Director of Education
Congregation Beth El, South Orange, NJ
About Congregation Beth El
We are a thriving and progressive Conservative synagogue located in a vibrant, diverse and family-friendly town outside of New York City. As one of the fastest growing congregations in North America, we serve well over 400 families, including 80 who joined during the past two years. We operate a preschool with 100 students, a Jewish Learning Center (religious school) with 180 students and provide daily services and programming for all demographics. Beyond our large religious school, many of our families send their children to a nearby Jewish day school. Walking through our doors, you will see and experience the following:
- All ages, genders and backgrounds engage in Jewish life and activities together. We welcome and affirm everyone- this includes Jews-by-choice, non-Jews living Jewishly, singles, Jews of Color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Social justice is embedded in everything we do. We learn, engage in direct service, and build partnerships across lines of difference in the greater South Orange Maplewood community.
- Deep commitment to living Judaism within and outside of our synagogue. We celebrate in the streets, engage meaningfully in both traditional and nontraditional ways in our homes, and have remained connected throughout the pandemic.
Strong collaboration exists between our committed lay leadership and our talented professional team. Rabbis Jesse Olitzky and Rachel Marder serve as Beth El’s spiritual leaders. Rabbi Olitzky has been in his role since 2014, was named on The Forward’s list of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” and is an active leader in bringing issues of social justice to the forefront of the national Jewish community. Rabbi Marder has been in her role since 2018, is a Wexner graduate fellowship alum and has taught at IKAR in Los Angeles and curriculum for the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
The past two years have highlighted just how important community, a sense of belonging, and spiritual grounding are in leading healthy and meaningful lives. We seek a talented educator committed to partnering with our clergy, lay leaders and professional team to reimagine our approach to the formal and experiential education of our congregation’s children and their families. Our congregation is excited to educate the minds, bodies, and souls of our children. We are searching for an educational leader to envision how to infuse Jewish learning in our classrooms, homes, the community, and the world around us. This role reports to Rabbi Olitzky.
Vision Setting and Leadership of a New Model [multi-year work to begin in 2022]
- Understand the interests of Beth El’s diverse stakeholders as well as the strengths and areas of opportunity of the current JLC model
- Research innovative models of excellence in the field of Jewish congregational education
- Partner with the rabbis to articulate a new vision for children, teen, and family education that is inclusive of both religious school families and day school families
- Create a multi-year strategy with clear timelines to bring the new vision to fruition
- Actively engage professional staff, lay leadership, and families throughout the process to learn from feedback and adjust the model
JLC Oversight and Family Programming
- Develop strong relationships with students, families, and staff
- Supervise and support the teaching staff through observation and feedback, modeling of lessons, professional development and curricular resources
- Set and maintain a safe and meaningful learning environment during all hours of school operation
- Maintain strong communication with families through routine newsletters and responsiveness via phone and email
- Coordinate and plan holiday and Shabbat family programs for the broader Beth El community
- While conducting the vision work shared above, pilot and evaluate elements of new models of teaching and learning
Teen Programming Oversight
- Manage and build the capacity of the teen program coordinator through weekly supervision meetings, skill building and observation of programs
- Support the teen program coordinator to strengthen the program offerings so that they appeal to a larger group of participants and their families
- Support the teen program coordinator to significantly increase participation and create a leadership pipeline of teens
You are someone who loves Judaism and the Jewish people. You also love working with children, creating meaningful learning experiences and community. You think boldly, yet you listen deeply. You are self-directed and highly collaborative. You are a big picture thinker who’s also committed to the details. You are kind, curious, dynamic, and dedicated. You’ve taught for 3+ years and hold a Master’s in Education.
We are open to candidates coming from a range of backgrounds and are committed to hiring for impact, rather than a certain set of experiences. The salary range for this role is $90,000 - $105,000, based on experience. Beth El provides excellent medical coverage at no cost to its employees. We also offer dental, vision, and life insurance plans. Compensation includes family and parental leave, vacation days, and professional development opportunities.
The target start date for this role is July 2022.
Interested candidates should submit their resume and a one-page cover letter to [email protected]. The cover letter should answer the following:
- Why are you interested in this role?
- What are your top three professional strengths? Please provide an example for each.
Get to Know Beth El and Our Rabbis
Interested in learning more about the role, Beth El and our rabbis? We invite you to a virtual coffee chat on Tuesday, January 18, at 7:30pm.
Meeting ID: 817 4550 2695
We encourage all interested candidates to attend!