February 2, 2024

Director of Congregation B’nai Israel Preschool

Full Time
Congregation B'nai Israel
Millburn, NJ

About Us
Congregation B’nai Israel Preschool is a warm, nurturing, joyful, play-based environment where our youngest learners develop their social-emotional, language, cognitive, gross motor and fine motor skills through play, experimentation and hands-on experiences. With programs for toddlers through pre-K, it is a place where Jewish customs, holidays, Shabbat and basic Jewish values such as kindness to people and animals, friendship, empathy, and respect for the environment and the rights of others are part of daily life. Our graduates are well-adjusted and well prepared for kindergarten. Currently staffed by 10 teachers and an administrator, the Preschool is housed in a fully separate, modernized area of the synagogue, built in 2011, and includes two fully fenced up-to-date playgrounds.

The Preschool is open to the community regardless of religious observance or background. Core school hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with before-care from 8:00-9:00 a.m. and after-care from 2:30-6:00 p.m. We also offer an eight-week summer camp program.

The Preschool is an integral part of Congregation B’nai Israel, an inclusive, family-friendly, multi-generational, egalitarian congregation that pursues lifelong fulfillment through education, observance and social action. Distinguished by its passionate professional and lay leadership and affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the congregation is open to all levels of Jewish experience and strives to create a Jewish community in tune with our modern lives. In its centennial year, the congregation is a fixture in the Millburn/Short Hills community and our beautiful building has been recognized for its architectural and artistic significance.

Viewed as an essential component of the synagogue’s core mission and values, Congregation B’nai Israel Preschool is often a family’s first introduction to the synagogue community.  It is in this vein that we are seeking an experienced, energetic, organized and nurturing Director to lead and grow the Preschool and camp, and to develop Shabbat and holiday programming for families with preschool-aged children. The ideal candidate is a warm, approachable person with a passion for childhood development and interacting with the students and their families, and has experience creating a collegial and cooperative work environment among experienced teachers who are passionate about their roles, The Director will work closely with the clergy team, executive director and lay leadership of the synagogue. This is a full-time position with occasional nights and/or weekends (for example to attend Preschool Board meetings and to oversee Shabbat and holiday programming). Anticipated start date is July 1, 2024.

Key Responsibilities
Administrative/educational: advance the mission and vision of the Preschool building upon a 49-year legacy and reputation as a recognized local leader in early childhood education and development; develop and implement an effective preschool curriculum based on current research in early childhood education, with a focus on Jewish values and traditions; participate in professional development opportunities and stay current with trends in early childhood education and Jewish education; collaborate with clergy in establishing and implementing the Judaica curriculum; implement best practices related to secular and Jewish early childhood education; develop school calendar; oversee enrollment.

Personnel: Oversee hiring, development, retention and compensation decisions for teachers; assist staff in setting and working toward professional goals; enable a culture of collaboration, teamwork, communication and high engagement; inspire and lead staff, providing the direction, supervision and oversight to become an even more cohesive and motivated team who, together, develop and maintain a cooperative and supportive professional atmosphere; provide staff with the structure and resource to create an environment of curiosity, lifelong learning and ongoing professional development.

Communication: Bring energy to the family community by ensuring effective and ongoing communication with parents regarding curriculum, policies and events; provide information to families and staff about individual students’ learning, behavior and experiences; address sensitive issues with families using strong interpersonal skills to help them make informed decisions.

Community Building: Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for children, parents, and staff; build the synagogue community for young families by developing and overseeing Shabbat, holiday and other programming for preschool aged children; represent and advocate for the preschool in the local Jewish and general community; work with clergy, staff and lay leaders to grow synagogue membership and to integrate preschool families into the synagogue community.

Marketing: create excitement in the community through marketing, generation and follow-up on enrollment leads, and working with families to find appropriate educational options with a goal of increasing enrollment in the preschool; partner with synagogue marketing team to integrate preschool and synagogue messaging through effective, contemporary marketing strategies and community outreach that reflect an understanding of parents’ needs

Facilities and Security: Provide for the safety & well-being of participants; coordinate with CBI’s executive director and the facilities and security committees on security and facility needs; plan and manage emergency response procedures and drills; ensure staff knowledge of CPR and first aid.

Budget and Finance: Work with the Preschool Board and Finance Committee to develop and oversee management of the budget, including tuition pricing and expense tracking and management; research and apply for grants and other funding opportunities; participate in fundraising efforts.

Regulatory: Ensure compliance with all New Jersey and local licensing and safety regulations.

Compensation: $80,000 yearly plus benefits.

To apply: Please send resume and cover letter to [email protected]

Skills Required

  • Experience with Jewish culture, traditions, and values in an educational setting. Knowledge of Hebrew is a welcome bonus.
  • Familiarity with current trends in early childhood education such as Reggio Emilia, RIE, Montessori and other educational and teaching philosophies.
  • Demonstrated success in growing preschool enrollment through effective marketing and community engagement.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to build relationships with families, staff, and the wider community.
  • Hands on knowledge of, comfort level using, and an appreciation for, the role of digital channels to raise awareness and promote what distinguishes the Preschool from other options available in our community.
  • Ability to Identify and pursue relevant grant opportunities.
  • A mindset of creativity and resourcefulness with an orientation towards finding solutions.

Required Qualificiations

  • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or a related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in early childhood education, with at least 2 years in a leadership role.

Salary | $80,000 annually

Submit Resume and Cover Letter to: [email protected]