Peninsula Sinai Congregation Job Description for Education Director
Peninsula Sinai Congregation (PSC) is a thriving community that is successfully emerging from the impact of the pandemic. As a warm, embracing, egalitarian, and traditionally committed community, PSC is poised to resume the kind of growth we experienced in the five years prior to the pandemic – growth in membership, growth in spirituality, growth in tikkun olam, and growth in our ability to share the joy of Judaism in the burgeoning hub of the Bay Area’s North Peninsula Jewish community and the northern border of Silicon Valley.
We are looking for an inspiring, engaging, warm, and highly motivated Education Director who will build upon the foundation we have created and lead us to fulfill our pedagogical and programmatic potential. Our youth education vision is that the next generation, from birth through 12th grade, must be the recipients of the highest-quality Jewish education and programming in a way that supports and shapes each individual child’s “derech” (pathway).
This vision is supported by our voluntary membership commitment model (no more traditional dues). We were the first non-Orthodox synagogue in the country whose community committed to incorporating religious school as a part of the voluntary model, removing financial barriers from the Jewish education of our youth. This model offers an opportunity to develop a highly inclusive, creative education experience for our youth and families.
Tachlis of our Education Director Role
We are seeking an Education Director who is ready to create, implement, and manage our vision for youth education and programming while guided by our core values of:
- Welcoming Jews from a wide range of religious backgrounds and experiences, engaging them into our traditional, egalitarian, and inclusive community, and fostering their growth in their personal Jewish practice with a positive and welcoming approach;
- Making Torah, Israel and Jewish tradition, culture, and identity relevant to daily life;
- Infusing joy, meaning, and energy into religious practices for worship and life cycle events;
- Instilling our children (and their families) with a love for Judaism and a desire for Jewish learning, and cultivating lifelong synagogue engagement.
We are a small, yet mighty, team comprised of the Senior Rabbi, a Cantor, a Director of Operations and Administration, an office assistant, and some incredible volunteers. We are in search of someone who enjoys being a part of a collaborative team and thinking out-of-the box. The Education Director should be able to proactively sink their mind and hands into challenges facing the Jewish world and creatively reimagine Jewish learning and experiences. Our Education Director will manage and supervise PSC’s youth education and programming, birth through 12th grade, including our religious school program for grades K-7 (Kesher). If you are a rabbi or rabbinic candidate, there may also be opportunities to engage in occasional pastoral and lifecycle rabbinic functions.
Here are a few examples of life in our community. We are excited to find an Education Director whose knowledge, imagination, innovation, and ambition will create an even more comprehensive program for youth education and programming.
Imagine a Bustling Shabbat: It’s Shabbat morning. Seventy-five regulars are in the sanctuary. Fifteen kids are enjoying Tot Shabbat with their parents. Twenty Kesher parents are engaged in Torah study, while their K-5 kids alternate between their classrooms and the sanctuary for Shabbat programming/education during the monthly Kesher Shabbat program that replaces their usual Sunday program. Meanwhile, the 6th and 7th grades are leading services in the sanctuary as part of their B’nei Mitzvah studies. Everyone comes together for the end of the service and the community Kiddush that follows. And where is the Education Director? The Education Director has a hand in it all: engaging parents in Torah study, checking in with classes, guiding madrichim (teacher assistants), teaching a class, popping in and even leading Tot Shabbat, and creatively planning, with the teachers, an impactful Shabbat learning experience. We are looking for an Education Director who will:
- Develop, coordinate and manage pre-school and school-age Shabbat programming.
- Act as Principal of Kesher and perform all of the related curricular decision-making and administrative functions.
- Recruit, organize, and guide volunteers, including the Education Committee, who promote the welfare of youth education and programming at PSC.
Envision a Unique Holiday Experience: It’s Erev Simchat Torah. Kids in K-7 attend Kesher Chag, an opportunity to learn experientially about the holiday and study with their parents. The broader congregation then joins for a community dinner. Ultimately, close to 150 people from the community come together for singing, dancing, and the unfurling of the Torah. As Education Director, you may find yourself coordinating volunteers to prepare a family-friendly meal, planning a text study, and working with teachers to plan “ruach”-filled, holiday friendly programming. We are looking for an Education Director who will:
- Create, implement, and supervise age-appropriate curriculum and integrated Holiday/Shabbat programming throughout the year; envision and oversee Youth High Holiday programming; and collaborate with the Senior Rabbi and Cantor to create family Shabbat programming.
- Identify and work to achieve the inclusion of Day School families into programs beyond the B’nei Mitzvah program.
Picture a Typical Mid-Week Evening: On any given Tuesday evening 10-15 teens gather for Kabbalat Torah to study topics they’ve helped choose and develop, such as immigration, identity, discrimination, social justice, Israel, etc. Right before their class even begins, they have the honor of being part of a minyan for our weekly Tuesday maariv service. Separately, after the 3rd-7th grade students finish their weekly Wednesday afternoon learning, parents and their B’nei Mitzvah students come together monthly on Wednesday evening with the Education Director and clergy to engage in a dynamic, experiential year-long B’nei Mitzvah program about what it means to become a Jewish adult. Here is where you come in as Education Director:
- Reimagine and lead the B’nei Mitzvah program, including related class and individual instruction; develop B’nei Mitzvah related family education programs; and guide families through the B’nei Mitzvah process.
- Revamp and coordinate the Post-B’nei Mitzvah/Teen Program, including a weekly class (Kabbalat Torah), and work to increase post-B’nei Mitzvah participation to ensure that our teens remain actively involved in our community throughout high school.
- Supervise youth group programming and leaders, including those related to Jewish camps, BBYO, and USY.
Sound like the right position for you? Here’s what we’re looking for:
- Someone who is a self-starter, a creative thinker, and a “doer,” who has experience generating and implementing new ideas, who excels at motivating volunteer leaders to take action in partnership with clergy and other staff, and who is prepared to roll up their sleeves to do what is needed for our community.
- Someone who loves children and has a passion for learning and teaching and will be a dugmah (a model) for living a proud Jewish life.
- 8+ years Jewish classroom instructional experience, and a Master of Education or equivalent experience.
- 5+ years of experience in leading a synagogue youth educational or similar program, including work with elementary, junior-high or high-school programs.
- Proven knowledge of top Jewish and non-Jewish educational environments and pedagogies, and fluency in Jewish practice and Torah.
- Strong proficiency in Hebrew.
- Comfort educating and working with parents.
- Demonstrated record of success and comfort working in a collaborative environment and with diverse individuals.
- 5+ years experience with staff and budget management.
If you are looking for a part-time position, we are open to working with you to define your responsibilities in a more limited role.
Compensation Package (based on a full-time position)
Salary plus benefits range: $90,000-$110,000, commensurate with experience.
We look forward to hearing from you. If you are interested, please email a cover letter and resume to [email protected].