The Interim Rose & Irving Rachlin Director for Jewish Student Life and Assistant Director, Office of Religious & Spiritual Life (RSL) is one of two core staff in the Religious and Spiritual Life Office, and participates in the larger Dean of the College area. This position offers a wonderful opportunity for an experienced Jewish professional to build on a vibrant program and help the college develop a new vision for Jewish life at an institution known for its courage to challenge norms, its commitment to educational access, and its aspiration to set forth students who work to repair the world.

The Interim Rachlin Director is responsible for religious, spiritual, and cultural leadership of the Jewish student community at the College, and for collaborative leadership within the inter-religious, multi-cultural, and educational program of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and its partners in the Campus Life and Diversity Office (CLD). The CLD includes the ALANA Center, International Student Services, LGBTQ Center, Religious & Spiritual Life, and Women’s Center and is led by the Associate Dean of the College. This office structure places Jewish life creatively in the midst of the intersectional work the college supports across our cosmopolitan differences. The Interim Rachlin Director reports to the Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Diversity/Director of Religious & Spiritual Life.

The Interim Rachlin Director serves as a resource and advisor to the campus’s Jewish student communities, and all members of the Vassar community, on issues related to Jewish life, religion, and culture, and balances these primary commitments to Jewish life with general responsibilities for programming, student advising and mentorship, campus partnerships, and college committee work as Assistant Director in the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Advise Jewish student communities, providing leadership development, guidance, education, and support with programming and community involvement, including creative weekly Shabbat and innovative approaches to the full cycle of Jewish holidays.
  • Foster a Jewishly pluralistic ethos. In the spirit of machloket l’shem shamayim (conflict for the sake of heaven), welcome and mediate differing views on Jewish learning, observance, and politics, in order to develop a vibrant cultural, educational, and religious program and help shape a new generation of Jewish leadership skilled in conflict transformation.
  • Work collaboratively with campus constituencies in identifying and implementing appropriate support for Jewish life, including coordination with Campus Life and Diversity, Dining Services, Counseling, Residential Life, and Alumnae/i
  • Understand and contribute to the core work of the RSL office, which includes: promoting an inter-religious ethos and fluency; developing student leadership; encouraging risk-taking relationships within and across our different spiritual communities; exploring partnerships and collaborations; planning and facilitating religious services and seasonal observances; working in close cooperation with the other RSL Advisors and Affiliate Advisors; and providing supportive counsel for students/faculty/staff/administration and alumnae/i.
  • Participate in campus-wide activities, and traditions, including annual RSL inter-religious programs; support and initiate new educational programming that furthers individual and community understanding of our spiritual, religious, and secular diversity.

This is an eleven month limited term assignment, which is fully eligible for Vassar benefits. The expected term will be August 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Community Description:

Located in the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. The college's vibrant commitment to Jewish life includes the sense of belonging students find at the Bayit, our home for Jewish student life; the programming endowment we provide for Jewish life; a new kosher-halal dining plan offered in the newly renovated dining hall opening Fall 2017 and our endowment for the Interim Rachlin director position itself, which includes support for annual professional development. Our Vassar Jewish Union (VJU) has the most active student board among the ten different student religious communities supported by the RSL Office. For over a decade, the VJU has been affiliated with Hillel International, whose mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so they may enrich the Jewish people and the world, and whose work envisions a world where every student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.

Vassar is strongly committed to fostering a community that reflects the values of a liberal arts education and to promoting an environment of equality, inclusion and respect for difference. Vassar College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, and applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.

Vassar College is a smoke free/tobacco free campus.

Work Remotely: no

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated and innovative leader, with an understanding of and experience in mentoring and inspiring Jewish young adults. Successful candidates for the position will have a thorough knowledge of and engagement with Jewish history, culture, tradition, spirituality, and practice. They will also have the ability to lead--and to help students lead--spirited egalitarian tfillah. Candidates must be committed to pluralism within Judaism, and be appreciative of a full range of Jewish life styles and orientations. Successful candidates will able to think critically and creatively about the place of Jewish religious and cultural life in an inter-religious campus setting, as well as about the place of religious life in secular culture. Excellent organizational skills, as well as oral, written, and interpersonal communication are expected, as is the ability to display imagination, ingenuity and humor in solving problems, and mentoring students. Ability to work with a diverse student population and demonstrated commitment to foster inclusive communities are expected, as well as the ability to work productively, joyfully, and collegially as part of a team. While our preference is for a rabbi, we will also consider candidates with a relevant Master's and 3-5 years experience in Jewish campus life or other Jewish communal settings.

Send resumes and cover letter to:

Cover Letter
Contact Information for 3 References
Special Instructions to Applicants You will be required to attach your cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references with your on-line application. (Word or PDF format required.) Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. In your cover letter, please share your understanding of religious and spiritual leadership in a secular and pluralistic context.
For full consideration applicants should apply by:
Anticipated Start Date: 08-01-2017
Anticipated End Date
(If applicable) 06-30-2018
Quicklink for Posting employment.vassar.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=52270