Great Jewish communities need great Jewish leaders - Community Day School launches a search for a new Head of Jewish Life and Learning
Senior Leadership Position start date: July 15, 2020
Reports to: Head of School
Community Day School in Pittsburgh seeks an energetic and transformational leader to inhabit the newly expanded role of Head of Jewish Life and Learning. Our current Head of Hebrew and Jewish Studies has been the core architect of our vibrant and dynamic Jewish life for 43 years. With the bittersweet news that she is retiring, we are launching a search for an inspired and inspiring educator who will lead us as we engage the next generation in shaping the Jewish future.
To inform this search, we have spent the better part of half a year actively listening to our students, our staff members, our parents, our community leaders, and our hearts, to understand the central and pivotal role Community Day School can play in the lives of our families and our community.
What have we learned?
There is strong consensus. We are called upon to engage today’s Jewish learners in literate, skilled, and joyful ownership of the ‘stuff’ of Judaism ? Hebrew language, the function and form of the Jewish text tradition and bookshelf, the universal and unique ideas of our heritage, the sense of belonging to a nation and a story that is timeless and transcendent, and the core understanding that our mandate as Jews is to work with others to perfect this world. This is how we connect with Israel and the worldwide family of Jews, and, through civic engagement, we are accountable to Jewish values of social and environmental justice and relentless pursuit of peace.
Community Day School is Pittsburgh’s only pluralistic, egalitarian, independent, co-ed Jewish day school for students in Early Childhood through Grade 8, distinguished by an exceptional academic program rooted in Jewish values that inspires children to become their best selves. Located on a six-acre wooded campus in the heart of Pittsburgh’s iconic Squirrel Hill community, and educating a socio-economically and Jewishly diverse and enthusiastic student body of 275 students, we are a compelling choice for Jewish educators who are looking to make our beloved school their labor of love.
WHY CDS? A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO INSPIRE JEWISH LIFE AND JEWISH LEARNING IN PITTSBURGH (with ripples around the world!)
Since its inception in 1972, Community Day School has welcomed and embraced Pittsburgh’s socio-economically and Jewishly diverse families. There is no other institution in Pittsburgh where nearly 200 such families engage in a deep, immersive experience with Jewish life and learning for 172 days per year. As the only school of our kind in western Pennsylvania, we play a critical role in the rich diversity and sustainability of Jewish Pittsburgh and the region at large, transforming the lives of our students today so they can make a positive difference in the world for generations to come.
Our students’ capacity to make a difference was fully evident in the aftermath of the synagogue massacre that took place in our own backyard on October 27, 2018. CDS students showed themselves to be ready to lead and prepared for whatever battles lie ahead. Our students know the tropes in history borne of baseless hatred and they know that our tradition teaches us that we must oppose it. They are strong in their Jewish identities and prepared to lead when humanity anywhere is threatened. This is a unique moment in our history and a unique opportunity for the right candidate. As we nurture this and the next generations of Jews, we seek an innovator who recognizes the consequential nature of our work. In addition to navigating the changing Jewish landscape in the United States, Israel, and around the world, our ideal candidate will have a fluid understanding of Jewish engagement, will know that today’s families are less likely to find traditional entry points inviting, and will be eager to seek opportunities for partnership inside our school and in the broader community.
We invite applications from candidates who will embrace being part of our vibrant, dynamic Jewish learning community, where kindness, activism, and “menschy” behavior are fundamental to our daily life. The person inhabiting this role will lead the school’s faculty, staff, student, parent body and community in all domains pertaining to Hebrew and Jewish studies and the Jewish life of the school. Join our leadership team and you’ll discover why professional staff retention is at an all time high and student attrition is at an all-time low. We are a community of professionals and lay leaders who are united and focused on our mission to inspire young Jewish families to say “yes” to Jewish life and learning for the 21st century and beyond.
Oversee, promote, and enhance the school’s commitment to excellence in Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
Identify curricula and assessments for Hebrew language and Jewish Studies and ensure ongoing professional development for staff.
Establish and ensure that Hebrew language and Jewish Studies subject exit skills and proficiency criteria for CDS graduates are met.
Lead and create a culture around tefillah (prayer) that is inspiring while being welcoming to all the ways in which prayer may be approached (by students and adults)
Oversee daily tefillah, kabbalat Shabbat, and the tefillah curriculum schoolwide.
Act intentionally to build and nurture relationships with parents, students, and faculty.
Create and manage the annual budget for the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department in conjunction with the Head of School and Chief Financial Officer.
