work at Shaare Zedek

Updated July 2018

We invite applications for the open position: Director of Family Engagement.

Part-Time Director of Family Engagement

Congregation Shaare Zedek seeks a creative, experiential educator to implement a full calendar of programming for children and their parents, and across generations.

Founded in 1837, Congregation Shaare Zedek is the third oldest synagogue in NYC. We are a home for humble, joyful, and serious egalitarian Jewish life. Currently awaiting the exciting redevelopment of our property at 212 W. 93rd Street, the community meets on Shabbatot and holidays at the Franciscan Community Center (FCC) at 214 W. 97th Street. For more information, please visit

The Director of Family Engagement is a part-time, 20 hours per week position, reporting to Rabbi Jonah Geffen and the President of the Board of Trustees. The congregation now serves about 70 member households (including 30 children ages 0-12) and aims to engage and attract more families with high-quality programming for youth and their caregivers.


  • Develop and execute Shabbat programming for children and caregivers, using the framework of the existing children’s minyanim -- Minyan Bereisheet (ages 0-4), Minyan Shemot (ages 5-7), and Minyan Bamidbar (ages 8-11). We invite interested candidates to review our 2017-18 curriculum available here; at a minimum, this curriculum can continue to serve as a guide, but we also welcome modifications based on the expertise and experience of the incoming director.

  • Holiday-specific programs – High Holiday services and activities, family-oriented Shabbat dinners, Chanukah party, Purim seudah, etc. Responsibilities include organizing babysitting, developing structured activities, hiring outside entertainment, and preparing staff and logistics, including menu planning.

  • Community outreach programs – Typically in partnership with other local institutions, like the JCC Manhattan and Jewish day schools, and with our neighborhood shaliach. Recent examples include the Global Day of Jewish Learning and the UWS Celebrates Israel events.

  • Build communal relationships through cross-generational interaction, integrating parents and caregivers into children’s programming, and expanding programming to bring together children and seniors

  • Plan and implement family chesed activities in the congregation and/or the broader community

  • Oversee team of service and program leaders who conduct weekly children’s services and other programs, providing supervision and feedback to maintain quality and consistency of experiences; over the past two years, this team has integrally included a shinshin (post-high school ambassador from Israel)

  • Working with the shul administrator and board liaison, publicize family programming to the congregation and the larger Upper West Side community through attractive flyers, e-newsletters, the shul website, group lists, and social media

  • Schedule and conduct regular meetings with a team of parent lay leaders

  • Develop and manage annual programming budget

  • Build and cultivate relationships with members and non-members alike

  • Maintain positive and professional working relationships with our landlords and the maintenance staff at the FCC, coordinating with the shul administrator to ensure that all facility needs are met

  • As we prepare to move back into our building at 212 West 93rd, contribute to the planning of our future community, especially vis-a-vis engagement of children and families


Preference will be given to candidates with proven experience in children’s education (formal or informal) and/or program development; graduate students of Jewish education are strongly encouraged to apply.

Core qualifications:

  • Enthusiasm for working with children!

  • Solid project management skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and attention to detail

  • A proactive, collaborative approach to planning

  • A track record of planning and implementing successful youth programs in a non-classroom setting

  • Proficiency in and love for Hebrew, Jewish life and practice, and traditional davening, aligning with the mission of Congregation Shaare Zedek

  • Ability to create visually compelling content for promotional materials

  • Ability to work with children from diverse Jewish backgrounds, including those educated in supplementary Hebrew schools and in Jewish day schools

  • Availability to work most Shabbat mornings and occasional Shabbat evenings, with a flexible weekday schedule

Additional preferred qualifications:

  • Experience working in camps or other informal educational environments

  • Experience with recruiting, hiring, and managing individuals and teams

  • Advanced or fluent Hebrew speaking skills

Shaare Zedek seeks candidates to begin immediately, though we welcome candidates to apply who may not be able to start until after the High Holidays.

Annual compensation will be $25,000-30,000 depending on qualifications.

Interested candidates should send a brief letter of interest and resume to Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.