Temple Emanuel, located just outside Washington, D.C., is seeking a dynamic, creative, inclusive, and collaborative Jewish educator to be our next Director of Congregational Learning (DCL). As a member of the Temple’s senior leadership team, the DCL will help us fulfill our educational aspirations, make our Religious School among the best in the region, and make our adult education program a draw for local recognition and adult membership. The ideal candidate will have the ability to imbue our education programs with a sense of excitement, openness, curiosity, and enthusiasm so that students and congregants of all ages want to learn, are engaged, and stay involved.
The Director of Congregational Learning is responsible for the overall day-to-day and long-term leadership and operation of the Temple Emanuel Religious School, youth programs, and community-wide adult and family educational programs. The DCL is also responsible for implementing Temple policies, decisions of the Board of Trustees, and recommendations of the Board of Education in matters pertaining to the education of the Temple Emanuel community. The Temple also runs a thriving Early Childhood Center that is administered by its own Director, with whom the DCL will work closely as described below.
The DCL performs these responsibilities in coordination with the senior staff, and in consultation with the Board of Education. The DCL reports directly to the Senior Rabbi.
AREAS OF FOCUS:
The DCL will have major responsibility over all aspects of the congregation’s educational activities, including:
- Directs and manages and leads the staff of the Religious School
- Creates a community-wide learning environment that can sustain a vibrant congregation through intellectual growth, spiritual awareness, and social responsibility
- Establishes and maintains a culture of Jewish learning that is innovative, inclusive, relevant, and consistent with the approaches and values of the Union for Reform Judaism, Temple Emanuel’s mission, and its Diversity Equity and Inclusion commitments
- Incorporates new and emerging directions in education generally and Jewish education specifically. The DCL fosters an environment that encourages innovation and risk taking, but is willing to adapt or reverse course when better ideas emerge. The DCL embraces technology as a tool in education; seeks new ways to ensure that students are engaged and works to meet the needs of all types of learners, consistent with the principles elaborated in the Temple’s DEI statement
The mission of the Temple Emanuel Religious School is to provide novel and thought-provoking materials that invite students to explore the language, myths, narratives, laws, symbols, rituals, art, music, and ethical teachings that shape Jewish identity. By doing so we enable students to experience the transcendent value of Judaism, and appreciate that it enriches every aspect of their lives.
Consistent with this mission, the DCL:
- Is familiar with up-to-date teaching methods that emphasize inclusiveness and participation and support the Temple’s emphasis on ethics and morality as essential to Jewish education.
- Builds upon our current curriculum and continues to develop and implement it as an innovative curriculum strongly grounded in Jewish pedagogy that empowers students and nurtures their enthusiasm for learning.
- Emphasizes faculty development and growth, is responsive to the needs of the faculty and welcomes innovation and ideas from faculty members. Holds the faculty to high standards.
- Works to ensure the Religious School contributes to, and is a key component of, the broader Temple community. Enthusiastically adopts an inclusive approach to welcoming new members of the community and plays a major role in engaging new members of the community.
The Director is responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing the Religious School curriculum, which is based on three pillars: authenticity, creativity, and moral courage. Consistent with these pillars, the DCL:
- Selects the appropriate subject matter, methods, and resource materials to ensure effective and sustained learning.
- Maintains a high level of knowledge regarding teaching techniques, resources and current trends in both Jewish education and education generally.
- Applies approaches to Jewish learning that incorporate a variety of student learning styles and experiential tasks.
- Implements policies and strategies to ensure that teaching methods and curriculum meet the diverse needs of all learners.
- Builds a robust program that meets the needs of students with special needs - a priority for the Temple
- Works to strengthen our post B’nai mitzvah learning and educational opportunities for teens.
- Works with the Senior Staff to implement the congregational mission and vision into the Religious School curriculum.
The DCL will work with the clergy, staff, and lay leadership to align the congregation’s educational goals with the congregation’s overall goals. That includes:
- Participating as an active member of the Temple community.
- Offering a robust adult education program and regularly developing community-wide programs that engage all congregants.
- Supervising and mentoring the Director of Youth Engagement to provide meaningful informal learning and social opportunities for children K-12 and their families.
- Partnering with the Director of the Early Childhood Center to introduce and familiarize children and families to the Religious School, and facilitate potential connections for long-term learning as part of the Temple Emanuel community.
- Considering congregational learning holistically, helping children and adults of all ages to learn together; developing and promoting programs that appeal to a variety of age groups.
- Understanding the need for sustained participation among the Temple youth, and ensuring that youth programs remain a high priority for our youth.
The DCL is responsible for:
- Proposing an annual budget for review by the Finance Committee and approval by the Board of Trustees.
- Reporting regularly on income and spending against the budget, and ensuring the careful management of Temple funds.
- The hiring, professional development, supervision, and regular evaluation of Religious School teachers, tutors and aides.
- Working closely with the clergy, staff, and lay leadership to administer all aspects of the Religious School program, as well as the overall congregational educational program.
- Working closely with the Cantor to administer, facilitate, and continuously improve all aspects of the B’nai Mitzvah process.
- Supervising the Director of Youth Engagement and overseeing youth development programming that fosters meaningful youth engagement.
- Serving as a member of the Senior Staff, and working with the staff team and lay leaders to implement the vision of the Temple.
Temple Emanuel has a vibrant Religious School program. Judaic instruction takes place Sunday mornings in person from 9am-11am throughout the school year for students K-7th grade. Students may enroll in Hebrew instruction beginning in 3rd grade. Hebrew instruction takes place in person on Sundays after Religious School. Students have the option to meet virtually with a Hebrew teacher during the week for 15-20 minutes. This innovation was introduced during the pandemic and has remained in place this year. The DCL meets with other senior staff and the Board of Education on an ongoing basis to evaluate our programs to ensure they are meeting the needs of our learners and their families.
Worship style of the congregation:
Temple Emanuel prides itself on engaging, meaningful, modern, and inclusive worship. We have adult and junior choirs and a band of Temple members. We feature occasional guest speakers for interactive discussions about pertinent issues of the day. Each grade in our Religious School leads a Friday night service during the year. We hold services every Friday evening and on Saturday mornings when there is a Bar/Bat/Brit Mitzvah. Our Torah study group currently meets on Saturday. Senior staff engage in regular discussions about how to expand our Shabbat offerings. The DCL will be integral to these discussions.
The prayer books used during the year:
Mishkan Tefilah, Mishkan HaNefesh. Students receive a copy of Mishkan Tefilah in Hebrew instruction that they take with them and use throughout their religious education and then in the B’nei mitzvah process.
Located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, we are part of a large and growing Jewish community that supports many different Jewish organizations, synagogues, and nonprofits. There are many opportunities for networking with other Jewish educators and professionals and many unique opportunities that arise because of the proximity to Washington and the surrounding areas.
- Has a clear perspective on how to achieve the congregation’s educational goals and an ability to work collaboratively to reach them; can quickly find common ground and solve problems.
- Has a passion for Jewish education and models the incentive to learn; encourages participation by the community as a whole.
- Has an in-depth knowledge of Jewish history, culture, ritual, Hebrew language, and global communities, as well as in-depth knowledge of issues in education generally
- Possesses strong organizational skills; capable of managing a large staff and a complex calendar; an effective manager of people who inspires good performance and is mindful of details
- Employs excellent written and oral communications skills and is a good listener and observer who responds to individuals’ needs, questions, concerns and requests
Degree: Masters in Education and/or Jewish Education (required)