Golda Och Academy
Head of School
West Orange, New Jersey
About Golda Och Academy
Founded in 1965, Golda Och Academy is a well-established Conservative Jewish day school serving over 450 students from Pre-K through 12th grade. The school sits on two campuses and attracts students from a broad geographic area and over 70 synagogues. The school consists of a wide-reaching, engaged, inclusive community, and robust, inspiring faculty and leadership team. The Lower School (Pre-K through 5th grade) curriculum integrates Jewish learning, including acquisition of Hebrew and values-based education. The Middle School curriculum is integrated, yet carefully tailored for each grade. Middle School students are allowed increased independence in learning through a rigorous and meaningful dual curriculum that is appropriate for this age and phase of life. In High School, the academic goals are to fine-tune the students’ analytical skills and thinking processes so they can approach any text, whether it be a biblical text, a social studies primary document, or a physics problem independently and with confidence. There is also strong attention paid to preparation for university. For each division there are myriad curricular options to meet the educational goals of the students.
As part of the rigorous academic programming, Golda Och Academy also has a strong technology and STEM program; with a hands-on approach to learning, designated faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, students in all grades are exposed to STEM from exploration and discovery in the science labs and outdoor gardens, to creating and designing unique creations, like working robots and 3D printed Havdalah sets in the Dr. Lynne B. Harrison STEM Center. The High School robotics team has competed successfully in the U.S. and internationally.
The experience of being part of the Golda Och Academy community helps develop in students a confidence to challenge norms, engage in critical thinking, build deep and lasting friendships, learn new skills, foster leadership ability - whether in moot court or on the basketball court, and deepen a love of Judaism and Israel. Israel education at Golda Och Academy includes virtual visits to Israel for early childhood students, learning opportunities with Rishonim, mifgashim with Israeli peers, and school-wide celebrations and commemorations of Israeli holidays and days of remembrance. High School students experience Israel through hands-on travel programs; Na’ale, a ten-day trip for ninth graders and Neshama, a three month Israel experience, with a week of experiential learning in Poland, is a highlight and capstone of the GOA experience for the senior class. A full range of activities that support community outreach, Tikkun Olam, Jewish life and learning, the arts, athletics, and the development of a student’s complete identity round out the Golda Och Academy education.
Golda Och Academy nurtures the unique potential of each student through an exceptional Jewish and general studies education.
Innovative Jewish thinkers begin their journey here. Golda Och Academy students explore the world through the lens of Jewish values and develop a love of learning, a personal relationship with the State of Israel and its people, and a commitment to the betterment of the world through Tikkun Olam.
Love of Learning
Repair of the World
Love of Israel
Jewish Life and Learning
Mitzvot and Halacha
A successful candidate will demonstrate qualifications to serve in the following roles:
Emanate a strong vision for Golda Och Academy
The Head of School serves as the executive, educational and administrative leader, ensuring that the school’s values come to life. By engaging in the following actions, which champion the school’s mission and vision, the Head of School will advance the school’s future.:
1. Shape an academic vision for the school, recognize diverse learning needs and balance near-term and long-term educational priorities. Articulate the academic achievement milestones students are expected to achieve, and align the curricula, programs, and execution of the school’s academic and experiential learning according to the mission.
2. Create a culture that reflects/reinforces the school’s values, including a love of learning, strong and inclusive community connections, an environment of respect, love of Israel, a commitment to Tikkun Olam, and an awareness and practice of all aspects of Jewish life and learning. Ensure that employees of Golda Och Academy model these values, and encourage an environment where students and faculty are inspired and rewarded to participate in them.
3. Build, cultivate, connect, and engage a community of faculty, students, families, alumni, donors, and local and extended Jewish institutions, bringing people together in a shared commitment to Golda Och Academy with the intent to strengthen the school’s program for students. Lead with a commitment to inclusivity with respect to the diversity that exists within the Jewish community, as well as to race, sexual orientation, gender, and cultural background.
4. Implement Jewish principles, rules, and practices of the school, including establishment of a Marah D’Atra (community authority in Jewish Law) and an alignment of the school with appropriate halachot and practices. Strengthen the relationship with the local rabbis and synagogues and enhance engagement in the Jewish community.
5. Advocate for the school, its vision and mission, and act as GOA lead communicator and spokesperson, both in and outside the school community.
Execute the business and administration of school.
