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Director of Education and Engagement


Temple Beth-El

Director of Education and Engagement


Position Description


TBE’s Director of Education and Engagement serves as the director of the Rabbi Felix Aber Religious School and the director of youth and family programming. The religious school plays an integral role in the life of Temple Beth-El, a congregation of 265 households, by providing continuous Jewish education for children from preschool through high school.  Youth and family activities reinforce the educational program by providing extracurricular opportunities for experiencing Jewish values in action.





The religious school currently serves students from preschool through high school. Formal subjects taught include: Hebrew reading and language, tefillah, Torah, mitzvot (including the observance of Jewish holidays, customs and ceremonies), Jewish history, ethics and values, Israel studies, music, dance and cooking. The tefillah component prepares students to participate meaningfully in prayer services as well as to help lead services when they celebrate becoming b’nei mitzvah.


Responsibilities include oversight of the school, from its daily operation to the articulation of its philosophy and long-term goals. The director collaborates with the Religious School Board and congregational leadership in the development and administration of the school program. More specifically, the Director of Education and Engagement:


  • Promotes a positive school climate, cultivates a supportive relationship with students, and serves as an approachable, trusted role model for Jewish identity and learning. Makes appropriate class placements, orients students, makes provisions for students with special needs, and ensures student safety.  Prepares b’nei mitzvah students for their individual celebrations, and religious school classes for their class Shabbat services.

  • Is responsible for hiring, supervising, and mentoring the school’s teachers and aides. Responsibilities include staff recruitment, orientation, professional development, evaluation, and support. 


  • Establishes and maintains positive communication with prospective and current families, orients them to the school, provides regular updates, including feedback on student progress, arranges meetings as needed, and invites family participation.

  • Reviews and develops the curriculum, in consultation with the Religious School Board.  Obtains needed educational materials.  Develops and implements b’nei mitzvah family education opportunities.  Designs and implements a program of study for our post-b’nei mitzvah students.  Serves as curricular resource for the Judaic component of our preschool. 

  • Interacts regularly with the Religious School Board and congregational leadership in the planning and implementation of school programs, ensuring excellent communication and collaboration with internal and external community partners.    Collaborates with the B’Yachad Program Director/Head Teacher and Advisory Committee Chair to administer the B’Yachad Ithaca Jewish Preschool.

  • Participates in learning and professional development and engages in self‐evaluation in conjunction with regularly scheduled performance reviews.




The director oversees TBE youth activities and youth advisors, in conjunction with the Religious School Board.  More specifically, the Director of Education and Engagement:


  • Promotes the development of Jewish identity and leadership skills and promotes involvement in the Jewish community in Ithaca and beyond.  Assists with leadership training for high school students and encourages continued involvement in the life of the synagogue, including post‐b’nei mitzvah attendance and participation in religious services.

  •  Communicates regularly with families and involves them to support youth activities.

  • Recruits and hires youth advisors, articulates job descriptions, orients advisors, sets goals and expectations, and provides ongoing mentorship and evaluation. Meets regularly with advisors to develop local programming, oversee decision‐making, and ensure adequate planning and supervision for meetings and events.

  • Maintains regularly scheduled youth programming that balances religious, educational, social action, fundraising, cultural, and social components. Creates programming that engages youth and families and builds multigenerational connections and community within our congregation. Promotes youth groups and activities, both within the TBE community and within the greater Ithaca community.  Supports advisors, especially with legal contracts or financial commitments. Organizes and oversees transportation, tracks attendance, income, and expenses.


Family programs combine formal and informal education in order to bring families together to learn about and experience Judaism. The director oversees, in collaboration with congregational leadership, the planning, scheduling, advertising, presentation, and evaluation of programs, such as the following TBE offerings:


  • Tot Shabbat – Monthly Shabbat morning services designed for the very youngest children – babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners -- and their adults

  • Teen Takeover Shabbat – A semiannual Shabbat celebration – Friday evening or Shabbat morning -- led by post‐b’nei mitzvah youth

  • Family Friendly Friday – A series of early Kabbalat Shabbat services, followed by Shabbat dinner for the entire congregation

  • Havdalah – A series of winter gatherings held late Saturday afternoon for congregants of all ages

  • High Holy Day Youth Services/Child Care – Interactive and age‐appropriate holiday services for students in pre-K through grade 6, accompanied by child care for preschool and grades K through 3

  • Keif b’Kayitz – A series of outdoor summer activities for the entire family.


Position Requirements



The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong background and experience as a Jewish educator, a commitment to Jewish life, and the imagination and energy to engage current and attract new members to an active synagogue community. We seek an individual with strong communication skills, judgment and maturity, as well as experience managing staff and budgets.  A master’s degree in Jewish education or its equivalent is required.




Mon, September 25 2023 10 Tishrei 5784