Dean of the Rabbinical School
- Hebrew College
- Newton, Massachusetts
- Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience and education
- Posted Date
- Nov 2, 2022
- Position Type
- Administrative, Deans
- Employment Level
- Employment Type
- Full Time
Hebrew College is conducting a search for the next Dean of its Rabbinical School starting in July of 2023.
Greater Boston is home to one of the most spiritually, intellectually, and culturally vibrant Jewish communities in North America. With 250,000 Jews and growing, it is the fourth-largest Jewish community in the country – demographically diverse, highly educated, and actively engaged. One of the leading centers of Jewish pluralism and innovation, the Greater Boston Jewish community is home to a wide range of Jewish religious, cultural, communal service, and social justice organizations, including affiliated and independent congregations, day schools and supplemental schools, as well as formal and informal teen and adult learning programs that are at the forefront of the field of Jewish education. Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), a dynamic federation and one of Hebrew College’s key local partners, supports and sustains much of the communal activity in Boston, with a strong leadership focus on innovation, inclusion, and collaboration. An ethos of pluralism, intellectual inquiry, creativity, and openness is nurtured by the presence of leading colleges and universities and permeates the life of the local Jewish community. Hebrew College is proud to be a member of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), the largest and most robust theological consortium in the country, enabling creative collaboration, interreligious cooperation, and academic cross-registration among the twelve partner schools.
Founded in 1921, Hebrew College celebrated its Centennial last year and is poised to begin the next chapter with renewed focus and fiscal strength, extraordinary communal energy and support, an array of creative local and national partnerships, and exciting growth in its core educational programs. We are a growing community of learners and leaders, infusing Jewish life with creativity, substance, spirit, and a sense of purpose. Now is an exciting time to join the Hebrew College community.
The College’s mission is: Reimagining Jewish learning and leadership for an interconnected world – making our lives more meaningful, our communities more vibrant, and our world more whole.
Hebrew College is dedicated to the principle that high quality Jewish education is essential to building and sustaining a vibrant Jewish community. In the last two decades, the College has evolved into an innovative national institution with graduate level academic training programs for rabbis, cantors, and educators, and a wide range of Community Education programs for teens, adults, and Jewish professionals. The two parts of the College – the graduate leadership programs and the community education programs – enrich and enhance one another. Our community education programs, which reach over 2,500 learners each year, are elevated by the talent and human resources of our graduate school faculty, students, and alumni. Our rabbinic, cantorial, and education students gain invaluable teaching and leadership experience through our wide array of programs and partnerships throughout the local community. The College proudly stands at the nexus of the academy and the community — devoted to an educational ethos of depth, openness, relational learning, and a dynamic, dual orientation to study and service.
In January of 2023, Hebrew College will move to its new campus in the Auburndale neighborhood of Newton. Our new site provides an ideal physical location for the College’s base of operations, including easy access to parking, local highways, and public transportation. It is conveniently located for our full-time students, faculty and staff, and members of the wider community we serve. And it is nestled on a beautiful, wooded campus, which we have developed with an eye to environmental sustainability and the preservation of green space. Our partners on the new campus include: Temple Reyim, the Jewish Arts Collaborative, the Jewish Women’s Archive, Kesher Afterschool Program, Keshet, Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh and Center for Family Education, and Zamir Chorale.
This unique vision for a shared campus, which has been fully funded through the generosity of Hebrew College’s supporters, will enable us to:
- Create a ground-breaking living laboratory for Jewish learning, leadership and innovation; Broaden our impact through creative programmatic collaborations; Optimize communal resources through cost-sharing efficiencies; Provide a national model for communal sustainability, creativity, and growth.
At a time of so much division in the world, we are enlivened by this vision of deep connection and collaboration, enabling us to better serve the Jewish people and the world.
The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College
The revitalization of Jewish communal life in the 21st century will require talented, knowledgeable, and innovative rabbinic leadership. We need rabbis who can:
- translate the vast and rich resources of our tradition into a contemporary language that is both authentic and accessible;
- create inspiring and inclusive spiritual communities;
- address the needs of an increasingly complex and diverse Jewish world;
- help Judaism speak to the great questions facing humanity in this generation.
- The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College is training those rabbis. In the 19 years since our founding, we have helped reshape the field of rabbinic education through our innovative curriculum and our pluralistic approach to Jewish learning. We have attracted exceptionally talented and creative leaders to careers in the rabbinate. We have successfully placed 95% of our graduates in meaningful and diverse rabbinic positions. As the only rabbinical school born in the 21st century, we embrace and welcome the challenges and opportunities of this new era in Jewish life.
Hebrew College’s Unique Vision for Rabbinic Education and Leadership
A Pluralistic Vision: Fostering Personal Exploration and Shared Inquiry
Our students come from diverse Jewish communities across North America, as well as Israel, England, South Africa, and South America. They are actively encouraged to explore their own and each other’s beliefs and practices in an atmosphere of open inquiry and honest conversation. Our students graduate with an appreciation for the diversity of contemporary Jewish life, and models for shared learning and friendship among Jews with different backgrounds and beliefs.
