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Director of Jewish Life

Employer
Susquehanna University
Location
Selinsgrove, PA

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Job Details

Position Title:

Director of Jewish Life

Position Approval Date:

05/24/2021

Is this position budgeted?:

Yes

Is this position an essential position?:

No

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 2,300 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 https://www.susqu.edu.

Position Summary:

Job Summary
The Director of Jewish Life builds inclusive and dynamic Jewish community in the context of a diverse campus, inspiring students to explore the many dimensions of Jewish identity and belonging. As a member of the Division of Inclusive Excellence, the Director is a key campus leader on matters of diversity, inclusion, and interfaith relations, reporting to the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. Teaching courses related to Jewish and Israel Studies is an optional part of the position. The Director also cooperates with the Office of Admissions in recruiting Jewish students and relates to alumni, donors, and external constituencies as appropriate.

Specific Responsibilities
• Coordinate programming (guest speakers, lectures, community leaders) and community dialogues (open forums, town hall meetings) intended to foster a climate of respect and civility and enhance community relationships, collaborating with the academic/student life partners.
• 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.
• 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.
• Support Center for Diversity & Inclusion operations to include programing and support for students from historically marginalized populations.
• Assesses programs and services, tracking student engagement and develops initiatives for the systematic and continuous improvement of departmental practices in the areas of data tracking.
• Maintains an up-to-date understanding of national best practices and literature on college student engagement, student inclusivity and belonging, and community well-being and retention.
• Actively work with Hillel International to achieve best practices and implement programs that strengthen Jewish Life at Susquehanna.
• Collaborate with the Office of Admissions as appropriate in recruiting Jewish students.
• Collaborate with the Office of Advancement as appropriate to maximize the resources available to support and expand Jewish Life on campus.
• 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.
• Provide leadership in the marketing, public relations, and promotional activities attendant to Jewish Life on campus.
• Serve as a bias incident investigator when needed

Required Qualifications:

Education
Bachelor’s degree required.

Experience
1-3 years professional experience in Jewish, experiential, or higher education.

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.

Physical Demand
Normal office environment. Position requires the ability to stand or sit for extended periods of time. Position requires the ability to move about the campus. Position requires the ability to talk and to hear instruction. Position requires occasional manual dexterity and the ability to use fingers, hands, and arms to feel, handle, and reach. Position requires occasional stooping, crouching and bending. Position requires the ability to occasionally lift up to 10 pounds. Working conditions are indoor. This position requires occasional night and weekend responsibilities. Position may require travel.

Preferred Qualifications:

Education
Master’s degree in Jewish Education or other relevant field preferred.


Benefits Eligible:

Yes

Number of Months:

12 months

Status:

Full-Time Benefits Eligible

Posting Date:

05/26/2021

Open Until Filled:

Yes

Posting Number:

AH00738

Organization

Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college committed to excellence in educating undergraduate students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. About 2,200 undergraduates come from 32 states and 15 countries.

The university is located in Selinsgrove, Pa., a town of about 5,000 situated on the banks of the Susquehanna River, 50 miles north of the state capital, Harrisburg. The campus is about 90 minutes from the Pocono Mountain recreational areas, and about a three-hour drive from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1858 by Lutherans, Susquehanna University welcomes individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs. It is a community that expresses its Lutheran heritage through the free and open exploration of ideas, commitment to service and development of individual talents.

Students may enroll in one of two schools: the School of Arts and Sciences or the Sigmund Weis School of Business. A Susquehanna education is distinguished by a strong liberal arts program enhanced by equally strong professional programs in areas such as business, education and communications. Degrees are offered for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science.

Susquehanna University is recognized in several guidebooks to selective colleges, including The Fiske Guide to Colleges and Peterson's Competitive Colleges. U.S. News & World Report’s America's Best Colleges includes Susquehanna among National Liberal Arts Colleges. Susquehanna is small enough to be academically flexible, yet large enough to offer a wide variety of choices—more than 50 major emphases, 45 minors and 850 courses. Susquehanna offers a challenging Honors Program for exceptional students and emphasizes experience-based learning, including internships, study-abroad semesters and award-winning community service programs.

Small classes and a student-faculty ratio of about 13 to 1 offer students personal attention and challenging opportunities. Student participation and team learning are encouraged, as is faculty-student research that exposes students to current, practical applications in their field of study. Students are offered extensive opportunities for involvement and leadership in university life. They can choose from more than 100 student organizations, 23 intercollegiate sports, numerous intramural and club sports and a full schedule of lectures, concerts, films, plays and social events.

Susquehanna's strong academic and career advising programs have led to strong post-graduation success. Typically, 94 percent of the graduating class is working full time or enrolled in graduate or professional school within six months.

Diversity Profile: Susquehanna University

Diversity Matters at Susquehanna. Through our commitment to academic excellence, in which diversity is a core element, we affirm the dignity and worth of all persons and strive to ensure that all in our community feel supported in their differences. Current and emerging research underscore the positive educational benefits that manifest in a diverse living and learning community.

As an institution of higher learning, we understand that we will be judged increasingly by how well we prepare our students to succeed in a smaller, flatter and increasingly diverse world. We intentionally seek to create opportunities for understanding the ways that power and privilege influence individual and collective behavior and systems, and to use that knowledge to guide us productively inside the classroom and beyond.

Affirmative Action - Susquehanna University is committed to making every effort to enhance the diversity of our community – students, faculty, and staff. The hiring process is important to achieving our strategic goals to recruit and retain staff from diverse backgrounds. Through the affirmative action process, we work together to ensure a diverse community while remaining diligent in our commitment to selecting the most qualified candidate for open positions.

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Diversity Matters at Susquehanna. Through our commitment to academic excellence, in which diversity is a core element, we affirm the dignity and worth of all persons and strive to ensure that all in our community feel supported in their differences. Current and emerging research underscore the positive educational benefits that manifest in a diverse living and learning community.

As an institution of higher learning, we understand that we will be judged increasingly by how well we prepare our students to succeed in a smaller, flatter and increasingly diverse world. We intentionally seek to create opportunities for understanding the ways that power and privilege influence individual and collective behavior and systems, and to use that knowledge to guide us productively inside the classroom and beyond.

In the classroom, on the campus and beyond

We use experiential learning to engage students in a multicultural education that prepares them for life in a diverse and interconnected world. Our new Central Curriculum, taught by a diverse faculty with different viewpoints and experiences, challenges students in their ways of perceiving and knowing the world. The unique Global Opportunities (GO) requirement prompts students to experience ways of knowing and being that are unfamiliar, and to reflect on those experiences. In the process, we expect that all students will examine their world view and how it is constructed.

A diverse and vibrant campus community fosters relationships marked by mutual curiosity and respect. Students, faculty and staff are supported in these relationships by the Chief Diversity Officer, Center for Diversity and Social Justice, Center for Civic Engagement, Office of Residence Life, and the Bias Response and Education Team.

The university also understands its physical and emotional connection to residents of the Susquehanna River Valley. Arts and educational events open to the community create possibilities for healthy dialogue regarding difference. Relationships built through interaction and dialogue with the greater Selinsgrove community serve to broaden and enhance the community in which we live and learn.

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