Position Available: Director of Israel Engagement

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (New York Campus) & The Jewish Theological Seminary (New York City)

We are seeking a Director of Israel Engagement to champion, implement and expand Israel programming at the New York Campus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (“HUC-JIR”) and the Jewish Theological Seminary (“JTS”) as part of a grant-funded Israel Engagement Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to develop a comprehensive and broad-reaching approach to Israel engagement for all students at HUC-JIR (the New York campus) and JTS, which will embed Israel more systematically into each institution and will enhance the personal and professional capacity of future leaders (including, but not limited to, rabbis, cantors and educators) being trained at both schools, to explore and lead Israel engagement activities. Limited outreach to alumni is built into the program as well. This position is a key component in a larger Israel Engagement Initiative.

The role of the Director of Israel Engagement will be to:

  • Advance a systematic programmatic vision of Israel engagement that serves the needs of both institutions, jointly and separately. 
  • Develop programming and communication that increases the presence of Israel engagement in the environment of each institution. 
  • Build and implement a Skills for Leadership mini-course to be taught jointly to HUC-JIR and JTS students and alumni, focusing on practical skills and approaches for effective Israel leadership for rabbis, cantors and educators;
  • Collaborate with faculty of both institutions in the development of new Israel Studies courses to be taught jointly or separately at each institution;
  • Collaborate with institutional leadership to coordinate a high-level forum in each institution to discuss and champion Israel engagement;
  • Work closely with student leaders to plan and implement programs that attract the student community;
  • Collaborate with Jerusalem staff about the programs that take place during the students’ Year in Israel, including spending time with students and staff in Jerusalem;
  • Seek out external organizations (national and NYC-based) for developing collaborations that will benefit students;
  • Develop and implement assessment methods to evaluate the success of the program, and produce reports demonstrating program progress.



  • Master’s Degree in Jewish Education, Jewish Non-Profit Management, Social Work, or similar credential; or Rabbinic Ordination, Cantorial Ordination or Investiture;
  • Professional experience managing programs or projects within the Jewish community;
  • Knowledge about and experience with Israel, its current challenges and the dynamics of the relationship between Israel and American Jewry, and experience with Israel programming.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Passion for Israel programming and enthusiasm about working with graduate and undergraduate students;
  • Excellent organizational/multitasking and writing skills;
  • Strong personal/interpersonal communication and social skills, including the ability to work as part of a team and with students, administrators, faculty and staff; 
  • Capacity to lead by taking initiative and responsibility for organizational tasks and to see projects through to a successful conclusion;
  • Basic facility with Hebrew;
  • Budget management experience and basic facility with financial spreadsheets
  • Absolute professional capacity to maintain and protect confidential information.

The position of Director of Israel Engagement will be full-time, with the incumbent’s time divided between the two institutions.  The position will begin August 1st or as soon as possible thereafter. Employment in this grand-funded position is contingent upon continued funding.

Applicants should send (via email) a letter of interest, résumé, and names and contact information for three professional references to Diana Torres-Petrilli, Chief Human Resources Officer, The Jewish Theological Seminary, dipetrilli@jtsa.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu