Sutton Place Synagogue
Director of the Jackson Religious School and Family Engagement
We are excited to hire the next Director of the Jackson Religious School and Family Engagement. This person is responsible for the educational vision of our Religious school, while leading the Jewish educational and engagement experiences for all our families with school aged children (whether they attend JRS or a local Jewish Day School). As a senior member of the synagogue’s leadership team, overseeing one of the core pillars of our congregation, our Director will guide and inspire our Jewish education and experiences for our learners and their families, in alignment with the broader mission and vision of the synagogue. The director will be a part of and build community, develop connections between our families, each other, and the synagogue, and serve as a role model to people of all ages. As a leader on the professional staff, the director will work with our synagogue’s team to recruit and retain families and will oversee the administration of our Religious School and supervise affiliated programs.
This position is full-time, exempt, and reports to the senior Rabbi.
You are a Jewish Educator
- You are a Jewish educator with both leadership qualities and practical experience, ready for the next step in your professional life.
- You demonstrate commitment to Jewish learning and Jewish living through creative outreach, programming, and classes
- You are experienced working with students of all ages and their families and you enjoy teaching them and forging connections
- You are comfortable with Jewish content to lead various services that engage students and their families such as a family shabbat and youth High Holiday programs
You are a Community Leader
- You have an entrepreneurial spirit and are ready to dream about new ways of connecting with Jewish youth, who can build on proven experience in implementing your ideas
- You support an egalitarian approach to Jewish living and worship and have an awareness of the breadth of the Jewish community in 21st century America and the larger worldwide Jewish community
- You are an experienced network weaver, with the capacity to build relationships and connections with community members across a wide variety of demographics (youth, teens, families, colleagues and community leaders)
- You inspire others as a role model to congregants as you engage in Jewish living by participating in the religious and communal life of our synagogue
You are a Senior Administrator
- You have experience in a leadership capacity at a religious school, or in another similar/related field (Jewish camping, informal or experiential Jewish education, Hillel, other Jewish programming) which may include supervisory experience
- You have experience with project management
- You possess the organizational and computer skills required to effectively direct a school, and you understand important issues regarding health and safety, key uses of social media, and various modes of communication
As an integrated member of the SPS professional leadership team and community, you will dream, interact, collaborate, plan, and participate with other team members, lay leaders, and families, to develop and implement synagogue programs, celebrations, and other activities of the congregation. Demonstrating a keen ability to work independently yet understanding the importance of collaboration with staff and volunteers to further the mission and goals of the Synagogue is critical to this role.
- Oversee and implement the day to day and overall curricular needs of JRS by working closely with a talented faculty and in partnership with families and students
- Guide our Jackson Religious School, establishing Jewish curricular, educational, and programmatic vision for learners through birth-12th grade
- Supervise and lead a talented faculty including our tot and family coordinator and teen coordinator, and teaching when needed
- Partner with and support families and learners by remaining in contact with them to share in the growth of their children as they progress from year to year
- Work diligently with the Professional team at SPS, the Religious School Committee, and JRS families to create meaningful community connections and relationships amongst participants in the school by organizing educational and programming opportunities for students outside of the JRS schedule
- Partner with and support lay leaders and our religious school committee
- Craft and implement Shabbat, tefillah and holiday experiences for our families, in partnership with clergy and other key synagogue professionals and active lay leaders
- Work closely with the heads of our other educational pillars to think strategically about the educational arc of our students and their families
- Thoughtfully plan recruitment and retention efforts for families in the JRS age cohort, in partnership with our Director of Membership. Responsible for the main administrative needs of the school in partnership with the Director of Synagogue Operations.
- Serve as an effective administrator for our Jewish educational programs and experiences through masterful communication on all relevant platforms with key attention to detail to running of the programs
- Aid in both recruitment and retention for the community by working closely with our Director of Membership and our Administrative Operations Associate
- Bachelor’s degree is required. Applicants with advanced degrees in education, social work, or a related field is preferred. Rabbinic ordination or cantorial investiture is welcome.
- Full time, On-Site, position. There are Shabbat and Jewish holiday responsibilities during the school year. Select evenings and Sundays as required to effectively implement the job. (see compensation and benefits below for more details)
Compensation & Benefits
- The salary range is $85,000-$100,000
- This is a full time position; 4 weeks vacation (two weeks during school vacations and two weeks during the summer)-with Thursdays as a standard day off for weeks when working on shabbat
- Health Insurance Coverage
? Between 85-95% (plan dependent) of individual Health Insurance is covered by SPS with a small contribution by the employee
? 100% of Vision and Dental Insurance is covered for the employee
- Facilitates participation in a Health FSA, TransitCheck FSA, and Dependent Care FSA
- Life and disability insurance
- Family leave
- Professional development budget (including dues, professional learning and conferences)
- Synagogue Membership
- Tuition discounts for the synagogue’s educational programs
- Facilitate participation in 403(b) retirement savings plan
About Sutton Place Synagogue (About Us)
Sutton Place Synagogue is a midsized congregation on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan. It is big enough to be “full service” for people at all ages and stages with varying interests, and it is also small enough for people to have personalized attention with the clergy, the administrative, programmatic, and educational teams, with the ability for all members to have many opportunities for involvement and connections. Recognizing that families enter (and re-enter) Jewish life through various avenues, JRS is one of the core pillars of the synagogue, alongside Kaplan Nursery School, an exciting and welcoming play-based Nursery School, and the Block Center for Jewish Exploration and Engagement, the newest addition at SPS, which seeks to create meaningful moments for the community to connect with Jewish life in ways they haven’t even yet imagined.
The synagogue recently completed a strategic plan, resulting in the writing of a new mission statement.
Sutton Place Synagogue is:
Your Jewish Home, wherever you are…
- We inspire through spiritual connections, meaningful prayer, and impactful tzedakah
- We educate through outstanding schools, compelling adult programming, and opportunities for growth and leadership
- We engage through personal relationships, with a warm and vibrant membership shaped by local and global experiences
…a community for every stage of life
Our synagogue community is committed to providing its members and those seeking to connect with the best opportunity to strengthen Jewish identity, joyfully inspire intellectual curiosity, and develop the skills needed to engage in a fulfilling and meaningful Jewish life. This happens through our schools, camp, programming, religious services, and most importantly, the deep relationships that we strive to build between our community members.
About the Jackson Religious School
The Jackson Religious School is a pillar of Sutton Place Synagogue that engages our families with children Pre-School through High School. This vibrant learning community prepares its students to participate in Jewish life within and beyond Sutton Place Synagogue. JRS is a warm, intimate community that prioritizes flexibility and meeting the schedules and needs of our students while making their learning engaging and enjoyable through our 3 different tracks. Students, in our youngest grades attend 1 day a week (preK-through 2nd). Once they are in 3rd-6th grade, they have three options (Monday/Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon/Shabbat morning, or Wednesday/Private Tutoring). Our 7th graders attend one day a week. Our teens have various options of engagement throughout each month.
JRS offers meaningful, interactive learning that allows our students to personally connect to their Judaism. Our teachers build deep relationships with our students, and our small class sizes allow for individualized attention and learning. We are excited for our new Director to think strategically and creatively about the best ways to connect with our students to optimize learning.
At JRS, We Value:
- Relationships-Relationships between our students, our faculty, our director, our clergy, our families, and our congregation
- Torah-Connecting to our Jewish story–our history as a people in both Israel and the Diaspora from the Bible until today.
- Meaningful Jewish moments-These moments are created by understanding and participating in customs and mitzvot
- Spirituality-JRS gives our students an opportunity to explore their relationship with God through prayer and to engage with our sacred texts
- Jewish People and Community-We reflect on what it means to live a Jewish life and explore our commitments within and beyond our community
Our Hiring Process and Timeline
- We will review applications on a rolling basis beginning in early February until the position is filled.
- We will begin conducting initial interviews in mid February, though we will not be conducting interviews between February 19-26 as it is a vacation week for many in our community
- We will invite finalists for interviews ideally in early March (though not March 19-26 as numerous members of our community will be on a synagogue Israel trip); Ideally, we will make an offer in April at the latest
- We expect that our Director of JRS will begin on July 17, 2023
How to Apply To apply please submit a cover letter and a resume to [email protected]
SPS is an equal-opportunity employer, and we are committed to racial equity and accessibility. SPS does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, sex, age, gender identity or expression, or other status protected by applicable law.
Not sure if you meet 100% of our qualifications? If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in our work and what you hope to bring to this role.