Director of Education, Youth and Family Engagement

MakomNY | Bethpage, NY, United States

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Posted Date 3/14/2023

We are expanding our dynamic and innovative team! 
A rare opportunity - Might we be a good match?! 


ABOUT MAKOM NY: What is a New Kind of Jewish Community?

MakomNY is a new model of Jewish community on Long Island, NY. We launched in the summer of 2015, aiming to reach the large Jewish community on Long Island that is disconnected, unaffiliated or simply looking for something new or different. We are an inclusive, vibrant, pluralistic Jewish community, actively pioneering what Jewish life looks like, in order to secure a Jewish future. We fulfill the emerging and diverse needs of Jews today. MakomNY is a place where all people, from all backgrounds, are warmly embraced. Whether you come from a traditional Jewish background, a liberal Jewish background, or you have little or no experience with Judaism, at MakomNY everyone is welcome.

Our community is just that - a Jewish community. Our primary focus is on building relationships and meeting people where they are in their path of Jewish connection. We foster engagement and connection within Jewish life through the power of community. Our community comes together for joyous holiday and family celebrations, the spirit of music and song, sacred moments in prayer, intimate Shabbat dinners, deep and interpretive Torah and Text study, personalized B'nai Mitzvah experiences, meaningful relationships and creative learning for every age. We strove to bring a greater sense of purpose and mindfulness to everyday life. We make a difference in people's lives through collaborative experiences with clergy, social action, cultural activities, Israel travel, women's events, community service, charitable giving, and cause-related initiatives.

We are grateful so many individuals, couples and families have found a place, a 'makom', in our community over the past 8 years, and they believe in our mission.  As the first suburban community model of its kind, we have found success where others have struggled. Our unique financial, membership and engagement models allow us to include anyone and everyone choosing to participate in Makom events to be part of our flourishing community. 

In our 8th year, we are committed to continuing to meet the needs of those who connect with Makom. We think creatively and innovatively about Jewish life and Jewish community, and we are determined to expand our reach, opening doors to those Jews on Long Island who are seeking a different kind of Jewish engagement, and even those who do not realize they are in need of Jewish community. 

Under the leadership of Rabbi Deborah Bravo, in partnership with education and program director Sherry Gutes and a thoughtful team of teachers and volunteers, our community is thriving and growing. We share space for some of our programs in the Bethpage Worship Center, formerly a Conservative synagogue. Other programs take place in the Rabbi's home, diners, parks, restaurants, event spaces and more. Shabbat is central to our community, with twice-monthly musical Shabbat experiences, Shabbat morning and afternoon B'nai Mitzvah services, Torah study, Shabbat family programs, and of course our famous Shabbat dinners. Our programs are created because we see a need or a want, not because they have always been on the calendar. And they are always re-evaluated and changing every month, every year. 

To learn more about our community, check out our website at, see us on FB live events, or simply reach out to us for a conversation or to attend an upcoming program. Meeting the friends of Makom and experiencing our 'makom' is the best way to learn about who we really are!


OUR MOADON: What Makes our School Program Unique?

Moadon (literally learning lounge) is our version of Hebrew school. It was created for all the good and positive that a culture of learning and education can possibly be in a caring, compassionate community. Our Moadon began with 22 students in the Rabbi's basement in 2015. Our goal in that first year was to create the highest level of Jewish learning, community and engagement that is possible in a once-a-week Hebrew program. We want our Moadon to be a relaxed and casual atmosphere, which enables us to support the needs of our children and ensure they thrive in our environment. We want them to leave happy, supported, and wanting to return... and they do. 

Our Moadon goes beyond a typical religious school; it is meant to guide each child to develop their own Jewish identity while learning and ‘doing Jewish’ in a warm and supportive atmosphere.  We aim high for every child, but that path looks different for each student, and we embrace and support their differences. 

Moadon brings the best of Jewish experiential learning, music, summer camp and home into our learning ‘lounge’. Our Rabbi, educator and lead teachers work with small groups to bring Jewish learning alive.  The children actively engage in all aspects of learning and are eager to return each week for our different model of learning and engagement.

As our Moadon has grown from 22 to over 250 students in just 8 years, we have learned to adapt our model to accommodate the numbers, creating intimate spaces, adding sessions and still having our educator and rabbi as an integral part of our teaching team. When our students walk in to Moadon, the vibe is unique and very 'Makom style', and it continues throughout the day.

Our days are divided into 3 sections: Hebrew learning in small groups by level; Judaic learning in larger groups, camp style, and tefillah led by Rabbi Bravo or members of the staff. The Hebrew learning is aleph-bet based, and then prayer-driven, with holiday and ritual words, prayers and songs filling the gaps. We utilize games and activities so that children enjoy the learning and see their accomplishments. Our Judaic session is based on a spiral curriculum, with units on Torah stories, Israel, history and ritual. We do a combination of large group and break-out groups, with frequent use of videos and technology. Though our educator and rabbi plan many of the lessons, our teaching staff also takes turns creating these lessons. We incorporate aspects of holiday learning into our curriculum, though holiday learning is primarily left for our Shabbat family programs, spread throughout the year. Our tefillah piece is group led, with an excitement and focus on singing and chanting the prayers and understanding them. The students enjoy this so much that they volunteer at our Shabbat services to lead prayers. 

