TEMPLE BETH SHALOM, NEEDHAM MA
Elementary Jewish Learning Guide (JLG)
ABOUT TEMPLE BETH SHALOM
Temple Beth Shalom is a warm, vibrant and diverse community of individuals and families, located in Needham, Massachusetts. We unite in a dynamic, ongoing relationship by a desire to embrace the values, traditions and teachings of Torah through the lens of Reform Judaism. Through worship, celebration, lifelong learning, and service to others, we seek to inspire spirituality, nurture personal growth, promote social justice, deepen Jewish experiences and enrich the life of each member. Learn more at: https://www.tbsneedham.org.
ABOUT MAYIM AND MAYIM TAMID
Mayim is TBS's elementary Jewish learning program for children in grades K-4 and their families. It is our version of what is often called "religious school" in other communities, but it is a completely different approach to learning in a congregational setting. Our approach is built on the core values of Deep Learning and Deep Relationships and includes weekly learning sessions and integrated opportunities for family engagement and strong relationship building. Mayim offers a distinctive thematic curriculum, through which children and educators partner to investigate big questions and engage in hands-on learning and long-term projects. Children also explore Jewish holidays and Hebrew, and the whole community participates in joyful t’filah (prayer and song) each week.
Mayim Tamid ("Mayim Always") is a multi-day program for children in grades K-4, which combines the after school care found in many extended day programs with the rich Jewish learning and community building found in our Mayim program. Each day, children enjoy playground time, homework time, healthy snack, Hebrew and Jewish learning, prayer and song, and free play. In Mayim Tamid, children experience Jewish life and cycles in real time, learning, celebrating and playing together in an environment that nurtures each child on their individual path. Children build deep relationships with their faculty, TBS rabbis and professional staff, and each other in a setting that helps children feel like the temple is their second home. Learn more at tbsmayim.org.
ABOUT THE ROLE
Mayim is facilitated by a team of full-time educators called Jewish Learning Guides (JLGs). This is not a typical “religious school teacher” position! As a JLG…
You will create opportunities for deep learning. JLGs plan thematic, project-based curricula and experiential lessons that are grounded in child development and guided by Jewish tradition. You will help children grapple with high-interest questions that invite them to participate in constructing their own learning.
You will foster deep relationships and cultivate a sense of belonging. JLGs work with small groups of children, creating an intimate setting for relationship building. With each group, you will engage in intentional community building activities that allow children to get to know one another and feel at home in our community.
You will be part of a team. JLGs work in small grade-level teams, supported by a curriculum coach, during paid time for planning and preparation each week. Together, your team will learn content on an adult level, craft curriculum, plan lessons, and reflect on the learning process.
You will form relationships with families. JLGs plan and participate in monthly Jewish Connection Experiences with children and their families outside of regular learning times. You will have opportunities to celebrate Shabbat and holidays together and to include parents in their children’s Jewish learning. You will send weekly email updates to families, thereby opening communication channels and creating additional opportunities for relationship building.
You will learn and grow as an educator. JLGs have paid time set aside for professional development. You will be challenged to develop your craft through group learning sessions, small group explorations, peer observation and feedback, and individual growth plans developed with your supervisor.
You will be treated as the professional you are. JLGs are full-time salaried employees and eligible for all benefits. You will be immersed and invested in one community, without having to worry about piecing together multiple teaching jobs.
If the following statements describe you, you are a great fit for this role!
You love children and have working knowledge of child development. You are joyful, present, and relaxed with children. You are curious about the child’s perspective and enjoy partnering with children to promote learning. You effectively manage groups of children, and you have meaningful interactions that make each child feel like a valued member of the group.
Your teaching approach is rooted in experience. You have worked with elementary age children in experiential settings, such as overnight or day camp, afterschool programs, and arts-based environments. You value and understand how learning happens in non-school settings, and you create rich learning environments that inspire curiosity and wonder.
You resonate deeply with Temple Beth Shalom’s mission and values. You are motivated and inspired to be part of a warm, vibrant, and diverse Jewish community and close-knit, hard-working professional team.
You are guided by Jewish values and grounded in Jewish tradition. You are a role model for children and their families through living and making explicit your Jewish values. You eagerly engage with Jewish practice, ritual, prayer, and holidays. You inspire children to develop relationships with Judaism that are ever evolving and growing.
You are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. You model anti-bias practices and cultural sensitivity. You are excited to be part of a community that is diverse by age, family make-up, religious background, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation. You embrace each person as having been created b’tzelem Elohim (in the image of God), and you work hard to create environments where every learner can thrive.
You are an excellent collaborator and team player. You are eager to partner with and learn from fellow educators. You thrive in an environment that values learning, relationships, collaboration, and joy. You are flexible, adaptive, authentic, confident, and humble.
You are an effective communicator and relationship builder. You easily develop rapport and inspire trust. You have a warm, energetic, and authentic personality that translates to building lasting relationships. You demonstrate deep listening in your interactions with others and respond in a way that honors each person.
You are a reflective, emotionally intelligent learner. You are self-aware and seek to learn and refine your skills. You are eager for feedback and engage in your own ongoing reflective practices. You recognize your own emotions and are able to engage with them in healthy ways.
You are able to participate actively in children’s learning. Our hands-on, active approach to learning includes frequent reaching, stooping, sitting on the floor, bending, occasional lifting and carrying, and supervising children’s active play.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
We are proud to have a transparent and equitable faculty compensation model that begins with a base salary ($47,000 for 1.0 FTE) and includes steps to account for experience, education, longevity, and performance. See our compensation model at t-b-s.me/facultypay. Full-time JLGs are eligible for all benefits, including medical insurance, dental insurance, retirement account, flexible spending account, and more.
Please email a cover letter and resume to Sara Berk, Director of K-12 Learning and Inclusion, at [email protected].