DESCRIPTION OF PARK AVENUE SYNAGOGUE
Park Avenue Synagogue (PAS) is a growing, dynamic, and thriving synagogue community with highly engaged clergy, congregants, staff, and Board. Its mission is to inspire and educate people to live passion-filled Jewish lives. With origins dating back to 1882, PAS is one of the largest and most vibrant congregations in North America. Its over 1,700 member families are highly involved in community activities through its recently renovated physical campus on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as well as through its virtual campus. PAS was an early adopter of virtual technology, which has enabled it to not only continue to thrive during the pandemic, but also expand its reach beyond its New York-based membership. For example, during the most recent High Holidays, tens of thousands of non-members from around the world joined PAS for its meaningful, spiritual, and professional services and programming.
Rooted in Conservative Jewish tradition, PAS is a forward-thinking, innovative institution that values continuous improvement and holds a high standard for excellence. Its clergy and staff include more than 160 talented individuals who enable and further Rabbi Cosgrove’s vision centered around three core pillars: learning, community, and prayer. In addition to its many prayer services, life cycle events, and leading role in liturgical music and cantorial concerts, PAS provides many lifelong learning opportunities through its young family programs, early childhood center, congregational school, and a wide range of teen, young adult, and adult education classes and programs, including engaging in national thought-leading religious conversations. Its committed and supportive membership, combined with its strong financial position, uniquely positions PAS to continue both thriving in the current environment and leading the way in defining and capitalizing on transformative opportunities for the community’s future.
DESCRIPTION OF JOB
Park Avenue Synagogue seeks an experienced and dynamic professional to be its newly created Director of Content and Innovation (DCI). Reporting directly to the Senior Rabbi, the DCI will be responsible for ideating, inspiring, and implementing all adult education and cultural programming. Building on the strong foundation of current classes and programs, the DCI will achieve excellence by taking our programming to even greater heights and adapting it to the changing landscape of synagogue life.
Synagogue Programming has grown substantially in the past four years. Over the previous year, PAS programming was able to successfully pivot to a fully virtual model:
• Synagogue Programming has historically served an active and dynamic community of adult learners offering a broad spectrum of well- attended classes, seminars, Study Circles, Lunch & Learns, lectures, an annual Shabbaton learning weekend, a successful
Friday-night keynote dinner speaker series, the Florence Melton program, Music Salons, concerts, and holiday-specific programming.
• In addition, programming has engaged a greater number of members through Arms and Committees, including Women’s Network, Men’s Club, Young Couples Group, T*******Interfaith Families, 20s & 30s, the Caring Network, Mitzvah Day, and Arts Engagement.
• Since the pandemic, the number of attendees has grown significantly for many virtual programs, drawing thousands of participants (members and non-members) from literally around the world. New programs have included our 2020 Summer Keynote series, virtual travel education, and expanded Israel education opportunities.
• Pre-pandemic, travel education was an area of exponential growth and engagement with marquis trips to Israel, Poland, Russian, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, and Cuba, as well as several domestic destinations, including a civil rights trip to the South. In 2018, PAS led the largest single synagogue mission to Israel with 450 participants on five tracks, including a Leadership Shabbaton and Board meeting pre-trip in Tel Aviv. We anticipate resuming our travel education efforts when public health permits us to do so.
While we look forward to returning to our physical campus soon, we will be creating a “phygital” (hybrid physical and digital) framework, which will likely continue well into the future. As the world returns to a continually evolving post-COVID life, we expect that travel education and experiential education will once again be an area of continued growth. We are in the process of leveraging new technology to help us engage the broadest possible audience (in NYC and nationally) to achieve our vision. We will include additional resources as needed.
• Inspire and execute ambitious Synagogue Programming vision
• Ideate, explore, and implement innovative program ideas
• Work closely with the Senior Rabbi and lay leadership
• Motivate, mentor, develop, and supervise the Adult Education and Synagogue Programming team
• Understand the current goals for Adult Education and Synagogue Programming and take them to new heights
• Strategize, oversee, and implement robust travel education program
• Lead the budget process for these departments
• Provide general management and administration of the Synagogue Programming department
• Be a visionary in our “phygital” capabilities and future growth
• Team with leadership on imagining a sustainable financial model for the department
• Team with Communications on appropriate strategy to engage both PAS membership and the wider community
• Execute partnerships with outside organizations that further our programmatic goals
• Ability to teach Adult Education classes would be a plus
• Dynamic, positive, and results-oriented personality
• Proven ability to set and achieve an ambitious programming vision
• Forward thinking – palpable desire for proactive, innovative, and relevant programs
• Pulse on the PAS community, larger Jewish world, and overall current events and connections with thought leaders and experts relevant to
• Both a “doer” and “leader of leaders”
• Creative and unafraid of innovation, as well as solution oriented – willing to be both a trend watcher and trend setter
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Strong and respected leadership and demonstrated management skills
• Proactive – always one step ahead in terms of programmatic vision and execution
• Ability to coordinate timely and appropriate programmatic response with clergy team to the news of the day
• Ability to identify (maintain/manage) partnerships with outside organizations
• Decision maker with the ability to say “yes” and “no”
• Strong Jewish knowledge and sensibility
• 10+ years of experience in relevant or related field(s)
• Competitive salary commensurate with experience
• Senior staff benefits