Our Teen Programs are a growing aspect of our Moadon. We encourage our teens, 8th-12th graders, to engage in Makom in whatever ways make sense to them and their families. Though many of our teens were students in our Moadon and became B'nai Mitzvah through Makom, we have a growing number of teens whose families connect with Makom after they have complete B'nai Mitzvah. At this point, our teen programs include but are not limited to the following, and we encourage them to participate in worship leading, become teen cantorial soloists, reading Torah and engaging in mitzvah projects. 

  • Madrikhim Program for teens committed to learning about teaching and volunteering with our younger students each week.
  • Teen Moadon which meets 2x/monthly in the evenings, for a combination of social, education and mitzvah programs.
  • 11th/12th grade seminar with Rabbi Bravo which focuses on end of high school issues and college preparation. 
  • Teen travel which can be anything from a day in Philadelphia to a weekend of Jewish civil rights in the South to participation in the Religious Action Center's L'takein weekends. 


OUR VISION: What is Our Plan for the Next Five Years? 

As our community continues to grow, we have continued to expand our vision for the short and long term. At this juncture, our focus is on growing our team and therefore allowing even more and different kinds of programs, learning and worship experiences. We intend to grow our staff in the next few years so we will have 2 clergy, an educator and a program director, as well as a team of teachers and volunteers that continues to expand. Having said that, we are more concerned with the kind of people who are part of our team, rather than resumes or boxes that can be checked. Our team is comprised of a group of committed Jews, mensch’s, who care most about people and Judaism, and how to help people thrive with Judaism as a vehicle on this journey. 

At this juncture in our history, our educator has truly been working two full time jobs - education director and program director. At this time, she will become our program director and B'nai Mitzvah coordinator, with an emphasis on development and relationship building, and our new educator will focus more on the school, teens and families. The details of this vision can be seen below. Our current educator will help transition this new educator, along with our rabbi.

Our team members are chosen because of who they are. Our goal is for each team member to bring their own unique experience and perspective to our team, which will ultimately enhance our community at large. 


OUR TEAM: What Does this New Position Look Like?

Our new educator will primarily oversee our Moadon program, with additional responsibilities for our Teen Programs and Family Programs. This position includes tasks such as:

  • Hiring, supervising and supporting our team of teachers and Moadon volunteers.
  • Overseeing big picture curriculum development and lesson planning on a week-to-week basis for the large group programs.
  • Ongoing communication with parents, responding to their questions, building relationships with them and helping to create a parent community.
  • Managing registration for students, overseeing all of the administrative aspects of the registration process.
  • Coordinating family programs, approximately 3-4 programs annually on Shabbat afternoons for students K-7th grades.
  • Overseeing our teen programs, planning the programs, engaging extra staff or volunteers, and recruiting for the teen programs.
  • Planning the budget for Moadon, tracking payroll, and coordinating with the bookkeeper and Treasurer on all financial matters connected to Moadon.

OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER: What Qualifies a Person to be Part of the MakomNY Team?

Our MakomNY team members have many different qualities that work together in partnership one with the other. We love that we complement one another and our strengths are all different, so that we truly can meet the needs of all of our Makom participants. We are looking for an educator who is: 

  • A true team player.
  • Passionate about Judaism, Jewish history, Jewish ritual, Jewish learning, Jewish community.
  • A self-motivator.
  • Creative, innovative and willing to try new things.
  • A true teacher, who loves working with children and sharing their own love of Judaism.
  • Fun and funny, does not take themselves too seriously.
  • A good communicator, as good communication with parents, students and teachers alike is crucial.
  • Administratively solid, with knowledge of or the ability/interest to learn: word, excel, power point, Dropbox, mail chimp, Davka, social media and other such programs.
  • Background and/or experience in teaching, Jewish education, Jewish studies
  • Strong knowledge in Hebrew and Judaic studies. 

OUR PROPOSAL: Compensation and Benefits

 This position will pay based on experience and background. It is posted as a full-time position, based on Long Island. Some of the benefits include:

  • Flexible schedule, with some remote options
  • Generous paid time off
  • Health Insurance
  • Professional Development
  • Participation in all Makom events

We are focused on finding the right person, and we are happy to be flexible to engage that right person. 


OUR PROCESS: What is Our Hiring Timeline and How Can You Apply?

Our goal is to have our new educator in place before the new school year in September, 2023. Ideally, we would like them to begin August 1, 2023.

We will have rolling interviews throughout the Spring, with the hope of bringing you to visit our community by mid-Spring.

Please submit your resume with a cover letter that tells us why you are a good fit to join our MakomNY team. 

Letters and resumes may be sent to [email protected]

We thank you for your interest in joining the MakomNY Team!

Salary55,000.00 - 85,000.00 Annual
Full Time
Principal | Youth Groups Advisor
Organization Type
Education & Schools | Synagogue
Leave Early for Shabbat | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Paid Vacation | Parental Leave | Sick Days
Job Location
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