Park Avenue Synagogue
DESCRIPTION OF PARK AVENUE SYNAGOGUE
Park Avenue Synagogue (PAS) is a growing, dynamic, and thriving synagogue community with highly engaged clergy, congregants, staff, and Board members. Its mission is to inspire and educate people to live passion-filled Jewish lives. With origins dating back to 1882, PAS is one of the largest and most vibrant congregations in North America. The synagogue has more than 1,700 member families who are highly involved in community activities through its recently renovated physical campus on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as well as through its virtual campus. PAS was an early adopter of virtual technology, which has enabled it not only to continue to thrive during the pandemic, but also expand its reach beyond its New York-based membership. For example, during the most recent High Holidays, tens of thousands of non-members from around the world joined PAS for its meaningful, spiritual, and professional services and programming.
Rooted in Conservative Jewish tradition, PAS is a forward-thinking, innovative institution that values continuous improvement and holds a high standard for excellence. Its clergy and staff include more than 160 talented individuals who enable and further Rabbi Cosgrove’s vision centered around three core pillars: learning, community, and prayer. In addition to its many prayer services, life cycle events, and leading role in liturgical music and cantorial concerts, PAS provides many lifelong learning opportunities through its young family programs, early childhood center, congregational school, and a wide range of teen, young adult, and adult education classes and programs, including engaging in national thought-leading religious conversations. Its committed and supportive membership, combined with its strong financial position, uniquely positions PAS to continue both thriving in the current environment and leading the way in defining and capitalizing on transformative opportunities for the community’s future.
Park Avenue Synagogue seeks an experienced and dynamic professional to be its Director of Congregational Education (DCE). Reporting directly to the Senior Rabbi, the DCE will lead and manage a team of highly regarded educational professionals whose responsibilities begin with Young Family Education and continue through the Penn Family Early Childhood Center, Congregational School, and our teen and college-aged community. The DCE will be an integral part of the synagogue’s senior management team (the Vaad) and will be responsible for all aspects of religious and cultural educational and experiential programming that cover each of the aforementioned pillars. In addition to maintaining the current standards of educational excellence, it is expected that this role will pursue targeted and innovative growth opportunities and continue to find ways to work across departments to ensure a seamless transition from one developmental stage to the next and help strengthen engagement of our children and teens. The DCE will ensure that inclusion remains at the forefront of all youth programming and will support the success of the synagogue’s inclusion initiatives. Finally, strong collaboration and communication with PAS’s Executive Director, Director of Content and Innovation (DCI), clergy, staff, and lay leaders is critical to the success of this position.
The various areas reporting to the DCE have experienced significant growth and development over the past few years and are continually evolving with the changing world, new educational trends, and the needs of our member families. These groups have successfully been providing robust in-person and virtual programs and classes throughout the last turbulent year. These innovative departments and committees include:
- Young Family Education (children 0–5 years) offers a diverse palate of engaging opportunities for our youngest children including: Shabbat and holiday family programming, services and dinners, a young twos parent-child separation program (Shalom Shtayim), morning toddler classes, Camp Keshet (summer day camp), and parenting groups.
- The Penn Family Early Childhood Center (children 2–5 years) has approximately 100 students and 31 professionals in a top notch program which works to develop the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and Jewish life of the young
- The Congregational School (grades K–7) continues the journey of Jewish learning and engagement for our children with approximately 340 students and over 45 full- and part-time faculty through weekday classes, weekly Shabbat programming, a Bnei Mitzvah experience program, and High Holiday services
- Youth Engagement (grades 3–7) focuses on the opportunities for children outside of the Congregational School and Day School classrooms in order to help foster a love of Judaism, Israel, and PAS, while creating a strong sense of community
- Teen program (grades 8–12) offers our teens opportunities to participate and help lead a variety of programs including weekday classes, Shabbat study sessions, a teen-run food pantry, and other volunteer opportunities, social events, and High Holiday services.
- College Connections maintains relationships with our college-aged young adults by sending care packages on holidays along with updates and insights from clergy and educators.
- The Day School Engagement Committee works with the clergy and staff to brainstorm, organize, and execute events for PAS families whose children attend Jewish day schools.
- The Jewish Camping Committee works toward raising awareness about Jewish summer camps (day and overnight) and increasing the number of PAS children who attend them.
- Oversee all Youth Education Departments and Committees referenced above
- Manage, supervise, lead, coach, mentor, and motivate direct reports who are each talented experts in their departmental areas
- Support hiring process for staffing vacancies
- Problem-solve with creative solutions
- Provide administrative leadership and support with regard to HR, IT, AV, and finance matters
- Oversee the budget process for these departments in partnership with the directors of each youth education department
- Adjust program design and structure to meet shifts in participant population
- Understand different educational modalities (both traditional and cutting edge) and spark innovation in youth education, taking PAS to new heights
- Help define and implement educational vision
- Oversee cross-departmental youth efforts for a full slate of High Holiday programming to ensure an engaging and comprehensive youth and family experience
- Inspire our youth to live passion-filled Jewish lives
- Encourage an understanding of, dialogue about, and love for Israel
- Collaborate with PAS Clergy, Executive Director, DCI counterpart, staff, and lay leadership
- Work closely with the Senior Rabbi and lay leadership
- Exceptional leadership, administrative, and management skills
- Dynamic, positive, and results-oriented personality
- Proven ability to set and achieve an ambitious programming vision
- Outstanding project management skills with a well thought out approach to all initiatives
- Both a “doer” and “leader of leaders”
- Creative and unafraid of innovation, as well as solution oriented – willing to be both a trend-watcher and trend-setter
- Ability to work collaboratively with professional and lay leadership, as well as the larger community
- Ability to lead experienced educational professionals in a collaborative and collegial work environment
- Ability to inspire others with his or her love of Jewish living and learning
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Proactive – always one step ahead in terms of programmatic vision and execution
- Ability to coordinate timely and appropriate programmatic response with clergy team to the news of the day
- Decision-maker with the ability to say “yes” and “no”
- Strong knowledge of Judaism, Hebrew, and Jewish education
- Conversant in a broad array of educational modalities and technologies, including formal and experiential, individual and group, online learning, and use of emerging technologies
- 10+ years of experience in relevant or related field(s) – school experience is a plus
- Competitive salary commensurate with experience
- Senior staff benefits
All interested candidates should email a resume and cover letter by October 22, 2021.
To apply for this job email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org