Teen Engagement Specialist / NFTY-NE Mentor

Temple Beth Shalom - Needham MA | Needham, MA, United States

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Posted Date 6/07/2024

The Teen Engagement Specialist / NFTY-NE Mentor is a shared full-time position between Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, Massachusetts (TBS) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). We anticipate that this role and responsibilities will be split 75%/25% on average between TBS and NFTY.



Working in collaboration with the K-12 Leadership Team, the Teen Engagement Specialist:

  • Serves as an important voice representing teens and their needs;
  • Shares responsibility for implementing the TBS Vision of Excellence in Learning
  • Supports teen leadership development;
  • Works directly with teens and builds relationships with teens and their families.

Teaching & Direct Service with Teens (10-12 Hours per Week):

  • Teach 11th and/or 12th grade on Tuesday evenings;
  • Plan and lead weekly BESTY (youth group) meetings on Thursday evenings;
  • Plan and lead a weekly 8th-12th grade chug (elective) on Thursday evenings;
  • Plan and lead monthly Mitzvah Corps program for 8th-12th graders;
  • Plan and lead teen pop-up events throughout the year (about 1x/month);
  • Coordinate the Madrichimot (teacher assistant) program;
  • Serve as chaperone for off-site BESTY events.

Nurturing Teen Leadership (2-3 Hours Per Week):

  • Work directly with the TBS Etzim Leadership Team (ELT) and Etzim Emerging Leaders, in partnership with Associate Director of K-12 Engagement;
  • Provide mentoring, support, coaching, and guidance to all teen leaders;
  • Work with teen committees to plan events and programs.

Shabbatonim, Trips, and Kallot (Build Up of Hours Before Each Event):

  • Plan and lead two Etzim Shabbatonim (Shabbat retreats) per year, in partnership with the Associate Director of K-12 Engagement and the teen ELT;
    • Winter Shabbaton (Friday-Sunday, January 31-February 2, 2025)
    • Spring Shabbaton (Friday-Sunday, May 2-4, 2025)
  • Staff Etzim trips:
    • 8th-9th grade to NYC (Sat-Mon, April 5-7, 2025)
    • 10th grade to RAC in DC (Fri-Mon, December 13-16, 2024)
    • 11th-12th grade to the South (Thu-Mon, March 6-10, 2025)
  • Staff Shorashim Kallot:
    • 5th grade at Project Adventure (Date TBD - will be a Sunday in the fall)
    • 6th grade at URJ Eisner Camp (Saturday-Sunday, November 16-17, 2024)

Relationship Building and Family Support (3-5 Hours Per Week):

  • Build relationships with teens in support of building a strong community
  • Attend Jewish Connection Experiences (JCEs) and other programs for families with teens;
  • Respond to parent inquiries and concerns.

Professional Development (5 Hours Per Week):

  • Meet weekly with the Associate Director of K-12 Engagement;
  • Participate in K-12 Year-Round Team meetings and learning sessions;
  • Participate in K-12 faculty orientation, learning days, and meetings;
  • Participate in monthly TBS staff meetings;
  • Participate in local programming, networking, and professional development available for teen educators through the Jewish Teen Initiative of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP);
  • Remain current with trends and research in the field of Jewish teen engagement.


  • General support of Etzim and other TBS K-12 programming;
  • Other duties as assigned.



Working in collaboration with the URJ North American Youth Team, local synagogue leaders, and volunteers, the Regional Mentor:

  • Develops, trains, and mentors teens, as they increasingly grow NFTY to become a movement that centers youth leadership and reflects the values, interests, and aspirations of teens and their peers;
  • Partners with Reform synagogues and like-minded communities;
  • Welcomes alumni/volunteers to be adult allies;
  • Creates a vibrant and powerful youth community where all can experience joy in their Judaism. 

Mentoring and Supporting NFTY-NE Teen Leaders (3 Hours Per Week – Mostly Evenings/Weekends): 

  • Work directly with the NFTY-NE regional board, leadership teams, and teen leaders, and provide mentoring, support, coaching, and guidance.  
  • Build meaningful and appropriate relationships with teens that help them feel supported and cared for while they actualize their power and build the region, utilizing trainings and strategies developed by the URJ North American staff;
  • With the support of the Director of Youth Organizing, create a strategy for engaging congregations, youth professionals, and teens across NFTY NE and Boston.

Regional Events (Build Up of Hours Before Events and Weekend Retreats):

  • Run events as onsite staff, ensuring they are safe, fun, and inclusive for teens;
  • Work in partnership with regional teen leaders to create and implement event and retreat programs that include written and detailed outcomes and embrace varied modalities of learning to create a holistic and inclusive experience for all participants.
  • Partner with camp staff and URJ staff to coordinate event logistics with facilitators and host congregations.
  • Attend and lead NFTY Northeast Winter Kallah at URJ Eisner Camp (Friday-Sunday, January 24-26, 2025).
  • Utilize the systems and structures built by the youth organizing team to support the implementation of NFTY events for grades 9-12 in the region by:
    • building the NFTY program calendar
    • supporting congregations hosting events
    • ensuring the centering of teen leaders, and
    • sharing publicity

Being Part of The NFTY/Youth North American Organizing Team (2 Hours Per Week + 1 Weekend): 

  • Take part in monthly meetings and trainings for the Regional Mentor team to expand personal knowledge of community organizing as a catalyst for community building;
  • Meet twice per month with your NFTY professional team point person to reflect on regional work and identify support needed;
  • Attend The Collab North American teen event (October 18-21, 2024) in person at URJ Camp Coleman.
  • Attend a virtual organizing training intensive in late Fall 2024 (dates being finalized).
  • Collaborate with the team of NFTY Regional Mentors to learn, celebrate, and reflect on the work of organizing a NFTY region.

