Director of Jewish Life

Job description

Director of Jewish Life
Susquehanna University

About Susquehanna
As a living, learning and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus. As we seek to embody the rich diversity of the human community, we commit ourselves to the full participation of persons who represent the breadth of human difference. The university encourages candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Susquehanna University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college committed to excellence in educating students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world. Its more than 2,200 undergraduates come from 35 states and 22 countries, and all students study away through Susquehanna's unique Global Opportunities program. Susquehanna University's 325 acre campus, noted for its beauty, is located in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, 50 miles north of Harrisburg in the scenic Susquehanna River Valley, about a three hour drive from Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. For more information, please visit

Position Summary
Job Summary
The Director of Jewish Life promotes a vibrant Jewish religious and cultural life on campus, guides students as they explore their diverse Jewish identities, provides students with the tools and resources to create exciting and innovative programming and service opportunities, promotes interfaith and cross-cultural understanding, and cooperates with the Office of Admissions in recruiting Jewish students and relates to alumni, donors, and external constituencies as appropriate.
Specific Responsibilities
Reporting to the University Chaplain, and in consultation with the director of Jewish Studies, the Director will attend to the following areas:

  • Jewish life, celebration and learning: Encourage and promote a pluralistic religious and cultural expression through holiday and Shabbat observances. The director will provide cultural programming that engages both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences; develop a nuanced understanding of individual Jewish students' experiences and provide guidance and resources towards developing an enduring commitment to Jewish life and learning; support students in networking around shared identity, interests, and affiliation (gender, athletics, social justice …); implement a safe and supportive environment around food preparation for weekly Shabbat services, including helping students develop menus and assisting students in creative cooking practices and hospitality.
  • Hillel International: Actively work with Hillel International to achieve best practices and implement programs that strengthen Jewish Life at Susquehanna.
  • Hillel student club: Work directly with Hillel, the Jewish student club, to facilitate and support Jewish Life activities, including serving as the club advisor and mentor; seek opportunities to grow and develop the skills of the Hillel board, including through the Hagshama Leadership Fellowship, which provides leadership development training for the President and Vice-President of the Hillel board.
  • Student leadership development: Support student leaders in cultivating peer relationships and in developing exciting and innovative social, cultural, education, public service, and religious/spiritual programs that energize Jewish life on campus. The director also will maintain a student staff - including peer outreach through the Student Engagement staff - which will work to facilitate a successful and vibrant Jewish Life experience.
  • Programming: Oversee all aspects of Jewish religious and cultural programming on campus.
  • Interfaith: As part of the Chaplain's team, create and promote programs that foster interfaith understanding and cooperation on campus. This includes cultivating and supporting diverse religious communities and cultivating interfaith conversation.
  • Facilities management: Provide stewardship of daily operations and organization of Goldstein-Weis Hillel House, the center of Jewish life on campus.
  • Fiscal management: In consultation with the University Chaplain, oversee the budget for Jewish Life programming on campus.
  • Admissions: Collaborate with the Office of Admissions as appropriate in recruiting Jewish students.
  • Development: Collaborate with the Office of Advancement as appropriate to maximize the resources available to support and expand Jewish Life on campus.
  • Communications and marketing: Cultivate relationships with parents, alumni, and donors. Provide leadership in the marketing, public relations, and promotional activities attendant to Jewish Life on campus.
  • Community relations: Cultivate strong relationships with the local synagogue and its rabbi, facilitating student participation in the life of the synagogue when desired and cooperating with the rabbi when appropriate for Shabbat services on campus and the celebration of the High Holidays, facilitating student participation in synagogue celebrations.

    Required Qualifications
    Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
    Deep knowledge of Jewish tradition and the diversity of Jewish practice are essential.
    Knowledge and ability to use Personal computer, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook. Important skills include interpersonal skills to build strong relationships with Jewish and non-Jewish students, co-workers and other stakeholders; use of social media as an effective tool for communication and community building; ability to set priorities, advocate team concepts and work collaboratively with students, faculty and staff.

    Bachelor's degree required.

    Three years as a Jewish communal professional.

    Physical Demand
    Normal office environment. This position requires the ability to move about campus, talk and hear instruction. This position requires the ability to occasionally lift up to 10 pounds.

    Preferred Qualifications
    Master's degree in Jewish Education or other relevant degree preferred.
    Experience in higher education preferred.

    For full application instructions and position description, visit:

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    Job No:
    Posted: 5/8/2019
    Application Due: 6/3/2019
    Work Type: