Ritual Director, Suburban Chicago @ Congregation Beth Shalom

Ritual Director, Suburban Chicago

Congregation Beth Shalom (CBS) is a large, suburban, egalitarian, interfaith welcoming Conservative synagogue dedicated to perpetuating and affirming Judaism by strengthening the faith and nurturing the religious development of its members. More information about our synagogue can be found on our web site: http://xxxxxxxxxxxxx
CBS seeks a Ritual Director (RD) to join its professional staff. The RD’s primary responsibilities will be to coordinate the bar/bat mitzvah program and the Torah reading program. The RD will report to both the Cantor and the Ritual Vice President of the congregation.
The RD will work closely with clergy to enhance all realms of Jewish life in the synagogue and equally shall work in tandem with the Director of Education and Director of Youth Activities & Young Family Engagement to develop and enhance our youth Jewish spirits at all levels.
As a treasured addition to our adult learning core the RD shall help to develop further courses with the Director of Jewish Life & Learning. The RD will teach Adult Education class(es), as time will allow.
The RD serves as a role model and inspiration for Jewish engagement through personal example and presence at services, events and by performing a wide range of congregational duties. It is expected that the RD will collaboratively and enthusiastically innovate ideas and programs that will contribute to the enhancement of the congregation’s spiritual and learning experiences. Our RD is expected to take ownership of the job, pitch in wherever needed, and go above and beyond the “official” responsibilities of the job.
The RD is an ambassador of Congregation Beth Shalom, which should be a top priority when dealing with our congregants (both current and potential), as well as with the Board of Trustees, clergy, and staff of the congregation. The responsibilities enumerated below are based on our current requirements for a Ritual Director. These, along with additional duties and responsibilities, are deemed necessary to enhance the quality of religious and educational needs of the Congregation. CBS is an innovative congregation, expect that changes in responsibilities will occur over time.

The Ritual Director will work closely with and be mentored by our Cantor in all areas relating to education, administration, programming and liturgical responsibilities.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program
The RD is responsible for all aspects of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. Many, but not necessarily all of the responsibilities in this regard are enumerated below.
• Coordinate administrative aspects of the training program (e.g. correspondence, tutor assignments and scheduling, aliyot, special needs, family Torah readers).
• Participate in the assignment of Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates with other ritual staff members, Director of Education and Ritual Vice President.
• Tutor and mentor the majority of Bar/Bat Mitzvah students.
• Supervise additional tutor(s).
• Communicate with family/parents to ensure adequate preparation of all participants for upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
• Manage and resolve any concerns or issues as they occur.
• Design and teach Mechina classes.
• Order and/or create Bar/Bat Mitzvah workbook.
• Create and maintain Bar/Bat Mitzvah resource area on CBS website for use by families.
• Coordinate and/or lead, while partnering with the clergy, our Family Shabbat worship experiences.
• Coordinate (but not lead) with High Holiday Supervisor of children’s/family High Holiday services, providing specific ritual needs. Ensure all materials for these services are prepared and ready for transport to the various buildings.
• Occasional opportunities to lead Shabbat and Holy Day services in our main sanctuary.
• Periodic parallel service offerings may be something required to participate in when not obligated in the main sanctuary.
• Act as the Ba‘al/Ba‘alat-Kriah of the Congregation for Shabbat and holidays when competent lay readers are unavailable.
• Depending on ability and skills, may lead, in rotation with the Cantor, one of our High Holiday services.

Torah Reading Program/Yad Squad
• Coordinate all Shabbat morning, weekday and holiday Torah readers and provide support as needed (e.g. teaching, audio files, coaching), ensuring that there are competent readers for all aliyot.
• Read Torah at daily morning Minyan and Shabbat Mincha services when competent lay readers are unavailable.
• Identify, recruit, teach, develop and retain new Torah readers for Yad Squad (including post Bar/Bat Mitzvah).
• Keep detailed accounting of Yad Squad benchmarks.
• Coordinate and provide support (teaching, audio files, coaching) to Bar/Bat Mitzvah families and those celebrating other smachot to enable family members to read Torah competently.
Ritual Administrative Responsibilities Summary
• Check and maintain all ritual objects such as head coverings, tallitot, chumashim, siddurim, birkat booklets, Geniza, Torah scrolls, etc.
• Responsible for ordering ritual holiday items (e.g. lulav, etrog, shach)
• Prepare Shabbat Brochure with assistance from administrative staff.
• Roll Sanctuary and Beit Midrash Sefrie Torah to appropriate weekday, Shabbat and holiday readings.
• Participate in synagogue Board of Trustee, general staff and ritual staff meetings.
• Support the ritual needs of auxiliary groups (e.g. Men’s Club, Sisterhood, HAZAK, Chavurot).
• Serve as a central resource in the religious school as needed by the Director of Education. Help to prepare curricula in tefilah, ritual education, trope teaching, siddur Hebrew and Jewish music.
• Participate in review and evaluation meetings conducted by lay leaders appointed by the Congregation President.

• Develop and implement a music program for the Congregation that will encourage participation (e.g. introducing new melodies during services, forming a youth choir, exploring the interest in an adult choir or instrumental music group).
• Enhance the experience and engagement of Young Families by introducing new and innovative programming.
• Engage in various forms of continuing education including maintaining a continual course of study, keeping current with books and periodicals and attending conventions as appropriate.

Ritual Director Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree
Advanced education in Judaic studies preferred
Proficiency in Hebrew reading/comprehension
Proficient in the expanse of Liturgical services
Experience in teaching Torah/Haftarah
Willingness and ability to wear multiple “kippot”
Relatability to diverse constituencies of all ages
Commitment to living and modeling an observant Jewish life, according to the principles of Conservative Judaism
Musical ability in guitar and/or piano encouraged

Application Instructions

Job Summary

  • Duration: full-time
  • Benefits: paid vacation, sick leave, medical, retirement plans, leave early for Shabbat
  • Other Benefits: Cell phone allowance
  • Preferred Experience: Unspecified
  • Preferred Degree: Bachelors
  • Job Posted: 2020-02-20
  • Times this job has been viewed: 512 times
  • Job is posted for: 60 days
  • Job Categories: Education - Other, Jewish Studies Director, Music
  • Organization Type: Synagogue
Job Location
Congregation Beth Shalom
3433 Walters Avenue
Northbrook , Illinois 60062


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