Assistant Director for Religious & Spiritual Life and Campus Rabbi

Amherst College | Amherst, MA, United States

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Posted Date 9/08/2023

Assistant Director for Religious & Spiritual Life and Campus Rabbi


Amherst Campus


Full Time




Amherst has taken a leadership role among highly selective liberal arts colleges and universities in successfully diversifying the racial, socio-economic, and geographic profile of its student body. The College is similarly committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff.


Job Description:


Amherst College invites applications for the Assistant Director for Religious & Spiritual Life and Campus Rabbi position. The Assistant Director is a full-time, year-round position, starting at $70,000 - commensurate with experience. Given Amherst's distinction as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, the successful candidate will demonstrate the ways in which they bring value to and will work towards supporting a broadly diverse community.


The Assistant Director and Campus Rabbi (AD/CR) serves several vital functions in the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) toward furthering our mission to help students to live their faith, explore spiritual practices, and make meaning within themselves and the world.


In their Assistant Director capacity, the AD/CR will work in collaboration with the Director to develop, implement, and assess signature programs and initiatives, including but not limited to the Interfaith Banquet, Interfaith Council dinners, and Baccalaureate. Specific programmatic foci for the AD/CR will be interfaith, interfaith literacy, spiritual but not religious, and intersectional justice-focused events. The AD/CR will supervise student staff working for RSL. The AD/CR will work collaboratively on shared projects and initiatives with the constitutive departments of the Office of Identity and Cultural Resources (OICR)—composed of Amherst's six


identity/affinity-based resource center departments: the Center for International Student Engagement, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, Class and Access Resource Center, Multicultural Resource Center, Queer Resource Center, and the Women's and Gender Center. The AD/CR will work with various campus partners and stakeholders to fulfill the department's mission through educational, social, and cultural programming that centers and affirms the various communities RSL serves.


The secondary role and title of Campus Rabbi supports our Jewish community (particularly students) and our broader campus more generally. The AD/CR will work to create an inclusive, vibrant, and pluralistic Jewish community, effectively engaging students across diversities of Jewish expression and serving as a resource in this pluralistic setting. Key functions of this role include organizing and (co)presiding over High Holiday and Passover services, supporting students in the creation of and attending Shabbat dinners, services, and programs, creating and advising on antisemitism education offerings, and offering one on one spiritual counseling. The AD/CR serves as advisor for the Amherst Hillel student group (though need not be formally affiliated with Hillel themself), and maintains regular contact with student leaders and members of that group, including mentorship, collaboration, and support. The AD/CR provides a welcoming ministry to a diverse student population and College community, and takes appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce by participating in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.


The position mainly requires weekday work hours, with the exception of joining Hillel and/or Jewish students for roughly half their Shabbat dinners on Fridays, and attendance at some evening and weekend programs at times to be determined based on the AD/CR's and students' availability. Flexibility and availability for select additional evening and weekend programs (e.g. panels, vigils, Baccalaureate, etc.) is expected.


This is a full-time and benefitted 12-month position with a JCCP job group and level PT-3. The hiring range for this position starts at $70,000. Actual compensation will be commensurate with skills and experience. Flexibility to work some nights and weekends is required.


Summary of Responsibilities:


Jewish Programming and Advising


  • Provide for Jewish religious and cultural programming on campus and make all reasonable efforts to accommodate the religious and spiritual needs of Jewish students as well as faculty and staff


  • Ensure meaningful and diverse opportunities for Jewish expression, and consistently promote a welcoming and lively pluralistic Jewish community


  • Create programs that educate about and celebrate the diversity of Jewish life on campus and in this world


  • Preside over High Holiday and Passover services, as well as some Shabbat services


  • Advise campus constituents and lead programmatic efforts around antisemitism education


  • Support students in preparation for weekly Shabbat dinners and holiday celebrations


  • Advise Hillel, including leadership development and mentoring with their student leaders


  • Develop strategies for contacting and serving uninvolved/under-involved Jewish students


  • Support and attend student initiated programs, including evenings, weekends and holidays


  • Advocate for and advise on the ongoing development of Jewish resources on campus (e.g. kosher for Passover food, the Jewish Lounge, kosher kitchen, etc.)