The Head of School is Golda Och Academy’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Administrative Officer and must establish and lead a team to ensure the effective administration and execution of school, including: maintaining academic standards, talent management and staffing, stewardship of the school’s resources and continued financial viability; working with the Board of Trustees, day-to-day operational effectiveness across facilities and technology; maintain highest standards in safety and security; regulatory compliance, reporting, and risk management; and emergency and crisis management. The head must have experience with:
1. Academic standards: develop the academic programming utilizing best educational practices, metrics, and measurements; attention to detail at each transition step, making sure students are ready for the next level and ultimately preparing the High School students for post High School programs and University.
2. Talent: attract, develop, evaluate, and retain a world-class team to execute and augment the school’s vision and mission. Cultivate and develop the future leadership of the school and make intentional investments to help them grow. Set standards for performance and hold
all employees accountable to deliver against them.
3. Financial viability and development: ensure the long-term financial viability of the institution, inclusive of financial resource management, and oversight of budgeting, and major and general donor engagement and ongoing fundraising; make wise investments that improve the
school and deliver superior learning to Golda Och Academy students; make strategic organizational decisions while safeguarding the educational experience of the students.
4. Working with the Board of Trustees: The Board/Head partnership is key in implementing the vision of the school. Goal setting, regular meetings with both the Chair and the Head of School Support Committee, clear and transparent communications and committee participation will go towards building this crucial relationship. Work with the Board of Trustees and the school's administrative team will also lead towards identifying and prioritizing areas for institutional growth, academic excellence and community engagement
5. Facilities and technology: ensure the support model for effective maintenance of the existing facilities and technology, as well as establish and execute a clear roadmap for future investments so that Golda Och Academy remains on the forefront of innovation.
6. Safety and security -both physical and cyber: coordinate with experts to establish and keep safety and security protocols updated. Communicate those protocols, as appropriate, with the community to instill confidence and a sense of security. Ensure that all employees of the school are aware and able to implement safety protocols properly and expeditiously.
7. Regulatory and licensing: ensure the school and faculty have all appropriate licenses and comply with all associated regulations, without exception.
8. Emergency/Crisis management: address and manage unplanned or unexpected situations by bringing in the appropriate people, both inside school and outside experts; communicate openly, provide transparency and leadership, while acting with care and consideration.
Live Golda Och Academy’s values and lead through example.
The Head of School must exemplify the values of the school through his/her character, statements, and behaviors. The Head of School is the chief ambassador of Golda Och Academy and must reinforce the values of the school in his/her interactions with all key stakeholders, taking personal ownership of the school.
He or She will:
1. Display sound judgment and a strong approach to decision making steeped in logic and facts, including during times of urgency and also in the daily course of running the school.
2. Lead with compassion and consistency; model the values of kavod and kehilla to students, employees, parents, donors, and all school stakeholders.
3. Apply and connect Jewish principles and learnings to current day situations.
4. Be dependable and collaborative; seek guidance from the community in solving problems and shaping the future, and proactively and effectively engage the expertise within the school’s community to inform decision making when appropriate.
5. Be entrepreneurial, act with a sense of ownership for the institution and its community, openly recognize potential problems and conflict, and take the necessary steps to address and resolve them to ensure the school’s continued success.
6. Communicate openly and transparently with the broader community; recognize the importance of communication in building community and take care to use his/her words thoughtfully and with consideration.
7. Create a value-based workplace that delivers respect, care, and the pursuit of excellence. Empower the staff and faculty to be continuous learners, deliver superior programs and be part of a collaborative team.
8. Embody a love of learning; make a point of celebrating curiosity and use appreciative inquiry and other methodologies to understand the needs and interests of students, teachers, and community. Additionally, he/she will take the time to actively improve and learn by pursuing feedback from others, engaging a network of educators, experts and coaches.
About the Area
West Orange is a wonderful community with a rich and vibrant Jewish life. There are numerous synagogues of all denominations within West Orange and the surrounding towns, access to kosher food and Judaica shops. The broader MetroWest community boasts one of the strongest Federations in the country, including their powerful partnership with the local day schools through the Day School Council. Less than 20 miles from New York City, a daily commute is common, with access to public transportation to NYC including train and bus.
Golda Och Academy does not discriminate on the basis of any classification prohibited under federal, state or local law. This policy applies to all areas of employment and includes recruitment, selection, promotion, demotion or transfer, layoff, recall, termination, rates of pay and other forms of compensation, selection for training and special assignments. As a religious institution, the school is permitted by law to prefer employing people of the Jewish faith where necessary to fulfill the mission of the school.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Amy Wasser, Senior Director of Field Advancement, Prizmah: Center for****************
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