Park Avenue Synagogue
Park Avenue Synagogue (PAS), a 1,700 family egalitarian Conservative congregation on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, currently seeks a full-time Director of Youth Programming and Engagement dedicated to serving our youth and teens with impactful, informal Jewish educational experiences. We are looking for a personable, organized, dynamic individual with an exceptional understanding of Jewish high school and youth programming, recruitment and engagement.
Park Avenue Synagogue’s Rabbi Judah Nadich High School program has been providing our teens with an extraordinary post Bnei Mitzvah High School experience since 1959. Due to the growth in our Congregational School, we now have over 225 teens (8th-12th grade) in our congregation between eighth and twelfth grades and are fully committed to engaging them and their families beyond Bnei Mitzvah through our multifaceted PAS High School Program that provides the framework for this successful experience. This senior staff position of Director of Youth Programming and Engagement will report to the Director of Congregational Education (DCE), work closely with the Rabbis and Director of the Congregational School, and will leverage the educational and teaching experience of our clergy and broader education team.
In addition to working with our teen/high school population, s/he will supervise a Youth Coordinator who focuses on building a youth program (3rd-8th grade) beginning in the lower grades to create a bridge from the Congregational School to the High School program, which includes being a presence in the Congregational School and Day School Community. Furthermore, these youth activities will help the synagogue build community between our learners in the Congregational School and our active Day School community.
- Collaborate with the Director of Congregational Education, clergy team and teen and lay leaders to set educational, programmatic and engagement goals for the PAS High School and Youth Program
- Organize and implement PAS High School Learning and Programs, which include but are not limited to: Fall Kickoff; Wednesday evening classes, teen-led Food Pantry packing; Friday Food Pantry delivery; monthly Saturday afternoon study sessions at the senior rabbi’s home; Sunday social justice programs; teen travel program including pre and post education and engagement; other social and educational events involving teens as well as liaising with the clergy to plan the annual Teen Appreciation Shabbat, Rock Band and A Capella
- Supervise the Youth Coordinator and Part-Time Administrative Assistant in creating and implementing programming for 3rd-8th graders
- Oversee the inclusion efforts in youth and teen programming and arrange for training for participants
- Organize, oversee and execute High Holy Day programming for PAS teen community
- Develop relationships with PAS teens and their parents: gather contact information, encourage participation, foster dialogue and feedback and further connect them to the Park Avenue Synagogue community and its offerings
- Cultivate and empower teen leadership through our Teen Leadership Council
- Work with the Congregational School and Day School Committee to develop informal youth activities to complement and build upon the relationships and content of more formal program offerings
- Develop curriculum, teach and present in Teen Program, Congregational School, Vav (6th Grade) Bnei Mitzvah sessions, and Young Family Education as assigned
- Collaborate with the broader PAS education team on holidays, events, speakers, etc. to include high school and youth participation
- Collaborate with the Communications department to effectively advertise and market all High School and Youth programs through use of regular departmental e-blasts, synagogue-wide e-blasts when appropriate, parent grade rep e-mails, phone calls, the PAS website, monthly bulletins and, program guides, social media and other methods of communication
- Serve as the staff liaison to the Teen Engagement Committee, Youth Committee, Jewish Camping Committee and other committees as assigned
- Represent the youth department at weekly Senior Staff meetings and bi-weekly Education Team meetings to seek out collaborative opportunities between education departments during holiday celebrations and synagogue-wide events
- Understand the latest trends in youth engagement and high school programming, and the ability to learn and implement the best practices amongst comparable synagogue and neighborhood high school and youth programs
- Past leadership in informal or formal Jewish education experiences focused on high school and youth. Professional experience in Jewish education, camping, Hillel campus or synagogue setting
- Strong interpersonal skills: Exceptional ability to communicate and build relationships with youth and teens; Exceptional ability to communicate effectively with parents, colleagues and other stakeholders
- Excellent project management, program planning, execution and administrative skills; Demonstrated ability to organize and lead engaging programs, classes and trips for youth and high school students; Ability to lead and manage part-time programming staff; Understanding of and ability to work within a departmental budget
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Team player: ability to work collaboratively with clergy and other educational staff team members to achieve goals
- Schedule includes some weeknights, Shabbats, holidays and Sundays. From September to May programming takes place on at least two Shabbatot/weekends per month
- Sense of entrepreneurialism – able to experiment and develop new models for high school programming and engagement
- Knowledge of or ability to learn how to update departmental area of PAS website, utilize approved social media, create e-blasts and other modes of communications in partnership with the Communications department
- Well versed in latest high school and youth engagement techniques and ability to leverage those to create exciting, multi-faceted curricular units and experiential programs
- Experience leading innovative Jewish holiday, Israel, Shabbat and other Jewish educational programs for youth, teens and families
- Ability to lead dynamic and meaningful services for youth and high school students in collaboration with clergy and educational team (desired but not required)
Anticipated start date of July 1, 2020, but earlier start date is preferred.
Salary is commensurate with experience.
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