“Are you a high-energy, organized, effective and engaging spiritual leader called to focus your skills, knowledge, and passion toward Jewish education? Congregation Shaarey Zedek — a synagogue family in suburban Detroit — is looking for a new Director of Lifelong Learning to lead our education team, including serving as Director of our Religious School, coordinating adult education, and participating as needed in lifecycle ceremonies. The ideal candidate has experience with informal education, including a background in camping or youth groups. This person nurtures a collaborative working environment and appreciates efforts to find a balance between maintaining ritual traditions and innovating to meet contemporary demands. S/he will be deeply engaged in the lives of our member families, and an active liaison with our community partners. Will you help bring us from strength to strength?”
The Director of Lifelong Learning is the educational visionary responsible for the overall leadership, and day-to-day and long-term operation of the Congregation Shaarey Zedek Village Religious School; youth programs; and community-wide educational programs. The Director is also responsible for implementing synagogue policies and the decisions of the Board of Trustees in matters pertaining to the education of the Congregation Shaarey Zedek community. The Director of Lifelong Learning performs these responsibilities in coordination with the Rabbis and in consultation with the Parent Organization. The Director reports to the synagogue Executive Director, with dotted line reporting to the Rabbis for curricular and ritual matters.
- Serve as the Director of the Religious School, overseeing curriculum development and implementation, faculty development, and student engagement.
- Grow enrollment in the Religious School and participation in other educational programs.
- Work to reestablish vibrant post-B’nai Mitzvah educational opportunities.
- Provide resources, training, and support to facilitate the success of our teaching staff.
- Directly teach classes and lead programs for all ages of students, including providing enrichment within the Religious School.
- Coordinate, facilitate, and lead adult education programs, fostering a community of continuous learning and intellectual growth, ritual participation, and mitzvot.
- Create and implement family programs, holiday-related learning, and other activities that bring together parents and students to learn together.
- Coordinate and strengthen the participation and educational value of Shabbat and Holiday youth experiences in collaboration with the Rabbis; regularly be present for Shabbat youth activities.
- Work closely with the Youth and Family Education Administrator, Youth Advisor, and other stakeholders to create innovative and engaging informal and formal educational programs.
- Collaborate with the clergy and Administrator to administer, facilitate, and improve all aspects of the B’nai Mitzvah process.
- Foster a sense of community and inclusivity within the congregation through educational initiatives; be a welcoming presence throughout the congregation; regularly participate in congregational activities and develop connections broadly with members.
- Work collaboratively with clergy, staff, and lay leaders to enhance the overall spiritual and educational experience in the life of our shul community.
- Communicate with the Religious School community, broader membership, and beyond, promoting engagement in CSZ educational activities; build relationships with students enrolled in Hillel Day School and the Frankel Jewish Academy.
- Participate in the Metropolitan Detroit Board of Jewish Educators (MDBJE), engage in personal professional development, and pursue productive partnerships to advance Jewish education in the region.
- Participate as needed in lifecycle ceremonies, providing spiritual guidance and support to congregants.
- With the Youth and Family Education Administrator: Develop, propose, and administer the educational budget for the congregation; create the calendar for the Religious School and other educational programs; manage Religious School records.
- Recruit, hire, supervise, and evaluate the Youth and Family Education Administrator, Youth Advisor, teachers, and other educational staff and contractors to accomplish these responsibilities.
- Be a leader within the CSZ staff team, program team, and management team, ensuring seamless collaboration between educational activities and the rest of the synagogue.
We are located in Southeast Michigan, a beautiful area resplendent with lakes, rivers, an unrivaled park system, and friendly communities. We are on the border of Detroit, with its rich history, automotive and musical leadership, and culture. The Jewish community in our area is one of the strongest and most generous and dates back to the 19th century.
- Possesses strong organizational skills; capable of managing a large staff and a complex calendar; an effective manager of people who inspires good performance and is mindful of details.
- Attuned to new and emerging directions in education generally and Jewish education specifically; fosters an environment in which innovation and risk taking are encouraged, but also willing to adapt or reverse course when better ideas emerge; embraces technology as a tool in education; seeks new ways to ensure that students are engaged.
- Develops and/or implements an innovative curriculum strongly grounded in Jewish pedagogy that empowers students (of all ages) and nurtures their enthusiasm for learning.
- Can create and administer authentic assessments that will inform our understanding of the effectiveness of our curriculum and programming, and lead to informed adaptation of it.
- Experienced and shows enthusiasm for teacher development and innovation, while holding teachers to high standards.
- Can create a sense of community within the Religious School and the synagogue as a whole; is warm and welcoming.
- Has a clear perspective on how to achieve the congregation’s educational goals, and an ability to work collaboratively to reach them; able to quickly find common ground and solve problems.
- Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills; a good listener and observer who responds to individuals’ needs, questions, concerns, and requests.
- Has a passion for Jewish education and models the incentive to learn, encouraging participation by the whole community.
- Has an in-depth knowledge of Jewish history, culture, ritual, Hebrew, and global communities, as well as in-depth knowledge of education generally.
- Considers congregational learning holistically, helping children and adults of all ages to learn together and able to develop and promote programs that appeal to specific age groups.
- Bachelors’ Degree required; relevant advanced degree and/or rabbinical training strongly preferred.
Congregation Shaarey Zedek is committed to providing a competitive compensation package. We currently offer health insurance, dental, and vision plans, a 401(k) retirement plan, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, EAP. vacation, paid holidays, sick leave, professional development, professional dues, synagogue membership, and other benefits.
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About Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Congregation Shaarey Zedek is the oldest and largest Conservative synagogue in Michigan. We are an inclusive and deeply connected multigenerational family. We balance our focus on innovation with great respect for our timeless tradition.