Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for the next Director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Ann and Nate Levine Academy, Dallas Texas.

Background

Dallas is a modern metropolis in north Texas. It is the commercial and cultural hub of the region. Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US and the third largest in Texas with a population of 1,281,047. The Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area has a population of 6,954,330. The area is one of the fastest emerging economies in the country and enjoys a favorable standard of living when compared to the nation’s top twenty most populous metropolitan areas. The city is culturally rich and vibrant, with a vast array of premier arts and performance institutions as well as being home to nine professional sports teams. Dallas also hosts many colleges and universities with a robust academic community.

The Dallas Jewish community is as robust as the area in which it resides. It is one of the largest Jewish communities in the state with a population of nearly 60,000. Its history traces back to the mid-19th Century. Today there are 26 congregations across the ideological spectrum and 3 Jewish Day Schools that provide early education through grade 8, of which the Ann and Nate Levine Academy (formerly the Solomon Schechter Academy of Dallas) is pre-eminent with more than 400 students. There are two Orthodox Jewish High Schools. The community also has a comprehensive Jewish Community Center, a more than 100-year-old Jewish Federation, Center for Jewish Education, Jewish Community Relations Council, and the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.

For candidates not familiar with the Dallas/Ft. Worth region, there is a growing Jewish population, several kosher restaurants, and kosher food is available in major grocery chains. Its growth is marked through the availability of synagogues within walking distance from desirable and affordable residential areas. Relocation assistance will be made available to the successful candidate.

Position Overview for the Director of Jewish Life and Learning

The Ann and Nate Levine Academy’s mission statement asserts that it is an “inclusive, dynamic Jewish day school…” That initial word, “inclusive,” is very important to the Levine Academy community. It signifies that the school embraces all Jews and champions every child’s individual Jewish journey. We are the only non-orthodox Jewish day school in the entire Dallas metroplex. Levine Academy is also awaiting confirmation (expected this spring) of its full accreditation with ISAS (Independent Schools Association of the Southwest) which is the premier private school accreditation agency throughout the six state Southwest region.

The general and Judaic studies curriculum is fully cutting edge–STEM, student-centered, active/engagement focused, rigorous throughout, with continual academic alignment with the top private schools–and an ongoing, phenomenal 100% placement of its 8th grade students into the city’s leading independent schools, in addition to the most competitive arts, sciences and humanities magnet schools.

The second Mission Statement term, “dynamic,” means that Levine Academy is ever evolving. We are not a school that is complacent; we lean forward, we move forward.  We are a school in motion. We always seek and value professional development for our staff.

Reporting to the Head of School, the Director of Jewish Life and Learning will join a leadership team enthusiastically committed to establishing an innovative, challenging, student-centered educational experience for its growing student body. The school’s direction is fully 21st century, taking advantage of multiple source curricular strategies and employing complex instructional approaches that cultivate students’ unique learning strengths and styles. The Levine Academy community of current and alumni families takes enormous pride in the richness of the Jewish life of the school, including community service, Shabbat opportunities, parent ambassadorship, and supportive partnerships with the school’s administrative team and faculty.

Main Roles and Responsibilities for the Director of Jewish Life and Learning:

Spiritual Guide and Program Leader

  • Serves as a promoter and guardian of the school’s educational and spiritual mission and serves as a Jewish resource for staff, students, and parents.
  • Oversees, as well as collaborates with fellow faculty leaders, on the planning of, administration of, and programming for all major Jewish events on the school calendar, including weekly Shabbat services and daily prayer services.
  • Seeks to instill ruach throughout the school community, particularly during programs, traditions, and observances.

Jewish Life Leader, Curricular and Instructional Leader, and Judaic Teacher

  • Mentors Judaic teaching staff; leads regular Judaic staff meetings; builds collaborative teams; develops teacher leaders; oversees lesson plans, progress reports and report cards; teacher of a Judaic or Hebrew section(s) as per mutual agreement with Head of School.
  • Plays leadership role in the promotion and inculcation of the school’s core ideals and middot.
  • Assists with developing the curriculum and teaching strategies for Judaic studies and Hebrew faculty; oversees all deans and coordinators within the Judaic and Hebrew departments; collaborates with faculty and fellow academic team leaders with integrating Judaica with art, music, science, and creative writing and other subjects; responsible for overseeing the planning of special events, such as the grade level special service programs and the observance of Jewish holidays.

Additionally, the Director of Jewish Life and Learning, in collaboration with the Administrative Team and Academic Leadership Team, will participate actively in

  • fiscal and strategic goal setting;
  • school mission enhancement;
  • best practice research and professional development;
  • implementing educational initiatives;
  • marketing and admissions;
  • teacher recruitment and evaluation;
  • the advancement of curricular innovation, curricular coordination, curricular integration, school calendar, special events planning, class scheduling, graduation, and school policies.
  • the management of the budgeting, planning, and development process for all Jewish programming and the Judaic curriculum.

The Director serves as a close and supportive liaison with area Rabbis, congregations, Jewish agencies, Prizmah, and other Jewish national educational associations, and with the school’s parents’ association for all Judaic-related functions. The Director is responsible for the management and oversight of Kashrut policies and practices throughout the school facility. In a collegial manner, the Director plays the leadership role to fulfill the school’s central purpose of inculcating menschlichkeit and tikkun olam.

The successful candidate

  • is a self-motivated, self-directed individual who works both independently, yet, as a member of a team.
  • has excellent organizational and project management skills, with exceptional attention to detail, as well as a process and results orientation; the ability to manage projects, meet deadlines, and manage multiple priorities.
  • possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills; communicates clearly and appropriately in a variety of settings and styles.
  • at least eight (8) years of experience running programs and formal and informal Jewish educational experiences, with at least four (4) years of proven track record in a supervisory capacity.
  • has bilingual language skills in English and Hebrew, preferred.
  • proficiency in the use of Google Suite, Microsoft Office, and social media.

Compensation starts at $125,000, based on experience, skillset, and education. Benefits include health insurance; life insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, parental leave, tuition reduction plan, professional development, sick and personal days, vacation, Section 125 flexible benefit plan, and 403b retirement savings plan.

This job description is not designed to cover a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other functions and responsibilities may change or may be assigned.

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is proud of its association with the Ann and Nate Levine Academy, Dallas, Texas and to be conducting the search for its Director of Jewish Life and Learning. If you, or someone you know, might be a suitable candidate for this position, please forward, in confidence, the person’s name, cover letter, resume, and contact information to Rachel Woda at rachel@merskyjaffe.com.