Seattle Hebrew Academy
Head of School
About the Seattle Hebrew Academy:
The Seattle Hebrew Academy (SHA) is a well-established Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School - the oldest and largest Jewish day school in the Pacific Northwest. Located in the heart of Seattle, SHA educates Early Childhood through 8th Grade students. The school has a rich history within the Seattle Jewish community, tracing its roots to the late 1800s - now joyfully serving third-generation families! SHA is situated in a majestic, yet modern campus that is a Seattle Historic Landmark. Located in a vibrant urban forest, the exterior of the building is awe-inspiring, and features spacious classrooms, a large gym, science and art labs, two performance stages, recreational fields, and several playgrounds.
SHA currently has over one hundred thirty-five students and forty-five staff members. We have benefited from the sixteen years of leadership of our current Head of School, Ms. Rivy Poupko Kletenik. Our smaller staff-to-student ratio enables us to cater to the individual needs of each student, while offering a rigorous and dynamic dual education. Ashkenazic and Sephardic heritages are included in educational programming that honors both traditions. SHA has a strong commitment to Israel and it incorporates Israeli history and culture into its curriculum. In non-pandemic times, students finish their SHA education with a highly-anticipated capstone trip to Israel. SHA is accredited by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools and is associated with Prizmah. Judaic and Secular studies are thoughtfully integrated through academics, Hebrew, music, art, physical education, and social emotional programming.
SHA leadership, together with a committee of community volunteers with healthcare experience, worked tirelessly throughout the summer of 2020 to create strict Covid-19 protocols. Proudly, SHA has been able to offer in-person learning for this school year in adherence with these vigilant health and safety guidelines. The school was featured in the Seattle Times as an innovative leader in safe pandemic learning options. SHA also offers remote learning for those students who cannot, or chose not to, attend in person.
An Early Childhood through 8th Grade Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School, we provide our students, families and community a school of excellence, founded on love of God & Torah and inspiring academics within an atmosphere of K’vod HaTalmid, student dignity.
We develop students of character and integrity through the pursuit of Torah knowledge and secular studies, connection to the State of Israel and commitment to our Ashkenazic and Sephardic heritage.
We prepare future generations to lead lives of service and mitzvot and to perpetuate our Torah and traditions in Seattle, Israel and worldwide.
The culture of SHA is based upon traditional Jewish Torah values. SHA is a dual curriculum school; teaching both Judaic and secular studies. Torah values are accentuated in all areas of learning at SHA. SHA builds community through observing and celebrating holidays together as a school with assemblies and holiday programs. SHA students are also active participants in the broader Jewish community. They are leaders in Seattle chesed, including consistent community service projects and regular food drives for Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Seattle. SHA proudly holds the record as the number one non-grocery food donor to the JFS food bank. Additionally, Torah values are prioritized and strengthened through Project Shalom, SHA’s positive behavior program.
With a strong focus on Project SHAlom, SHA teachers encourage the use of empathetic and kind language by students. Project SHAlom focuses on students being “Ready, Respectful, Responsible”. Additional expectations of Project SHAlom, for both students and teachers, include Being Kind, Showing Compassion, and Building Community. Class meetings, posters, and teacher language reinforce Project SHAlom expectations for student behavior and performance.
SHA graduates celebrate the richness of Judaism's religion, culture, and history, belief in social justice and a strong connection to Israel. SHA prepares future leaders of the Seattle and general Jewish community, with many of our alumni serving as active leaders within SHA, Seattle, and other Jewish communities around the globe.
Head of School Position:
SHA is looking for a dynamic Head of School who embodies a community leader and brings strategic vision to the school. This position will commence for the 2022-2023 school year. The applicant will be passionate about education, able to supervise and lead faculty, and manage the fiscal demands of a school. This will be a dynamic individual who can grow our student enrollment.
The Head of School is the CEO, and within this capacity will not only lead the day-to-day management of the school, but will be the public face of SHA within the community. The ability to interact with both internal and external stakeholders is key. The Head of School will be asked to work cooperatively with other Jewish institutions throughout the Seattle area and participate in community-wide strategic initiatives.
