Education and Youth Director, Beth El Synagogue, Durham, North Carolina

Who We Are – Educational Philosophy 

We strive for children at Beth El to grow up with the skills and desire for a lifetime of connection to Torah, tefillah, Israel & the Jewish people, the world, and God. Through a combination of talmud torah, family and youth programs, our children emerge not only with strong synagogue skills (Shabbat and weekday prayer, Torah & haftarah reading, tefillin) but also with a sense that Judaism is a powerful way to confront life’s critical questions. Learning at Beth El assumes:

• Jewish life is most fully lived through community and connection; therefore, children’s education cannot exist in a vacuum, but rather must connect kids to each other, to multiple generations in the community, and to other Jewish communities, past, present and future;
• Students are encouraged to participate in Jewish conversations, both modern and ancient. Through this process of listening, asking and answering questions, we hope to build a strong and critical Jewish identity;
• Immersion in Jewish ritual and communal living is a pre-requisite for understanding the vocabulary of the Jewish tradition (i.e. to understand “Shabbat” one must experience Shabbat);
• Religious education must engage the heart, mind, and soul of every student.

Who We Are – Our Synagogue

Beth El is a pluralistic community and welcomes members who have diverse backgrounds, ideas, levels of knowledge, and observance. We are an egalitarian Conservative congregation and a member of the Southeast Seaboard District of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. We offer an Orthodox Kehillah affiliated with the Orthodox Union for those who wish to worship according to that tradition.

Beit Knesset: A house of gathering

Beth El is a community where people feel a sense of belonging and want to be involved. Beth El Synagogue has a lively and active campus, where thoughtful, multigenerational programming reflects a multitude of community interests.

Beit Midrash: A house of learning

Beth El instills a love of Torah and Talmud Torah, provides an environment of lifelong learning, and encourages its members to explore, to challenge and to grow.

Beit Tefilah: A house of prayer

Beth El supports pluralism in the prayer life of the community.

Beit Tzedek: A house of righteousness

Beth El is committed to observance of the mitzvot, to the principle of Klal Yisrael reaching out to all Jews, to the principle of tikkun olam which seeks to make the world whole through social and political action, and to the support Eretz Yisrael, the homeland of the Jewish people.

Beit Mo’adim: A house of life cycle observance 

Beth El provides its members, their friends and families a warm, supportive and caring environment in which to observe, celebrate and remember the turning points, the joys and sorrows that mark our lives.

A Beit Avodah: A house of service 

Beth El is a place where members work together as a community, to build and sustain our congregation.

The Position

The Education and Youth Director (EYD) of Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC is a full-time employee who reports to the Rabbi and is responsible for overseeing general administrative and educational operations of the Beth El Talmud Torah, the bar/bat mitzvah preparation process, and supplemental programs for children, youth, and families. Under the direction of the rabbi and in cooperation both with the synagogue’s administrative staff and its lay leadership (including a volunteer School Board), the EYD is responsible for facilitating the integration of the Talmud Torah with the ritual and community life of the congregation and for enhancing a clear set of social, educational, and religious pathways for post-B’nai Mitzvah students. Currently Beth El is engaging in a Strategic Planning process that has identified Education and Youth programs as a key area of planning focus. While continuing to manage daily operations, the suitable EYD candidate will play a central role in this process and should be excited about the opportunity 1) to engage in a “big-picture” conversation about how a synagogue can best facilitate Jewish youth education and engagement 2) help experiment and ultimately implement our dreams for the best way to educate our children. Finally, the EYD also serves as a role model in the community by exhibiting a commitment to Jewish practices and attending community events when possible.

Responsibilities include:

• Leading the Talmud Torah, including
Curriculum development and implementation o Staff hiring, evaluation (including classroom observation and supervision) and
professional development
• Oversight of B’nai Mitzvah preparation process
• Coordinating post-B’nai Mitzvah youth ritual, educational and social engagement
• Implementation of Youth Shabbat and Holiday Services
• Pre-Kadima , Kadima, and USY youth groups
• Administration of Talmud Torah, Family and Youth programming, in conjunction with the Executive Director and with the support of the Administrative Assistant, including

Budgeting o Marketing o Public relations

The Community Beth El Synagogue has strong ties to university communities of Duke, University of North Carolina and NC State that are all within a half-hour drive to the synagogue. Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community that continuously earns accolades as one of the best places in the country to visit, live, and do business. With nationally acclaimed restaurants, shopping, historical sites, and myriad other things to do, Durham is the place where great things happen. A significant portion of our congregation comes from Chapel Hill, a town that continually receives accolades for being a top location to visit, live and do business. The A & E television channel recently recognized Chapel Hill as the #2 city in their “Top Ten Cities to Have it All” and Money magazine rated the town as the #1 “Best Place to Live in the South.” Durham-Chapel Hill is part of what is known as the Research Triangle, home to the Research Triangle Park that is one of the nation's fastest-growing high-tech centers. Residents of the Durham-Chapel Hill area can easily take advantage of the many cultural amenities of nearby Raleigh, NC.

Centrally located in the state, Durham-Chapel Hill offers a convenient departure point for day trips to explore all that the beautiful State of North Carolina has to offer--from the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the gentle, breaking waves of our ocean coastline.
Our Compensation and Benefits Beth El offers a competitive salary and generous benefits package as summarized below. More specific information on benefits can be provided to candidates invited for interview. Salary: $50’s, depending on experience and education Benefits: health insurance stipend, professional development allowance, professional dues, retirement plan with employer contribution, synagogue dues, religious school tuition discount, flexible spending account for health spending/childcare and/or eldercare, paid vacation/sick leave/family leave, paid holidays.

To Apply 

Interested candidates should e-mail a cover letter and resume to: Applications will be kept in confidence and reference checking will only be performed with permission of the candidate. The last date to submit application materials is March 1, 2013 but candidates are encouraged to apply quickly as application materials will be evaluated on a “rolling basis.”

For More Information

For more information on the Beth El Synagogue, visit us on the web at:

Beth El Synagogue is affiliated with the Conservative movement. For more information on the Conservative Movement, visit