Director of Project Kavod/Dignity

Jewish Family Service is currently seeking a full-time Director of Project Kavod/Dignity to join our Community Connections team (37.5 hours per week). Project Kavod is a Jewish-values education program that fills an educational leadership need both externally and internally at the agency. The person in this role is a key connector/ambassador developing relationships within the local Jewish community, deepening this mutual partnership. This role also supports a diverse staff ecosystem within JFS, many of which do not identify as Jewish. This is a hybrid position out of the Seattle office on Capitol Hill.

This person will interpret, contextualize and explain ways in which the “J” is lived at JFS. This is done with a focus on presenting Jewish teachings that:

  • Articulate the Jewish values and traditions that have led Jewish Family Service to where it is today.
  • Explore the meaning of service with dignity/Kavod as a key Jewish value.
  • Address the social and emotional challenges JFS clients face and members of the Jewish community struggle with every day.
  • Provide guidance so action on behalf of others comes from a place of knowledge and humility, regarding the larger social issues facing JFS clients and the community.

 
The ideal candidate will:

  • Sees Jewish tradition as complex. The educator cannot be dogmatic about Jewish teachings. The goal of Project Kavod is to open the heart, not “teach the answer.” The “right” way to respond varies, depending on the person. The concept of “kavod” is complex and often elusive. Jewish teachings of this nature are meant to show the difficulty of understanding the meaning of what it means to be human, not to simplify it. This position is about nuance not ideology. This is crucial, as this person and the teachings must reach people of different backgrounds, including a wide variety of people both within and outside of the Jewish community.
  • Be comfortable and expansive with a range of Jewish cultural mediums and texts that speak to the issues related to the work of JFS. This person is called upon by JFS stakeholders as well as other community Jewish professionals and Rabbis for help finding and understanding these texts. The educator will uphold an expansive definition of mediums used (e.g. music, stories, articles, art and vehicles of learning and reflection).
  • Understand that distinctions between “clients” and others (staff, board, volunteers, and community) are misleading. There is a deep interconnection between all JFS stakeholders. The relationships are porous. Nobody falls neatly into one “category.” By articulating this point clearly and consistently, walls break down and everyone benefits.
  • Develop relationships with a broad range of stakeholders including staff, board and community members. People come to classes, read educational pieces, etc. if they trust, value and have a relationship with the teacher.
  • Be patient. Creating relationships and trust takes time. Embedding Jewish education in an institution that is newer to Jewish education is a huge cultural shift. The shift must continue gently, a drip at a time, primarily through education resulting from relationships.
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ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • External duties (65% of the role):
  • Develop and teach classes (in-person, hybrid and virtual) for wide, diverse audiences on topics related to the work of JFS.
    • Strategize and drive a consistent calendar of thoughtful, engaging events.
    • Pilot and sustain new, creative educational approaches and initiatives to bring in new stakeholders to JFS.
    • Create source sheets and other collateral as needed.
  • Support volunteer events by teaching about the connection to Jewish values. Draft collateral including reflective worksheets and other takeaways.
  • Infuse teaching and reflection into marketing, development and outreach efforts. Contribute to speaking opportunities and partnerships as requested.
  • Partner with client-facing programs to uplift their work through collaborative workshops and programming. Assist program teams with educational materials as needed.
  • Support the JFS board by helping them examine the “J” in JFS. Lead teachings at Board meetings and meet individually with members to guide discussions regarding decision-making, by providing a Jewish context.
  • Actively engage as a key connector/ambassador, fostering and strengthening relationships within the local Jewish community to enhance and deepen mutual partnership.
  • Internal duties (35% of the role):
  • Support JFS staff:
    • Individuals: act as a referral for Jewish resources and questions related to Judaism from staff.
    • JFS Teams: provide staff trainings and create resource materials as requested.
    • All-staff: connect the work of JFS to the “Jewish history and values guide our work” via emails for Jewish holidays and other Jewish cultural events, teachings at all-staff meetings and opt-in classes – keeping in mind the diversity of staff and varying levels of understanding of Jewish values.
    • JFS staff leadership: be available to leadership during challenging times to help think about how to respond in ways that will support the staff and the community.
    • Culture of Belonging: Support efforts to build Belonging and participate on staff workgroup.
  • Consult and/or lead within JFS in preserving the Jewish nature of JFS. This could include a variety of ways, including things such as helping with interviews, participating in on-boarding new people or leading Jewish holiday celebrations.

 
QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Deep knowledge of Jewish history, texts, teachings and familiarity with Jewish community and culture required.
  • Excellent relationship builder with ability to collaborate with a wide range of people including clients, community members, organizational partners, JFS supporters and staff.
  • Proven planning and facilitation skills, including knowledge of relevant tools and processes.
  • Ability to work independently with demonstrated initiative and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong reflective and critical thinking abilities.
  • Skilled at creating safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Ability to creatively engage a variety of audiences through programs, classes and discussions.
  • Attention to detail and excellent organizational, written and communication skills.
  • Working knowledge of personal computers including demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office, Word and Excel.
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge or other database systems is a plus.

 
SALARY AND BENEFITS:

  • The pay for this position is $89,140 – $108,949 annually.
  • Jewish Family Service offers a generous benefits package including:
  • Medical, dental, life insurance, long-term disability, and employee assistance program.
  • Paid vacation and sick time.
  • Paid Federal holidays and Jewish holidays.
  • 5% employer contribution to 401k retirement plan (no employee contribution required).
  • Additional benefits include: vision coverage and FSA enrollment.
  • JFS values and provides opportunities for continued growth and learning for all team members.