Position Title: Director of Youth and Family Education and Engagement
Overview: Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) and Abundance Farm, in Northampton, MA, seek a passionate, visionary leader to serve in the new role of Director for Youth and Family Education and Engagement (DYFEE). The DYFEE will oversee and further strengthen existing programs for families with children from birth through the teenage years. We are looking for someone who possesses the vision, creativity and initiative required to develop new activity and engagement models to cultivate our growing and diverse communities.
Our Communities: Jewish life in Northampton is experiencing an unprecedented period of growth. Congregation B’nai Israel welcomes those whose backgrounds and observances span a wide and diverse range of beliefs, perspectives, and practices. We embrace interfaith and blended families, LGBTQIA and BIPOC individuals and families, and proudly provide a spiritual home for those with diverse perspectives, aspirations, and abilities.
We offer a wide diversity of programs and initiatives for youth of all ages, including our Gan Keshet preschool, ALMA Youth and Family Education program for pre K-8th grade, and teen youth groups and internships. In addition to our eclectic 430+ member households, we engage hundreds of additional youth and families in our region each year through our schools, chavurot, Shabbat and holiday programs, and our onsite community farm (Abundance Farm).
The starting point for our educational philosophy is that our students and families can only embrace Jewish life and tradition if they discover its inherent love and grandeur for themselves. Our passionate staff works hard to create a culture that is profoundly joyful, one in which our students and their families feel respected, engaged, and inspired. Our educational approach is informed by a variety of pedagogies and teaching modalities including project/problem based learning, emergent curriculum, mindfulness, place-based, and anti-racist education.
On a given day on our campus, you might find students baking matzah in our outdoor, wood-fired oven after grinding the flour from wheat they helped grow themselves, or gathering sap to boil down into maple syrup as part of a Tu B’shvat celebration, or learning about the period of the Omer by spending quiet time outside observing daily changes in our orchard. You might find teens engaged in a discussion of race, power, and privilege, or helping to lead a fire-building chug for younger children.
Abundance Farm, our educational, food justice farm, is a unique feature to our community and a national leader in the field of Jewish Community Farming. The Farm serves more than 5000 people annually through a variety of educational, justice, and community oriented programs. The Farm serves as an outdoor classroom for our campus’ three schools (Gan Keshet, ALMA and Lander-Grinspoon Academy, our neighboring K-6 Jewish day school).
We have recently acquired a new 2+ acre abutting property where we intend to develop a Farm-based Center for Ecology, Spirit, and Culture. This Center will play a central role in our community’s development over the next 50 years, and represents our ongoing transformation from a traditional synagogue model to a campus hub for Jewish life in our region. The DYFEE will collaborate closely with the Farm Director, Director of Environmental and Agricultural Education, and Gan Keshet Director as part of an integrated campus education team.
Direct and manage ALMA (our Youth and Family Program for pre K-8th grade), including curriculum development and implementation, teacher supervision and mentorship, and programming
Provide strong vision and leadership for all youth and family programs (birth-12th grade), including our licensed preschool
Develop new engagement models and activities for a diverse and growing community - within and beyond CBI
Reimagine our B’nai Mitzvah program, supervising the B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator and shepherding our families through this important milestone
Oversee, develop, and implement community holiday programming
Lead our education and engagement team with vision and collaborative spirit, bringing together and mentoring the youth and family educators and administrators who work with our children from early childhood through the teen years
Collaborate with senior education and engagement staff
Build strong personal relationships with youth and families
The Ideal Candidate:
Advanced degree in Jewish Education, Rabbinic Ordination, or a related field
A minimum of 5 years experience in informal or formal Jewish education
Fluency and comfort with the standards of practice of Conservative Judaism
Track record of championing diversity, equity, and inclusion
A minimum of 3 years experience as a supervisor
Extensive experience with curriculum development
Advanced competency in Hebrew language
Deep well of Jewish literacy, including traditional prayer and ritual for home and synagogue
Comfort teaching about Israel through a contemporary and pluralistic lens
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
An ability to balance big vision with operational details
Ability to integrate feedback
Leadership and mentoring skills
Effective communicator across constituent groups including parents, students, teachers, and funders
We welcome candidates with experience in one or more of the following areas:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Special Education and Inclusion
Visual or Performing Arts
Mindfulness and Meditation
Dance and Movement
Training in Social Justice Education generally, or Anti-Racism and/or Israel/Palestine Education in particular
Salary and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $70,000-$80,000. We value the time you spend outside the office as much as we value the time you spend with us; our flexible scheduling and vacation policies are designed to encourage a healthy work/life balance. Benefits include: 10 days of paid vacation, 8 federal holidays, time off or compensatory time off for religious Jewish holidays, professional development allowance, 2 personal days, 6 sick days, health insurance with 80% covered by CBI, participation in CBI’s 403(b) plan with 2% match after the first year of service, synagogue membership, and free religious school tuition. We also offer our staff free fruits, vegetables and flowers from our Farm and challah from our wood-fired oven. This is a full-time position with responsibilities on Shabbat mornings, occasional Friday nights, and Jewish holidays. We do not have a Sunday school however we often run youth and family programs on Sundays.
Application Process: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. To apply please send your resume, a cover letter, and contact information for three profe********************e position to begin in Summer 2021. Although our priority is hiring for a permanent position, we also welcome those interested in a one-year interim position. If this is your dream job but your timeline does not align with ours, please reach out to us.
CBI is an equal opportunity employer and supports workplace diversity. We carefully consider applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Candidates who identify as LGBTQI, BIPOC, Sephardic, and/or Mizrahi are strongly encouraged to apply.