Established in 1914, Kesher Israel is a vibrant, warm and welcoming community of over 200 families, located in the heart of Chester County (West Chester, PA). Kesher Israel is more than a place to pray, more than a religious school, more than a center for life-cycle events. We strive to be a caring community in which we help each other on our Jewish journeys and create an atmosphere in which all members feel welcome, respected and valued, regardless of where they fall on the ladder of Jewish observance. We provide the tools to help our members grow spiritually and deepen their understanding of Jewish traditions, values and practices.
We are a progressive, unaffiliated Conservative congregation that is seeking an ordained Rabbi who is outgoing, welcoming and excited to serve the religious, spiritual, educational, and emotional needs of our diverse community. This is an exciting time for our congregation, as our new Rabbi will have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction of Kesher Israel for the next generation.
What Kesher Israel provides you:
• Our synagogue campus includes a two day a week Lev Religious School, a B’nai Mitzvah program, Confirmation program, Hebrew High School and an award-winning preschool.
• Our beautiful sanctuary is accessible for persons with disabilities.
• Our green initiative extends to the sanctuary with our solar-powered Ner Tamid.
• We have live-streaming capabilities in our sanctuary, chapel and social halls.
• We have a private Rabbi’s study, a comprehensive library, multiple social halls, meeting rooms, and a Judaica gift shop.
• The fully staffed office is led by a Community Engagement/Operations Specialist and an administrator. We employ a full-time religious school Education Director.
• We have a large community of adult learners, with the ability to conduct services and chant Torah.
• Our congregants are active in many committees such as Religious Life, PTO, Chevre Kadisha, Adult Education, Tikkun Olam, Men’s Club/Sisterhood and Mitzvah Makers.
What our local community offers you:
• Money Magazine names Chester County as 1 of the top 100 Places to Live in America.
• Kesher Israel is in the heart of Chester County and our diverse community is home to 10,000 unaffiliated Jewish people.
• Kesher Israel collaborates with local synagogues, churches, and a nearby mosque.
• Historic West Chester, PA draws students from near and far to West Chester University, a large state institution with an active Hillel.
• Kesher Israel congregants enjoy dining and shopping in our thriving downtown which also features a community theatre.
• Also local to the area are multiple nationally recognized medical facilities.
• Chester county residents enjoy parks and walking trails and award-winning schools with the Barrack Hebrew Academy a 30- minute drive away. The Albert Einstein Academy Jewish Day School and Siegel JCC are located in nearby Wilmington, DE.
• Philadelphia is 35 miles outside of town or locals can easily hop on a train to nearby New York City, Baltimore or Washington, DC.
In collaboration with lay leadership, the Rabbi will be expected to perform a variety of responsibilities including, but not limited to:
Religious & Spiritual Leadership
• Lead services that are engaging, meaningful, inclusive and encourage attendance and participation by members of all ages.
• Relate Torah to people’s lives and growth, as individuals and as a congregation.
• Support, counseling, classroom lessons, and tutoring for people engaged in
the process of conversion.
• Maintain our congregation’s traditions while engaging in exploration of new, innovative and musical religious and spiritual expression (e.g. creative/musical Shabbat Services).
• Advise on policy and supervise Kashrut standards for the synagogue and its kitchen facilities.
• Open to serve our entire community including interfaith families.
• Educate members and community on our history, culture, custom, Torah, Israel, religion, spirituality, and other aspects of Jewish life.
• Provide leadership in bringing an array of relevant and engaging programs to the congregation for adults, teens and children, and community.
• Help the synagogue become an integral part of the Jewish education of students and engage authentically with our youth as they progress from pre-school, toward bar/bat mitzvah and into their Jewish adulthood.
Member of our Congregation
• Meet with prospective members and ensure they are warmly welcomed into the community; encourage members to play an active role in membership growth and development.
• Partner with various committee chairs to develop and execute a comprehensive annual calendar of events.
• Promote Kesher Israel by leading the community in Tikkun Olam/Social Action.
• Attend meetings and participate in events of various community and Jewish organizations.
• Perform a variety of services both within the congregation and in the larger community as the need arises (e.g. Shabbat In the Park).
• Encourage interdenominational respect and understanding of Judaism