American Jewish University, based in Los Angeles, seeks a Vice President for Jewish Engagement. The position is extremely prominent in the North American Jewish community and addresses populations that are critical to Jewish continuity. The new VP will lead an effort to ensure that AJU programming is ubiquitous across the country.
The VP for Jewish Engagement:
- Directs The Maas Center for Jewish Journeys. A vital component of AJU’s mission of fostering inclusive Jewish communities, the Maas Center champions those too-often relegated to the periphery of Jewish life, guiding them through a suite of interconnected programs that enrich their Jewish journeys. The Maas Center creates a cohesive experience that supports people in their quest for spirituality and meaning and will champion a range of ideas and innovative solutions to address some of the most complex issues facing the Jewish community today.
- Directs the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program, the largest program in North America welcoming newcomers to Judaism. The Miller Program’s nationally recognized 18-week Intro course covers the essentials of Judaism, including its holidays, rituals, ideas, and traditions. In addition to in-person and online courses that are sponsored by AJU, the Miller Program’s curriculum is taught by seventy-four affiliates that represent 175 different institutions.
- Supervises The Ziering Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI) which is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Associate Director of the Maas Center. BCI is one of the oldest and most distinguished immersive Jewish learning experiences in North America and is offered every summer to young adults from around the world, ages 20 to 29 on AJU’s Brandeis Bardin Campus in the Simi Valley.
- Supervises the Community Mikveh, directed by a staff member. As the only pluralistic mikveh in the Pacific Southwest, AJU welcomes Jews of all denominations, from the Bay Area to Mexico, to come and immerse.
- Supervises the Marriage for Life and Opening Doors courses and retreats which provide a Jewish environment for couples to learn essential tools that help build strong, resilient relationships.
Goals for new position:
- This position serves as a member of the Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for conceiving and establishing a high-level strategy for each of the critical segments of the Maas Center.
- Champion new marketing efforts to scale the offerings of the Maas Center and Miller Program so they are available and enticing to the entire North American population.
- Develop new educational efforts and offerings to serve those at the periphery of the Jewish community building on existing programming.
- Continue to supervise Maas and Miller programs to ensure high level of quality, daily operations, and best in class service delivery.
- Work collaboratively with members of the Communications and Development teams to ensure work of the Maas Center is aligned with in support of program growth goals.
- Innovate additional efforts to make BCI accessible to those looking for an alternative to BCI’s legacy four-week program
- Construct cooperative relationships with national and regional organizations to promote the AJU and Maas Center mission.
- Manage revenue streams for all Maas Center initiatives and develop annual budgets.
Qualifications for position:
- The VP of Jewish Engagement will have the interpersonal, communication and organizational skills to navigate a mission-driven department and the ability to connect to those from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths.
- Deep knowledge of Judaism and ability to teach those at the periphery of the Jewish community and shepherd them through their journey
- Vision necessary to make AJU programming available nationally and internationally.
- Management skills required to supervise a growing staff and a network of adjunct instructors, operationalize programming, and navigate logistics of program delivery
- Ability to inspire trust and partner readily within the organization to advance institutional priorities and fiscal realities.
- Ability to fundraise and steward individuals and foundations.
- Graduate or rabbinic degrees that enable both teaching, understanding of pedagogy and best practices, curriculum design, and overall program supervision.
- Demonstrated leadership success of at least seven years in higher education, religious, or community organizations.