The Head of School will report to the Board of Trustees and work closely with the trustees to design and implement the school’s strategic priorities. Further, the Head of School will act as the chief fundraiser for SHA, working with the development committee and staff on cultivating donors and improving the school’s financial resources. The Head of School is charged with the primary responsibility for all operations and administration, including enrollment, financial stability, facility management, supervision of personnel, communal partnerships, implementation of the strategic plan, and educational mission.
SHA is looking for a dedicated educator with a love of learning and a commitment to Torah education and values. The right candidate will be a leader to mentor our staff and encourage educational growth. In addition, the Head of School will be approachable by both the parents and the students. This will be someone who will relate to children, enjoy their sense of humor and perspective, and empower them to grow and develop into well-rounded, community leaders.
SHA is looking for a Modern Orthodox, strong leader, with management expertise and a passion for Jewish education. Sense of humor, humility, compassion, perspective, and generosity are key attributes of a successful Head of School. The Head of School will exemplify SHA’s values and lead by example.
Personal Characteristics of a Head of School
A successful applicant will possess the following attributes:
Highest standards of ethics and integrity.
A sincere interest in each student and the ability to engage students of all ages.
Collaborative management style, with the ability to receive and act upon recommendations from others.
An empathetic listener, able to effectively address parent concerns.
Strategic thinker, able to see the big picture and identify necessary steps to enhance SHA today and in the future.
Time management skills, including setting priorities, prompt responses to communications, delegating responsibilities, and meeting schedules.
Approachable, energetic, honest and sincere individual.
Ability to identify and engage community, parents and students, regardless of their religious observance, background or geographic location.
Excellent communication skills, able to engage diverse stakeholders in the school’s vision.
Ability to cultivate and solicit existing and new donors.
Skillset to mentor faculty with an eye towards developing leadership potential to ensure the continuity of SHA in the future.
Passion for innovation, learning and continuous improvement.
Detail-oriented, curious, proactive and self-motivated.
Genuinely appreciates children, their charm and humor, and enjoys being a regular presence in the classroom.
A successful applicant should have the following expertise:
Proven track record as an organizational leader and/or educational administrator, with at least 3+ years as a school administrator, prior Head of School experience preferred.
At least 5+ years as an educator in a Modern Orthodox day school.
Advanced degree in education or administration preferred.
Familiarity with setting curricula and contemporary models of pedagogy and best educational practices.
A high degree of emotional intelligence and experience relating to and communicating with a diverse group of stakeholders.
Ability to understand financial reports and manage expenses within the budget.
Experience working with a religiously diverse community.
Proven ability to supervise, mentor and advise faculty.
Implementing goals and setting strategy to successfully fulfill those aims.
Ability to prioritize work in context of the school’s needs and objectives.
Ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm and diplomacy both individually and collaboratively.
Experience in fundraising, including donor solicitation from both individuals and foundations and spokesperson for development campaigns.
Ability to market SHA, and act as the lead spokesperson for the school.
Managerial acumen and excellent organizational skills.
Experience coordinating and working with a board of trustees.
Jewish Seattle is a multi-generational community that was established more than 130 years ago. Seattle boasts multiple Orthodox synagogues and schools, and is well known for its warm and welcoming neighborhoods. Its many synagogues represent all denominations, including one of the largest and most vibrant Sephardic communities in the country. We proudly offer mikvaot, eruvim, a Kollel, and multiple summer camps. Kosher food is available at several supermarkets with kosher butchers, bakeries, and take-out food. Seattle Kosher, as well as other national butchers, offer an online food delivery service. Our community is cohesive and resides in three main neighborhoods: Seward Park, Mercer Island and North Seattle. We have a strong Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Center, and the SAMIS Foundation that provides millions of dollars annually to Jewish day schools throughout the region.
Nestled in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, Seattle is surrounded by spectacular views of mountains and water, and is rich with outdoor recreational activities. Seattle is home to eight Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing and T-Mobile. Seattle is also a hotbed for new ventures in high tech and biotechnology and is fortunate to have a number of nationally renowned medical centers and hospitals, as well as the highly regarded University of Washington.
If you are interested in applying for this wonderful opportunity please send a cover letter and resume to Amy Wasser, Senior Director of Field Advancement, Prizmah Center for ****************