Director, Jewish Learning Center (JLC)
About Congregation Ohr Shalom (The Summit JCC)
Congregation Ohr Shalom (The Summit JCC) is an egalitarian, progressive synagogue in the conservative religious movement, located in the heart of Summit, New Jersey. For more than 80 years we have been a spiritual and social home for congregants who are drawn to our vibrant, inclusive Jewish community that embraces our tradition while welcoming members of diverse backgrounds and levels of observance. Today COS-SJCC is a dynamic center of Jewish life for over 250 families from Summit and surrounding towns in Union, Morris, Essex and Somerset Counties.
The JCC’s Jewish Learning Center (JLC) supports high-quality Jewish learning. We engage our students’ ages 5 to 18 in conversations that are critical for children’s’ intellectual and emotional growth. We engage our students through a strong sense of commitment to cultivate a deep connection for Hebrew language, Jewish culture, Jewish heritage, encouraging wonder and engaging their spirit with hands-on learning, Hebrew prayer, Jewish music, and stories deeply rooted in our heritage. Students of all backgrounds, cultures, and gender identities are welcome. The JLC serves on average 80 students a year.
Structure of the JLC
For the 2021-22 school year (September 2021 – May 2022), the JLC will operate a hybrid program: 23 Sundays during the school year, in person from 9:30-11:30 am, and Wednesdays virtually, in which students in grades 3 and up receive Hebrew-language and Jewish studies instruction (20-50 min. periods in small groups). The new Director will be responsible for determining alternate arrangements with families of children who are unable to attend JLC in person for medical or other reasons. Note that a curriculum has already been established for the 2021-2022 school year, along with staffing contracts.
Desired candidate qualities
The JLC Director should be a passionate, skilled and inspiring Jewish educator, who encourages a love of Judaism and Israel among our students. In addition to strong Judaic education qualifications and experience, the candidate should be:
• Motivated, forward-thinking and a self-starter.
• Comfortable being the face of the JLC and interacting with the Board, clergy, parents and community members.
• Adept at communicating and working with families of all religious backgrounds and educational needs (e.g., accommodating special needs children).
• A relationship builder, capable of building rapport and developing bonds with a wide variety of students and synagogue personnel.
• An educator who is comfortable with the theory and practice of informal and experiential education.
• Experienced with administrative, budget and team management.
• Comfortable with virtual learning platforms.
• Passionate about making religious school fun for children with many competing priorities!
As the leader of the JLC, the Director will have the following roles and responsibilities:
1. Curriculum planning and implementation
• Establish the goals and objectives for the JLC, for the entire program and each grade.
• Develop instructional materials for use in the JLC.
• Oversee Hebrew language instruction program.
• Develop and execute Jewish holiday and special event programming throughout the year.
• Integrate special programs or activities for certain age groups (for example, in the past this has included hosting Rishonim from Israel; education through Alexander Muss High School in Israel, etc.).
• Manage graduation/confirmation requirements for high school students, in collaboration with the Cantor.
• Be open to teaching a weekly adult education class.
2. Staff management and development
• Manage the formal search for JLC staff, as needed, and coordinate hiring decisions with Rabbi, Ohr Shalom president and appropriate Board members; manage contracting process (complete for 2021-22 year).
• Review specific curriculum expectations with staff and supply teachers with class and materials lists and copy of school policies.
• Provide teachers with any materials needed to prepare over the summer.
• Conduct annual teacher evaluations; inform Board committee of results and contract renewal recommendations.
• Plan and conduct regular staff meetings.
• Oversee professional growth and development.
• Develop and maintain a list of appropriate substitute teachers.
• Manage termination recommendations and processes, as needed.
• Attend conferences and network, as relevant, to stay abreast of skills and qualifications.
3. COS-JCC community coordination
• Partner with the Education Committee and Clergy in determining the strategic vision and short- and long-range planning for the JLC.
• Present annual educational, staffing plans and budget to Board for review and approval.
• Establish and maintain effective and regular communication with parents regarding teacher assignments, scheduling updates and curriculum (note: we have existing CRM that can be used); develop and update a yearly calendar.
• Coordinate recruitment and retention efforts throughout the year in order to maintain a healthy student enrollment for grades K-12, focusing particularly on early, middle school and post-b’nai mitzvah years, as well as new families.
• Manage JLC website and social media, as appropriate.
• Work alongside Education Committee to identify and actualize fundraising projects for organizational advancement.
• Work alongside Early Learning Center (ELC) Director to cross-program and integrate Jewish learning into nursery school.
4. Manage administrative responsibilities related to running the JLC
• Create, analyze and manage a comprehensive annual budget, working alongside Bookkeeper, Executive Board and Finance Department.
• Review payment status of tuition with Bookkeeper.
• Maintain an inventory of supplies, including workbooks and AV equipment, as needed.
• Prepare a school calendar for the year.
• Write regular content for synagogue newsletter.
• Consult and coordinate with Cantor regarding special holiday programs, graduation and confirmation.
• Consult with Board Committee on emergency procedures.
• Maintain school premises and safety.
• Attend Board meetings to present JLC updates, as requested.
• Master’s Degree or higher in the fields of education, Jewish education, special needs education, social work or significant experience with a religious school(s) or Jewish summer camp(s)
• Administrative experience working in a professional environment.
• Familiarity with religious schools, and preferably the mission of the conservative movement.
• Fluency or Proficiency in the Hebrew Language.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree + Advanced Degree Preferred and 10+ years of experience.