JRC seeks a joyful, inclusive, dynamic, and visionary Jewish leader. We hope it's you!
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC), one of the Reconstructionist movement’s largest congregations with close to 400 households, sits on the border of Evanston and Chicago, creating a special mix of suburban and city culture. Our members represent a beautiful diversity of Jewish observance, gender and sexual identity, race, and interfaith families. We are a hands-on, highly collaborative congregation with members leading many aspects of community life with our dynamic staff and clergy.
Kehillah, JRC’s boldly reimagined weekly religious school, provides Shabbat-based programming infused with joy and allows us to experience Shabbat at JRC together as a multi-generational community. Our Kehillah learners engage in a project-based curriculum and monthly family learning while Minyan, Brit Mitzvah services, and other learning opportunities happen throughout the building. Additionally, our 4th through 7th graders participate in one-to-one Hebrew tutoring culminating in Brit Mitzvah preparation that fits the individual needs of each student and family.
JRC continues to reimagine and reconstruct experiential education for all ages. We are redesigning our programming for families with infants through preschool, which will replace our conventional part-day preschool. We look forward to redesigning programming for our smart, savvy, and socially engaged teen community.
The JRC Education Director will develop and lead Reconstructionist Jewish educational programming for children from birth to grade 12 and their families. The position reports directly to Rabbi Rachel Weiss (she/her) and JRC’s Executive Director Micky Baer (she/her).
JRC seeks an experienced educator who approaches educational programming with excitement, energy, innovation, and respect for all ages, stages, and abilities. Our Education Director will demonstrate a passion for working with children and infusing Reconstructionist Jewish values in all aspects of education. The ideal candidate will have significant teaching or educational leadership experience and will be detail-oriented and strategic in planning and communicating. We are seeking a joyful, inclusive, dynamic, and visionary Jewish leader.
Essential Job Functions
Religious School (Kehillah)
- Operations: Administers JRC’s Shabbat-based religious school and family education program (Kehillah), one-to-one Hebrew program, the Tuesday night 7th-grade program, and the 8th-grade through high school programming. Works with staff and lay leaders to create and manage school policies and procedures.
- Curriculum and Educational Design:
- Creates, implements, assesses, and refines a multi-dimensional, engaging, experiential, and project-based curriculum for grades PreK-12.
- Designs and runs monthly dynamic family education programming for children and adults to learn together and in their own cohorts.
- Guides one-on-one Hebrew tutoring curriculum.
- Networks with Jewish and secular programs to bring in current and relevant methodologies, tools, and technologies to enhance programming and pedagogy.
- Disability Inclusion: Collaborates with inclusion specialists to ensure programming is accessible for all brains and bodies, including neurodiverse students with varied learning needs.
- Supervision: Hires and provides ongoing supervision to all teachers, madrichim, and educational support staff, including administrative and inclusion staff. Plans and implements professional development; creates and promotes a positive work culture.
- Lay Leadership: Creates and maintains an active and supportive religious school committee of lay leaders in collaboration with JRC’s VP of Education.
- Additional Programming: Designs and executes holiday programming for families and youth at JRC services and events, involving teens in leadership.
Youth and Teen Programming
- Youth Group: Redesigns and implements youth programming including youth group, social programming for teens, leadership development and youth leadership council.
- Madrichim: Supervises and grows robust madrichim programming.
- Immersive Teen Programming: Designs and leads immersive teen learning opportunities, including youth group retreat and social justice learning experiences.
- Collaboration: Seeks opportunities to collaborate with other synagogues’ youth.
- Lay Leadership: Creates and supports an adult advisory committee to support youth programming.
- Program Development: Creatively seeks opportunities to use JRC’s Early Childhood space that is vacant with the closure of JRC’s preschool. Develops and executes program ideas designed to bring families with young children to JRC that bridges programming between the early childhood community and Kehillah.
- Outside Collaboration: Identifies, contracts with, and oversees external partners and vendors to deliver programs.
Administrative and Financial Oversight for all Education Programs
- Details: Prepares and manages budget, reviews financial reports, monitors income and expenses for all educational programs within the context of JRC’s overall budget; reports payroll to executive director.
- Teachers: Maintains regular and clear communication with teachers, providing an open door to collaborate and reflect.
- Families: Writes and produces weekly newsletter for school families. Builds relationships with parents and regularly communicates regarding children’s experience.
- Congregation: Prepares occasional updates for congregation and board.
- Collaborates with Communication and Marketing Coordinator and lay-led marketing team to generate excitement for and increased enrollment in programs; communicates with prospective families.
- Collaborates with networks of Jewish educators.
Inspiring, Visionary, and Creative Educator: The Education Director (ED) infuses excitement and joy into educational programming, and brings imagination, creativity, flexibility, and vision. They have strong knowledge of educational practices and experiential learning.
Collaborative Leader and Supervisor: The ED brings excitement to working with people of all ages and is willing to learn from and teach the community. They are an experienced supervisor who can empower and develop staff, while giving and receiving constructive feedback with a growth mindset. A collaborative team player who is also decisive, they build strong relationships and are confident in problem-solving with all stakeholders.
Embracing of Diversity: The ED celebrates being part of a diverse congregation and implements anti-bias and anti-racist practices and curricula. The ED proactively creates an environment of respect that welcomes all.
Strategic Multitasker: The ED is able to see and communicate the big picture, while managing multiple tasks simultaneously. They demonstrate excellent time management and organization skills by meeting deadlines and managing all administrative, logistical and program details.
Tech-Savvy: The ED feels confident in using a wide variety of office technology, is familiar with education technology, and has ideas about implementing tech to create a more connected home and school community.
Excellent Communicator: The ED has strong verbal and written communication skills. The ED is visibly present and accessible as part of the fabric of the community.
- Minimum of 5-10 years’ experience in education, preferably with experience in Jewish community education
- Masters in Jewish Education or related field preferred
- Supervisory management experience
- Administrative capability including logistics and budgeting
- Demonstrated ability to build relationships with youth, teens, families, colleagues, and community leaders
- Strong knowledge of Hebrew and Judaism, knowledge of Reconstructionism or excitement to learn about Reconstructionism
- Available to lead programming on Shabbat mornings (Saturdays), with occasional presence at Friday evening Shabbat services and other Jewish holidays. Exemplifies and is able to champion the mission and values of JRC
Salary and Benefits
The salary range for this full-time, exempt position is $70,000-74,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include three weeks paid time off, most Federal and State holidays, paid Family and Medical Leave, professional development allowance with related days off, option to participate in medical, dental, and pension plans. To maintain a work-life balance, the ED will mutually agree with supervisors on regular days off and flexible scheduling.
Please send your resume and letter of intent to [email protected].
We strongly encourage applications from candidates reflective of the communities JRC serves, including BIPOC/People of Color, those in interfaith relationships, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and individuals with varied identities and backgrounds, including Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.
If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to [email protected]. or 847-328-7678.
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation is an Equal Opportunity employer.
Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis through February 24.