Empower congregants to make change on a local, state, and national level guided by Jewish values, texts, and history. As the Director of Social Justice and Special Projects, you’ll receive training in the areas of engagement and community organizing and learn how to seamlessly weave Judaism into your work as a Temple engagement professional. To excel in this role, you must consider justice an inherently Jewish cause.
Who you are:
• You believe that aligning people through shared goals can lead to powerful change.
• You are excited about engaging Jewish lay leaders through social justice conversations as an expression of their ongoing spiritual practice and values.
• You love to connect with people from different racial and religious backgrounds, listening with genuine empathy and curiosity.
• You are comfortable with the idea that social change occurs through multiple modalities, including volunteering, education, advocacy and organizing.
Areas of Responsibility:
• Serve as lead staff liaison to the Social Justice Council, ensuring that there is representation from all areas of Temple – works closely with the Vice President of Social Justice and Director of Volunteer Engagement.
• Cultivate relationships between community organizations (local, state, national) and Temple.
• Provide staff leadership to Tzedek at Temple (systemic justice), working with clergy and lay leaders and Director of Volunteer Engagement. Tzedek at Temple works closely, in partnership, with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (national and state) and Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI) – the local chapter of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF).
• Collaborate with entire clergy/staff team, including schools, to ensure social justice is incorporated into Temple-wide values, actions and initiatives.
• Monitor Temple Responds Facebook group and work closely with the communications department to ensure social justice priorities are widely and creatively articulated on variety of platforms.
Based on the calendar and life cycle of Temple Emanu-El, there are often finite special projects that require the creativity and oversight of an engagement professional. These projects are generally done in partnership with lay leadership and therefore require both project management and cultivation of lay leadership. Specific responsibilities and staff partners will vary in each project. Current projects include:
• Temple’s Sesquicentennial (150th Celebration)
• Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), including:
- Engaging with our LGBTQ community (Pride Shabbat, Pride Festival, Gender Identity Training)
- Helping implement the Within our Walls and Beyond: Anti-racism Task Force 3-5-year strategic plan
General Information about Education & Engagement Team Members:
The work of education and engagement is the primary function of all staff members, clergy, and lay leadership at Temple, as we strive to help every Temple member (and prospective member) develop a connection between other congregants, friends, family, Jewish community, Jewish people, the world, and God. Staff will help connect members with aspects of synagogue life that meet their spiritual and communal needs, through our core values of Prayer, Learning, Israel, Social Justice and Community. Members of the Engagement & Education Team are partners with clergy, lay leadership, and each other. We value each other’s opinions, respect each other’s time and pitch in during crunch times. Together we strive to make Temple a place of sacred encounters.
Education & Engagement Team Members Share Responsibility For:
Holiday & Shabbat Celebrations –
• Staffing of Shabbat and holiday services are also distributed and shared among members of Temple staff. Work with appropriate staff and clergy to support Shabbat worship when agreed upon with your supervisor.
• Collaborate with volunteer committees, clergy liaison and other staff to plan and implement various holiday celebrations throughout the year. Specific holiday responsibilities are distributed and shared among members of Temple staff.
- Social Justice Shabbatot may include: MLK Shabbat, HIAS Refugee Shabbat (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Juneteenth Shabbat, Pride Shabbat.
Leadership & Relationship Cultivation –
• Communicate and interact regularly with other teams and a wide array of members to build relationships and engage individuals in congregational life and leadership responsibilities.
• Coordinate with lay leaders, clergy, and staff to set goals in your areas of responsibility and translate them into action.
• Contribute toward the identification and cultivation of future Temple leaders.