The Director of Yachad is a senior staff member at Congregation Beth Elohim (CBE) of Brooklyn, New York. CBE is a dynamic, active synagogue of more than 950 member families, growing in membership at a rate of 10% annually over the past several years, with a large, innovative program led by a progressive and creative clergy team consisting of Rabbis Rachel Timoner, Rebecca Epstein, and Matt Green, and Cantor Josh Breitzer. The Yachad Director will be at the forefront of a vibrant Shabbat-centered religious school of approximately 500 students, that partners with families to inspire the next generation of Jews to love Judaism, Hebrew, and synagogue life. The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker, strong collaborator, and inspirational leader who possesses 5 or more years of experience in a religious school leadership role, along with a Master’s degree in Education, Jewish Education, or other relevant background.
The salary range for this position is $100-120K, with benefits and pension plans available.
The position entails focus in four major areas:
Faculty Engagement: Supporting and building the capacity of a robust staff that includes both full and part-time educators; facilitating professional development; mentoring the next generation of Jewish professionals.
Curriculum Development In conjunction with the Rabbi Educator and Learning Specialist, strengthen the existing Jewish Studies, Hebrew, and family engagement curricula, including through integration of social justice concepts and experiences, the use of the Onward Hebrew approach to Hebrew instruction, and the development of family learning opportunities.
Family Engagement: Support families in their journey through Yachad by attending to the needs of individuals and the community: develop strong, caring relationships with students and parents, attend to the communication and logistical needs of families, and develop parent leaders. Serve as the ‘face’ of the program, shaping the culture and setting the tone.
School and Program Management: Direct the daily functioning of the school through logistics, schedule, calendar, budget, and on-site supervision. Collaborate with the CBE program staff on synagogue-wide programs and systems.
We are looking for someone who is:
- An experienced organizational leader with strong staff management abilities, who can provide stability and direction as we grow the capacity of our full-time teachers.
- Highly knowledgeable and effective in creating excellent outcomes in both content and experience in the supplementary school setting with skills to foster dynamic, creative, content rich Jewish learning in a foundational environment of respect and kindness, as we build upon the traditions within our Jewish Studies program while integrating Onward Hebrew as a new approach to teaching the language.
- Warm and welcoming collaborator both within the larger CBE staff and within the Yachad community, with the ability to work within a large and complex organization, and inspire families seeking leadership and community.
If this is you, and you are interested in the position, please send a cover letter and resume to Rabbi Rebecca Epstein at email@example.com
About Congregation Beth Elohim
To introduce our congregation, and our unique combination of long history, rapid growth, neighborhood ties and commitment to pluralism, come for a walk around our shul on a typical Shabbat morning.
In our ballroom, where decades ago boxers used to hold matches, babies as young as six months old are swaying to the sounds of Shir L’Shabbat, our weekly service for families with young children, and one of the most popular points of entry for new members. Across the street, grade school children and their families are wandering into our historic sanctuary for Yachad, our main service and our answer to the perennial problem of how to get students to love Hebrew school. In the last decade, we re-imagined the traditional religious school model to become a Shabbat-centered school, bringing us together for prayer and in community.
On the bimah is Senior Rabbi Rachel Timoner whose teachings energize and challenge us each week, along with Cantor Josh Breitzer, whose music heightens our experience in the sanctuary. As services begin, you might hear a bit of whispering and bustle beneath the music, as parents wave to one another and children scamper to sit with the friends they’ve had since they attended the synagogue nursery school. Others sit quietly, staring at the majestic stained-glass windows. During our Torah service, we use our newest scroll, finished only a few years ago—the first one on the east coast produced by a female scribe. As the Torah service ends, children in grades K-6 are dismissed to class while older students remain in the sanctuary celebrating as their friends and siblings become B’nei Mitzvah.
During the announcement section of our various services, you might hear about an upcoming cultural event (recent guests include Yossi Klein Halevi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yotam Ottolenghi and Nicole Krauss), or a home-hosted Shabbat dinner with our vibrant 20s-30s group, Brooklyn Jews, led by Rabbi Matt Green. We might ask for help with social action projects, such as the homeless shelter that we host each year, or ways to assist and advocate for refugees through our community’s Refugee Task Force.
There’s an old joke that says that a Jew who moves to a desert island needs two synagogues – one to attend and another to refuse to step into. We’re the opposite: our members describe themselves as Reform, Conservative, halachic, “just Jewish,” Israeli and secular. Many of our members say they are surprised to have joined a Reform shul. But we are bound together by ancient principles, creative energy, and a commitment to seeing past the micro-gradations of Jewish practice. We embrace innovation, are committed to educating our children in this type of environment, and are drawn together by old-fashioned neighborhood ties.
Yachad is our innovative approach to religious school, and along with all our family and educational programs, it is overseen by Associate Rabbi Educator Rebecca Epstein. On Saturday mornings, hundreds of families participate in services and children are encouraged to sit up front, look at the Torah, think and talk about questions of ethics, faith and meaning, and take in the b’nai mitzvah rituals. After the Torah service, children are sent off to class, where full-time educators share teaching responsibilities with part-time teachers, using a thoughtful curriculum integrating menschlichkeit, Jewish Studies, and the Onward Hebrew approach to Hebrew. In addition, our post-b’nei mitzvah programming continues to expand, with an annual 8th grade trip to Israel, a delegation of students building to attend the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience, and a strong and growing confirmation program.
CBE’s success in doubling its membership in the last decade demonstrates that unaffiliated Jews in our community are open to becoming part of synagogue life. The rapid growth of our Yachad program is both a tribute to our community’s strength and a challenge, as we seek to offer innovative, creative, content-rich educational programming to the hundreds of children who fill our classrooms each week.
Welcome to CBE.