  • Seek and share opportunities from local and national organizations for immersive Jewish experiences, including conferences, service opportunities, travel to Israel and other relevant locations


  • Provide one on one spiritual counseling to students, and when time allows to faculty and staff by request


  • Serve the campus community in times of crisis


  • Make provision for weddings and funerals for the campus community and alumni/ae as requested and as available


Student Staff Support and Development


  • Supervise a team of student staff, including supporting skill and content knowledge development. Student staff positions include Program Organizers and Communications Organizers (which are tasked with social media management and program publicity)


  • Recruit, hire, onboard, and train student staff in collaboration with other OICR directors and staff


  • Meet with and advise students on support resources at and beyond the College


  • Work collaboratively with Case Management, Counseling Center, and other key campus partners to ensure support systems and programming for students


  • Provide leadership and organizational development education, along with RSL Director, to student organizations engaged in work related to the mission of RSL


Religious, Spiritual, and Social Justice Program Development, Facilitation, and Assessment


  • Provides leadership and program development for interfaith, interfaith literacy, spiritual but not religious, and intersectional justice-based offerings, both within RSL and as collaborations between RSL and other campus partners


  • Assist in the planning, implementation, and assessment of signature RSL programs


  • Collaborate at the divisional and institutional level to develop and facilitate campus programs, workshops, training, and other opportunities that support the mission of RSL


  • As a member of the OICR Team, co-create, develop, and implement programs that examine the intersections of historically and presently marginalized identities, their communities, and various dynamics and developments both domestically and globally


  • Participate in Religious & Spiritual Life programming (e.g. interfaith panels and service events, Baccalaureate, vigils, retreats)


  • Participate in College committees as eligible and able


Management, Operations, Administration


  • Attends regularly scheduled RSL staff meetings


  • Attends regularly scheduled OICR and Student Affairs Divisional meetings


  • Serve as a constitutive member of the OICR, including OICR committee work


  • Communicates in a timely manner with students and staff


  • Holds regular office hours


  • Support RSL Director in strategic planning and assessment of RSL operations, resources, and programming


  • Remains current with trends in chaplaincy through membership and service in the Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education (ACSLHE) or comparable organizations and professional development opportunities






  • Rabbinical ordination or equivalent


  • 3-5 years of higher education chaplaincy or religious and spiritual life work


  • Experience creating and leading interfaith and intersectional programming


  • Trained in Jewish tradition and able to facilitate Jewish worship, prayer, and fellowship gatherings


  • Organizational and pastoral care skills


  • Ability to teach Jewish tenets and provide a welcoming ministry to a diverse student population and College community


  • Previous professional work and/or volunteer experience, preferably in a Jewish organization and/or working with college-age adults


  • Self-motivation and the ability to work independently, while also appreciating supervision and teamwork


  • A commitment to creating an inclusive, vibrant and pluralistic Jewish community


  • Ability to effectively engage students at all levels in Jewish life and to serve as a resource in a pluralistic setting


  • Ability to work flexible hours to engage students and attend events


  • An approachable, dynamic, engaging personality with outstanding interpersonal skills


  • Strong oral, written and non-verbal communication skills


  • An ability to manage logistics and multiple tasks with competing deadlines.


  • A knack for creative problem-solving.


  • Energy, a sense of humor, resilience and flexibility


  • An ability to take risks and learn from situations when things don't turn out the way you thought they would




  • One completed unit of Clinical Pastoral Education


Amherst College offers many opportunities for professional growth and development, continued learning, and career advancement.


Amherst College is pleased to provide a comprehensive, highly competitive benefits package that meets the needs of staff and faculty and their families. Benefits are an important part of our overall compensation, so it is critical that you review all of the options to ensure it meets your total compensation requirements. Click here for


Interested candidates are asked to submit a resume and cover letter online at Please be sure to upload all requested documents prior to clicking Submit. Applications cannot be revised once submitted. (Current employees and students should apply by clicking on the Career icon from their Workday home screen) Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


To apply, visit


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