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Associate Director of Family Life and Learning

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 each member seek and live their purpose to the fullest.

Our spiritual leaders and almost 1,900 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 re-imagining and innovating our practices and programs to create vibrant Jewish life for the 21st century.

BJ is in its fourth year of implementing a strategic plan that was completed in spring 2015 after more than a year of intensive work by our members, 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 are seeking an Associate Director to join the Family Life and Learning (FLAL) team, to serve as the educational lead and head of Kadima@BJ and a leader within the Family Life and Learning staff and community.  The Associate Director will report to the Director of Family Life and Learning.

Kadima@BJ places an emphasis on spirituality, community and shared experience, and engages student and family cohorts in order to create meaningful human connections. The program aims to foster a deep sense of Jewish identity, and to create socially aware, Jewishly knowledgeable, and empowered individuals.

We are redesigning our educational model, and are looking for an educator who is passionate about  project-based learning and informal Jewish education, with a background in experiential Jewish environments, such as Jewish summer camps. This role heavily relies on the educator’s capacity to inspire individuals of all ages, including children, families, and fellow educators. The position demands exceptional interpersonal skills, with effectiveness in diverse roles like informal learning, formal teaching, leading staff meetings, and facilitating large groups.

Our ideal candidate will proactively explore innovative methods to engage with BJ members, fostering connections within families and the broader BJ community. Additionally, the Associate Director will stay attuned to contemporary education models, ensuring a dynamic and informed approach to their role.


Primary Responsibilities:

The Associate Director of Family Life and Learning is responsible for three primary areas:

  1. Building Community: Recruit and guide families and staff, ensuring Kadima@BJ’s growth in Jewish life.
  2. Logistical Oversight: Ensure smooth operations and financial management of Kadima.
  3. Educational Leadership: Serve as an educational visionary within the Family Life and Learning, and wider BJ, staff.


Rosh Kadima (Head of Kadima) Responsibilities:

  • Educational Visionary: Collaborate with the Director of FLAL and the Assistant Rabbi to shape an educational culture and curriculum for Kadima, emphasizing personal growth, a love for learning, community building, and joy through project-based and experiential learning.
  • Kadima Advocate: Lead efforts to recruit and retain students and families for Kadima@BJ, acting as the primary point of contact for all Kadima-related inquiries.
  • Network Weaver: Cultivate connections between students and foster relationships within the BJ community, strengthening bonds among families.
  • Staff Role Model: Recruit, train, and supervise Kadima@BJ educators, guiding them to inspire learners to envision themselves as future Jewish leaders.
  • Kadima Spokesperson: Work with the Director of FLAL and Assistant Rabbi to communicate program goals, curricula, initiatives, and innovations to parents. Establish mechanisms for feedback and evaluation among students, teachers, parents and staff.
  • Loving Peace Keeper: Handle initial discipline issues and respond to parents’ questions and concerns.
  • Collaborate with volunteer parent advisory committees on programming, new initiatives, and opportunities for parental and family involvement.
  • Oversee the budget of Kadima@BJ, in conjunction with the Director of Family Life and Learning.


Curriculum Development and Learning Culture:

  • Collaborate with the Assistant Rabbi, Music Educator, and Director of FLAL to cultivate a musically rich and spiritually uplifting prayer community within FLAL.
  • Work with the Director of FLAL to provide on-the-ground leadership to staff and community members.
  • Foster and oversee the development of an integrated, consistent, and innovative curriculum, along with supporting materials.
  • Represent FLAL at Shabbat morning services, holidays, and various community-wide programs.
  • Serve as an educational resource for FLAL staff, aiding in the enhancement of the Jewish content in their programs.
  • Provide comprehensive guidance to the FLAL department, identifying opportunities to transform routine activities into meaningful Jewish Educational Moments (JEMs).
  • Act as the FLAL liaison to BJ staff and the community, representing FLAL in community-wide events and holidays, ensuring accessibility of programs for families.
  • Collaborate with the Director, plan and help to implement Kadima@BJ Family Shabbat experiences, including the Reach for Shabbat Retreat.
  • Perform other duties as assigned based on individual skill sets.


Qualifications, Skills, and Experience

We are actively seeking an educational leader with a genuine passion for informal Jewish education, particularly someone who appreciates the transformative essence of Jewish summer camp. The ideal candidate should exude enthusiasm, approachability, and possess the ability to cultivate meaningful connections with both adults and children. We value someone who thrives in a dynamic environment, is at ease with change, and is open to experimenting with various educational programs. The successful applicant will demonstrate adaptability, embracing a “fail forward” mentality, where adjustments are made on the go, turning challenges into valuable learning opportunities.

  • A minimum of five years of relevant full-time professional experience, with a strong preference for supervisory experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent full-time experience, required
  • Highly motivated, creative, and strategic thinker dedicated to finding innovative ways to engage families.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills paired with strong organizational abilities.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, with the ability to translate ideas into a coherent action plan and effectively communicate it to stakeholders.
  • Creative, energetic team player with high standards for excellence, fostering these qualities in others.
  • Guides with a visionary approach, demonstrates effective leadership, excels in project management, and brings experience in infusing values into age-appropriate educational programs.
  • Proven success in working with children and teens across various age groups, creating inclusive and welcoming environments.
  • Passionate about Jewish living and learning, bringing a fun, creative, and enthusiastic approach.



The Associate Director of Family Life and Learning position is a hybrid, exempt position. In-office requirements vary based on the season and workflow. Typically, the Associate Director should expect to be in the building on Tuesdays when Kadima is in session, Wednesday or Thursday depending on meeting schedules, and on Shabbat when there are FLAL programs. The Associate Director will often have to work non-traditional hours, and there is flexibility in ensuring that FLAL staff can recuperate when they work outside of traditional working hours.


Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time exempt position, with a starting salary between $80,000-95,000 for those who meet the minimum job requirements. BJ offers medical, dental, and vision insurance policies, as well as vacation and sick days, over 20 paid (National and Jewish) holidays, a 403b retirement plan, and many other benefits.


To Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter to Deena Cowans, Director of Family Life and Learning, at, with the subject line “Associate Director of Family Life and Learning.”


B’nai Jeshurun is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in recognition of its values, commitment to social justice, and responsibility to its spiritual leaders and staff, congregants, and the communities within which it lives and works.  It strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, veterans, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ applicants.