Congregation Shearith Israel is conducting a search for the position of Youth Department Director. The purpose of this position is to help children form strong, positive connections to Judaism and our synagogue, transmit our traditions to the next generation, and build community. This newly-created role will be a valued member of the synagogue’s leadership team. The individual should be highly capable, creative, and energetic.
The Youth Department Director will work during the week and weekends to:
1. Develop and lead substantive and compelling Shabbat, holiday, educational, and social activities for youth and families throughout the year.
2. Coordinate with individuals to lead a variety of youth programs, including the congregation’s clergy, ritual director, and lay leaders. Similarly, contribute to enhancing Junior Congregation, the Hebrew School, and the Toddler Program.
3. Market and attract attendees to these programs via digital channels, social media, phone, and in-person.
4. Form meaningful relationships with young families.
• Content development:
o Prepare engaging activities with Jewish themes
o Develop contests and raffles that motivate the children to participate regularly and constructively
o Organize and lead exciting youth and family friendly events throughout the year
o Collaborate with the Hebrew School and Toddler Program educators to develop effective curriculum
• Relationship building:
o Attend all youth activities, form meaningful rapport with young families, encourage participation, and solicit feedback
o Coordinate activities with lay leadership and synagogue staff
o Organize and oversee the schedule of our Shabbat group leaders
o Communicate with our group leaders in writing, by phone and, occasionally, in person ensuring that they are properly prepared to lead groups each week
o Solicit feedback and participation metrics so we can continually improve the youth programs
o Track income and expenses, attendance, etc.
• Promotion and marketing:
o Promote synagogue activities, including newsletters and social media
The successful candidate should have the following experience, skills and qualities:
• BA or higher, preferred
• Experience leading synagogue youth, preferred
• Ability to attend synagogue most, if not all, Shabbatot and holidays
• Well-versed in and strong appreciation for Jewish life and studies; able to prepare and lead engaging and substantive activities
• Love for Israel
• Ability to prepare educators and youth activity leaders to run activities effectively
• Lots of creativity, warmth, energy, and an engaging personality
• Outstanding communication skills
• Strong organizational and time-management skills
• Ability to source appropriate activities and entertainers (e.g., puppeteers, musicians, etc.) and negotiate favorable terms
• Professionalism – meets deadlines, writes and communicates properly and effectively, uses technology appropriately, and comports themselves appropriately for in-person, telephonic, or electronic interactions
• A commitment to service within the community
• The highest integrity and personal ethics
Compensation commensurate with experience.
We are America’s first Jewish congregation, founded in 1654. We are very proud of our unique place in history and our rich Western Sephardic tradition (although youth leaders need not have prior familiarity with our Sephardic traditions). Everything we do—whether in our ritual or our cultural, social or educational programming—reflects a commitment to our standards of aesthetic and dignity. It is truly an honor to be part of such a venerable institution and contribute to its continued vibrancy.