Manage the day-to-day activities of the Hebrew and Jewish Studies department.
Oversee the planning and supervision of our annual 8th Grade Israel Trip (currently two weeks including travel).
Hire, support, nurture, supervise, and evaluate Hebrew and Jewish Studies faculty.
Work closely with Prizmah and other Jewish and independent school professional organizations to ensure that the school is exceeding standards for best practice across all areas.
Partner with the senior leadership team, school counselor, academic and emotional services team, teachers, and parents to meet academic, social, and emotional needs of CDS students.
Facilitate proactive communication and aligned expectations between teachers and parents.
Create engagement opportunities for families and the larger community around Jewish learning, Jewish life cycle, Jewish holidays, and social justice activities.
Encourage, foster and maintain meaningful connections with all constituencies of the school community and pursue mutually beneficial partnerships with the community at large.
Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials to Stacey Parker, Executive Assistant to Mrs. Avi Baran Munro, Ed.M., Head of School:
Cover letter expressing interest in this specific position
Statement of philosophy of education
A list of five professional references with contact information with name, phone #, and email address (we will only contact with candidate’s permission)
We offer compensation commensurate with experience and a benefits package that includes staff tuition discounts and a retirement plan.
Community Day School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
We seek a leader with these professional credentials, experiences, and dispositions:
Masters Degree or higher in Education, Jewish Studies, related field, and/or Rabbinic ordination
Fluency in Hebrew and mastery of Jewish texts, rituals, and liturgy
Demonstrated passion for progressive Jewish education that illuminates the places where original texts, Jewish values, ethical leadership, and social justice intersect
Demonstrated commitment to inspiring a special connection with ancient and modern Israel including age-appropriate inquiry and exploration into Israel’s historic and current geopolitical realities
Demonstrated capacity to connect quality programs with inspired funders
Experience (5+ years) in an educational setting and a successful record of teaching in relevant subject areas
Experience (3+ years) leading Hebrew and Jewish Studies in a Jewish educational setting
Track record of success in leading and/or facilitating tefillah (prayer) in a Jewish setting
Track record of success in building positive relationships with and among faculty, parents, and students
Track record of success in driving school culture, curricular transformation, and innovative education in a pluralistic environment
Track record of success in meeting the needs of a wide diversity of learning styles, abilities, and dispositions among students - understands differentiated instruction, growth mindset, etc.
Experience promoting and supporting programs for social and emotional learning and mental health services in a school setting
Supervisory experience (3+ years)
About Community Day School
Community Day School is a Jewish day school that has a long tradition of outstanding education in general and Jewish Studies. We offer a warm, nurturing, and enriching Jewish community for students, families, and staff. Our students come from Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and unaffiliated families. Our staff is culturally and religiously diverse and we welcome the best applicants regardless of religion.
Community Day School is strongly committed to serving a wide range of students, from the intellectually gifted to those in need of extra academic support. Our philosophy of Differentiated Instruction reflects our commitment to keep each child challenged, at his or her level, with the goal of preserving and nurturing a lifelong love of learning. Community Day School graduates are accepted into their desired high schools, take leadership roles wherever they go, and rank among National Merit Scholars and valedictorians in the high schools they attend. Many continue with Jewish learning and Jewish community involvement through high school, college, and into their adult years, returning to Pittsburgh to enroll their own children at the school.
Located in Weste...rn Pennsylvania, the Greater Pittsburgh area is home to a vibrant and active 40,000 person Jewish community that supports a full range of Jewish institutions. Pittsburgh boasts strong arts, cultural, medical and educational opportunities, along with diverse neighborhoods and communities. Google, Rand Corp., and other world-class companies choose to make Pittsburgh their home. Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and numerous other colleges and universities populate Pittsburgh with ever youthful, engaged, and vital academic learning communities. Pittsburgh as a city has weathered the recession well with stable real estate values, urban development, and a growing job market.
Nestled in the heart of Squirrel Hill, Community Day School’s seven-acre campus is the perfect environment for learning and spiritual growth. The focal point is a beautiful and historic stone building that houses classrooms, state of the art science and technology labs, performing arts spaces, a gymnasium, an art studio, and a music room. Surrounding the building are safe, state-of-the-art playgrounds, our multi-purpose field, a vegetable garden, and most importantly, room for expansion. Community Day School blends traditional architecture with contemporary facilities.
We are affiliated with the Schechter Day School Network, the Pittsburgh Consortium of Independent Schools, the Pittsburgh Jewish Day School Council, and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and we are accredited by the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools. We are a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.