An Innovative Curriculum: Combining Academic Rigor and Spiritual Depth
Our innovative curriculum brings together the worlds of critical scholarship and the beit midrash, enabling students to internalize Jewish sources as simultaneously historically contingent as well as transcendent. We understand critical scholarship as a framework that enables students to enter more deeply into our textual inheritance and thus address questions of meaning, relevance, and practice. Our students graduate with the ability to study Jewish sources in the original language, and to think creatively about their contemporary relevance – so that, as rabbis, they can invite others into our rich interpretive tradition as inheritors, innovators, and practitioners.
The Beit Midrash: Torah as a Process of Co-Creation
Our understanding of pluralism flows both from our commitment to K’lal Yisrael (the people of Israel), and from our conviction that every human soul is a unique reflection of the divine image. Human diversity is seen as sacred and woven into the very fabric of creation. What takes place around the tables of the Beit Midrash is not a battle of ideas but a meeting of souls, and Torah is understood as a sacred process of co-creation. This process of co-creation places the student-student havruta relationship at the center of the educational experience. Qualities of empathy, curiosity, humility, and respect are actively cultivated in our Beit Midrash and the process of learning – and of building community – becomes one of shared questioning and discovery.
A Vibrant Community: Infusing Jewish Life with Creativity and Joy
Our students and faculty see themselves as a community – both within and beyond the walls of the classroom and the Bet Midrash. We study together, engage in communal prayer and celebration, and share the rhythms of the Jewish year and of each other’s lives. In the ongoing life of the school, student leadership and initiative are actively encouraged, and we seek ways to draw forth the distinctive contributions of each member of our community. We strive to treat each other well, and the school is infused with an atmosphere of creativity and joy. Having experienced our approach to community-building within the school, graduates are both inspired and prepared to create dynamic and inclusive communities wherever they serve as rabbis.
Social Responsibility: Bringing Jewish Values to a World in Need of Repair
We believe that Judaism teaches us to engage with – rather than retreat from – the world around us. Through study, prayer, education, activism, organizing, community service, and interfaith leadership, we seek to address the pressing human issues of our time and bring healing to a world torn apart by violence, distrust of difference, devastating social inequities, and environmental degradation. With the leadership of Hebrew College’s Miller Centre for Interreligious Learning and Leadership, we have developed a thriving interfaith program that promotes mutual understanding, respect, and responsibility for the world we inhabit together. Our graduates understand that rabbinic leadership in the 21st century must transcend parochial concerns and must take responsibility not only for the Jewish future but for the future of our planet.
The Dean of Hebrew College’s Rabbinical School will provide compelling educational and organizational leadership. The Dean should have: the capacity to develop, articulate, implement, and model the vision and values of the school; strong interpersonal and organizational leadership skills; and the ability to lead through change with wisdom, professionalism, compassion, and a steady hand.
- Visionary and collaborative leader
- Leading the growth and development of the Rabbinical School and Cantorial program;
- Creating, refining, and implementing academic programs and administrative processes; Ensuring supervision of Rabbinical and Cantorial faculty and administrative staff; Overseeing faculty and staff recruitment; Supporting faculty and investing in their scholarship and professional development; Ensuring curricular planning, innovation, coordination and integration, including oversight and evaluation of classes and oversight of scope and sequence of courses in each area of the curriculum; Ensuring compliance with NECHE policies and procedures and culture of learning and continual improvement in relation to NECHE standards; Maintaining a strong relationship with the Rabbinical/Cantorial Alumni Association of Hebrew College.
- Working closely with the President of the College and other Executive Leadership Team members regarding fiscal and strategic goal setting;
- Cultivating positive, productive working relationships with all departments of the College; Leading development efforts for the Rabbinic School and Cantorial program; Overseeing the budget of the Rabbinical School and Cantorial program;
- Teaching within the Rabbinical School and, as appropriate, in other programs of Hebrew College; Advising and mentoring individual students; Cultivating a warm communal relationship with students in the Rabbinical School and Cantorial program.
- Models a deep personal commitment to Ahavat Torah, Ahavat Hashem, and Ahavat Yisrael; Embodies a strong personal commitment to and engagement with the study of the textual tradition (including commitment to Hebrew language and study of sources in the original), coupled with a commitment to pluralism, egalitarianism, and an interest in innovative approaches to the rabbinate and the future of Jewish life; Has the capacity to both articulate and implement vision; Has outstanding organizational and interpersonal skills, with the ability to manage projects, meet deadlines, and wisely balance multiple priorities; Is an effective team-builder, a relational leader who leads with hesed and rigor, and inspires the confidence and trust of faculty, staff, and students; Has a clear commitment to the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in educational settings; Possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills; communicates clearly and appropriately in a variety of settings and styles; Has proven leadership experience in Jewish educational settings, with at least four years of a successful track record in a supervisory capacity.
If someone you know might be a suitable candidate for this position, please forward their name and contact information to Wendy Linden at email@example.com.
To apply for this position:
Please send your resume to Wendy Linden at firstname.lastname@example.org. With your resume, please include a cover letter discussing your vision for rabbinic education, what draws you to this position, and what excites you about this opportunity.
All applications will be held in strict confidence by the search committee.
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