their children. We are pleased to have many non-Jewish spouses among our members. We are constantly striving to balance providing for the diverse spiritual and educational needs of our entire temple community with encouraging our congregants to perform those much-needed works of Tikkun Olam that benefit an increasingly complicated world at large.
Our religious school is called Kesher, which is the Hebrew word for "connection." Everything we do in Kesher promotes a close connection between students, families, teachers, clergy, and caregivers. We believe that Judaism provides the framework and the language for spiritual development that strengthens a person, our temple community, and the world at large. We are proud to do this through a Reform Jewish lens. We believe Jewish learning is a lifelong pursuit, and we are proud to see a great majority of our learners participate in temple life well past B-Mitzvah into Confirmation, Graduation, and throughout their lives as adults.
We have evolved an egalitarian culture, in which dedication and engagement are highly valued. Our lay leaders and member-volunteers work collaboratively with our clergy, professional educators, and staff to manage a notably wide range of activities and programs. As we look to the future, we increasingly recognize the need to augment our unique environment with a more structured approach to the operational and business aspects of our community, especially as our member-volunteers find that their time is split in many directions across their lives. With the hiring of an Executive Director, we are making progress in this area and look to the DCL to participate in this work.