Since our founding in 1825, B’nai Jeshurun has been at the forefront of the American Jewish experience. As we embrace the 21st Century and approach our bicentennial, our vision is focused on the spiritual work of transformation and on creating a Jewish spiritual path that is authentic and profound and helps every member to seek and live his or her individual purpose to the fullest. As a community, BJ also strives to share our learning and passion with local communities and the Jewish world at large.
Now in the third year of a seven year strategic plan, our work is grounded 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.
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, with members who support one another in their spiritual quests. We are committed to honoring tradition while reimagining and innovating our practices to create a vibrant Jewish life for the 21st century.
We now seek an Assistant Rabbi who will share in the full range of clergy responsibilities for the entire BJ community, with a particular focus on, and passion for, engaging, teaching and serving our families with children from birth through college.
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 appreciate and embrace the uniqueness that is at the core of the BJ ethos and feel at home in its environment. He or she 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.
The Assistant Rabbi will join 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 operations. Spiritual leadership also includes Hazzan Ari Priven and Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein (part-time). BJ has a staff of approximately 40 full-time and 10 part-time employees.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Responsibilities will pertain to Family Life and Learning (FLAL) as follows:
● Serve as the spiritual leader and innovator of prayer for the full range services for our young people and their families
● Teach and engage BJ Hebrew School, High School, and day school students and their families
● Enrich BJ’s intensive education experiences for youth and families
● Perform pastoral duties, spiritual counseling and life cycle events for youth and their families
Responsibilities will pertain to the full Complement of General Rabbinic Duties including:
● Pastoral duties and life cycle 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 life-cycle emergency on-call rotation
● Additional Rabbinic resource and presence for BJ staff
DESIRED ADDITIONAL ATTRIBUTES
● Willingness and ability to become a recognized presence in the life of the BJ community; available, accessible, and approachable to membership
● Religious practice aligned with BJ
● 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
● 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 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, Kindness
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS
The successful candidate is expected to have:
● Rabbinic ordination from an accredited institution
● Two 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 (a plus), because we seek a candidate who will interact with the entire community
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 Felicia Sol.
After the Assistant Rabbi’s initial two-year term, BJ is open to a longer term commitment.