Organizing Synagogue Leaders and Volunteers to Grow the Region (3 Hours Per Week): 

  • Meet 1:1 with congregational professionals, stakeholders, parents, and teens to build and strengthen relationships across the NFTY-NE region.


If the following statements describe you, you are a great fit for this role!

You love teens and have working knowledge of adolescent development. You are joyful, present, and relaxed with children and teens. You are curious about the teen’s perspective and enjoy partnering with them to promote learning. You effectively manage groups, and you have meaningful interactions that make each teen feel like a valued member of the group. You demonstrate strong and appropriate personal boundaries in relationships with youth.

You center teen leadership and embrace the role of mentor. You are passionate about working collaboratively with teens to help them actualize their power and create strong communities. You are committed to lifting up teen voices and “leading from behind,” and you are excited by the idea of going above and beyond to help teens grow into their best selves.

Your teaching approach is rooted in experience. You have worked with teens in experiential settings, such as overnight camp, youth group, travel 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, wonder, and reflection.

You are guided by Jewish values and grounded in Jewish tradition. You are a role model for teens through living and making explicit your Jewish values. You eagerly engage with Jewish practice, ritual, prayer, and holidays. You inspire teens to develop relationships with Judaism that are ever evolving and growing. 

You are an excellent collaborator and team player. You are eager to partner with and learn from fellow educators, staff, volunteers, and teens. You thrive in an environment that values learning, relationships, collaboration, and joy. You are flexible, adaptive, authentic, confident, and humble. You are a good listener and compassionate partner. 

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 have an open, effective, and timely communication style and a relatable and professional manner. 

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 action-oriented and full of energy for worthwhile activities. You work hard and set demanding but achievable personal work objectives and measure your own progress. You are not fearful of taking calculated risks and seizing emerging opportunities. 

You are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. You model anti-bias practices and cultural sensitivity. You are excited to be part of communities that are 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 participant can thrive. 

You are able to participate actively in teens’ learning and programming. Our hands-on, active approach includes frequent reaching, stooping, sitting on the floor, bending, occasional lifting and carrying, supervising active play, and travel via rental van, bus, train and/or airplane.

You resonate deeply with the mission and values of both the Union for Reform Judaism and Temple Beth Shalom. You are motivated and inspired to be part of a warm, vibrant, and diverse Jewish community and close-knit, hard-working professional team. love of the Jewish community and an appreciation of synagogues, NFTY, camps, justice work, and Israel programs and their ability to transform individuals and communities. Familiarity with Reform Judaism and the Reform Jewish community.


Employment Type:

  • Full-Time (35+ hours per week plus weekend events)

Reports to:

  • A member of the Temple Beth Shalom K-12 Leadership Team (TBD)
  • Also receives support from a member of the URJ North American Youth Team

Yearly Schedule:

  • August 1-May 31 (10 months)

Salary Range:

  • $50,000-$55,000 (10 months)


  • Sundays (schedule TBD, typically afternoon/evening for 5 hours)
  • Mondays (Day off)
  • Tuesdays (11:00 am-8:30 pm)
  • Wednesdays (10:00 am-6:00 pm)
  • Thursdays (12:00 pm-9:00 pm)
  • Fridays (12:00 pm-6:00 pm)
  • Saturdays (Day off, except when there is a weekend event)
  • 10-12 weekend events throughout the year

Time Off:

  • 3 weeks vacation time
  • 2 weeks sick leave
  • Federal and Jewish holidays as outlined on the TBS staff calendar
  • Floating time off: When required to work on a Saturday or Monday for a weekend event, you will receive a floating day off to use the following week.

Start Date:

  • August 1, 2024
  • We can be flexible for candidates who have already committed to summer 2024 positions that would require a later start date.

Temple Beth Shalom and URJ strive to be a welcoming and inclusive workplace that is committed to creating a diverse environment. We promote strenuous policies and practices of equal opportunity and diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is our objective to recruit, hire, and retain the most qualified individuals including those of any race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. Our equal employment philosophy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, compensation, benefits, training, promotions, transfers, job benefits, and terminations. Temple Beth Shalom and the URJ encourage applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.  


Send a resume and cover letter to Rachel Happel, TBS Senior Director of Learning and Engagement, at [email protected]


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


NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam, personal growth, youth empowerment, and deep connections, all rooted in Reform Judaism. NFTY’s Northeast Region includes Connecticut (excluding Fairfield County), Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, upstate New York and Montreal, Canada. Learn more at https://nfty.org/regions/northeast

Salary50,000.00 - 55,000.00 Annual
Full Time
Education - Other | Engagement | High School Teacher | Youth Groups Advisor
Part Time Categories
Other | Youth Advisor
Organization Type
Other | Synagogue | Youth
Retirement Plans | Dental | FSA | Life Insurance | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Paid Vacation | Parental Leave | Sick Days | Vision
Job Location
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