Key Duties and Responsibilities
Approximately 60% of the Assistant Rabbi’s responsibilities will pertain to Family Life and Learning (FLAL), as follows:
Serve as the spiritual leader and innovator of prayer for the full range of services for our young people and their families, including:
- Lead and coordinate weekly Shabbat morning Kulanu service (Grades 2-6)
- Lead monthly Friday evening Tot Shabbat service (pre-Kindergarten)
- Lead monthly Teen Kabbalat Shabbat service
- Lead tefillah at the BJ Hebrew School once weekly
- Share leadership of Family High Holy Day services
- Teach and engage BJ Hebrew School, High School, and day school students and their families, including:
- Teach a seventh-grade Hebrew School class
- Participate in milestone events with BJ students and families in preparation for B’nai Mitzvah
- Provide professional learning for BJ’s full-time and part-time educators
- Upon request, lead Parents’ Corner sessions, offering spiritual guidance and teaching to parents of BJ Hebrew School students on specific topics
- Enrich BJ’s intensive education experiences for youth and families, including:As requested by the Senior Rabbi, participate in retreats and trips, including Reach for Shabbat Hebrew School Retreat, Teen Domestic Service Trip, Teen International Service Trip, Teen retreat, and Sixth Grade Retreat
- Serve as the Rabbinic presence at key FLAL events and meetings
- In collaboration with and at the direction of the Director of Family Life and Learning, provide spiritual direction, advice, and consultation to FLAL team on curriculum and programs
The remaining 40% of responsibilities comprise participation in the full complement of rabbinic responsibilities, including:
- Pastoral duties and lifecycle events: spiritual counseling, conversions, weddings, bikkur holim, funerals, shiva minyanim, unveilings
- Adult education: occasional classes, webinars, havurot
- Prayer services: morning minyan rotation; Shabbat, holiday and High Holy Days rotation as determined by Senior Rabbi; weekly lifecycle emergency on-call rotation
- Additional Rabbinic resource and presence for BJ staff
The Assistant Rabbi will be supervised and mentored by Senior Rabbi Rolando Matalon. The Assistant Rabbi will be a junior colleague to Rabbi Felicia Sol, who also reports to Rabbi Matalon, and will participate in weekly senior staff meetings. The Assistant Rabbi will be a resource for the Family Life and Learning department, advising and consulting on curricular and programmatic content at the direction of the Director of Family Life and Learning and the Director’s supervisor, Rabbi Sol.
After the Assistant Rabbi’s initial two-year term, BJ is open to a longer-term commitment.
Education, Experience, and Skills
The successful candidate is expected to have:
- Rabbinic ordination from an accredited institution
- Up to five years’ rabbinical experience
- Experience working with young people and families in a Jewish educational setting
- Singing ability that allows for leadership of our spirited prayer services which are largely sung
- Comfort with spoken Hebrew
- At least one year studying, living, and/or working in Israel
- Additional work or life experience is a plus; we seek a candidate who will interact with the entire community
- Willingness and ability to become a recognized presence in the life of the BJ community; available, accessible, and approachable to members
- Deep commitment to the BJ community and ability to derive satisfaction and pleasure from service to it
- Motivator in outreach to and integration of new members
- Deep love of prayer
- Commitment to text study
- Religious practice aligned with BJ
- Teacher’s gift for translating traditional texts into relatable realities in the lives of members, in both formal and informal settings
- Engaging bimah presence and homiletic ability
- Lives a life steeped in hesed and tzedek as role model for young people and adults
- Ability to relate to and energize our children and young families with maturity, and to engage effectively and respectfully with older congregants
- Maintains highest standard of personal performance in everything undertaken
- Flexible and calm in the face of changing demands and priorities
- Key character traits include: integrity, honesty, warmth, moral courage, and kindness
Benefits include parsonage, health insurance, and retirement contributions.
Since our founding in 1825, B’nai Jeshurun (BJ) has been at the forefront of the American Jewish experience. As we approach our third century, our vision is focused on the spiritual work of transformation and on the creation of a Jewish spiritual path that is authentic and profound and helps every member seek and live his or her purpose to the fullest.
Our spiritual leaders and our more than 1,600 member families share a vision of a diverse, dynamic and welcoming community that offers many paths to Jewish religious life, while supporting one another in their spiritual quests. We are committed to honoring tradition while reimagining and innovating our practices and programs to create a vibrant Jewish life for the 21st century.
Our community is led by Senior Rabbi Rolando Matalon, together with a senior leadership team that comprises Rabbi Felicia Sol, who oversees all programs, and Executive Director/COO Colin Weil, who oversees administration, advancement, and operations. Spiritual leadership also includes Hazzan Ari Priven and Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein (part-time). BJ has a staff of approximately 30 full-time and 10 part-time employees.
BJ is in the early stages of implementing a strategic plan that was completed in spring 2015 after more than a year of intensive work by members and our spiritual leaders and staff. The plan is built around four pillars: Strengthening Community Connections and Building a Shared Sense of Belonging; Prayer, Music, and Spiritual Practice; Responding to the Prophetic Vision through Social Justice and Hesed; and Engaging and Supporting 21st Century Jewish Families in their full diversity.
With the fourth pillar particularly in mind, we now seek an Assistant Rabbi who will focus on engaging, teaching and serving our families with children from birth to college, while sharing in the full range of clergy responsibilities for the entire BJ community.
We are looking for candidates who will bring to our rabbinic team the perspective and energy of a new generation, and who are eager to learn from experienced rabbis who have built one of America’s most innovative and vibrant synagogues. The successful candidate will combine the qualities of spiritual leader, prayer leader, pastor, and educator; will be dynamic and engaging; and will visibly strive to lead an exemplary life of Torah, spirituality, hesed, and prayer. BJ welcomes candidates from all affiliations.
Send your resume to RabbiSearch@bj.org.
Please also attach a personal statement describing your vision for your rabbinic role at BJ and, to demonstrate your singing and musical abilities, include a link to a video of yourself singing a prayer or melody of your choice.
Applications must be received by 3pm on Friday February 3, 2017.