We’re Hiring a Community Rabbi
By Caroline Kessler
on January 15, 2023
GatherBay’s Community Rabbi will anchor the Jewish educational vision at GatherBay and help hundreds of Jewish 20- and 30-somethings in the East Bay connect to Jewish opportunities, build lasting friendships, and discover meaningful Jewish identities through alternative Jewish experiences. GatherBay is a new project addressing the specific needs of the Jewish young adult community across the East Bay.
We are looking for a personable, curious, caring individual who is early in their rabbinic career and excited to join a creative, grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to building meaningful Jewish life in the Bay. This position comes with a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. This is a full-time, exempt position.
TITLE: Community Rabbi
LOCATION: Oakland/Berkeley, CA preferred; open to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 29 @ 11:59pm PDT
ANTICIPATED START DATE: July 5, 2023 (flexible)
Frequently cited statistics show that historical biases in hiring lead to less applications from women and underrepresented groups unless they have 100% of the qualifications. Gather is committed to removing bias in hiring; as such, we encourage you to break that statistic and apply. No one ever meets 100% of the qualifications! We look forward to your application.
Who We Are:
Growing from the success of hyperlocal GatherDC’s relational engagement methodology, GatherBay is a new relational project serving the 20- and 30-somethings of the East Bay’s Jewish community. GatherBay emerged from GatherDC’s 9+ years of successful community engagement and continued on-the-ground learnings, as well as the 20+ years of relational expertise behind Gather, Inc.’s team. Gather, Inc. is a national organization that supports, among other program areas, our local city projects in Washington, D.C. and the East Bay.
To learn more about our approach and expansion to the Bay Area, read more in eJewish Philanthropy and the J Weekly.
Who You Are:
The Community Rabbi will work closely with GatherBay’s Community Director and Community Coordinator to help connect hundreds of Jewish 20- and 30-somethings to their people and space in the Jewish Bay Area. This person will be helping to shape GatherBay from the ground up, guiding the educational vision for GatherBay and providing critical pastoral and spiritual care to the East Bay Jewish community.
Through your work, Jewish young adults across the East Bay will feel and be connected to communities, individuals, experiences, institutions, and organizations that reflect the Jewish lives they want to live; be exposed to opportunities that facilitate relevant, active, and meaningful Jewish lives; be supported in forming/creating/grappling with their Jewish identities; and have the agency to create and pursue their own Jewish experiences.
With that in mind, you are comfortable leading ritual, learning, and services in egalitarian settings and working with individuals and couples of all backgrounds, including but not limited to interfaith couples, couples with a variety of gender identities and sexual orientations, and those who have been left out of institutional Jewish life. You’re skilled at facilitating groups with diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and knowledge levels, including the Jewishly-curious and non-Jewish partners of Jewish young adults. A love for and proficiency in teaching traditional and contemporary Torah, and a wide variety of other Jewish texts, will be necessary in supporting individuals and groups to grapple with the big questions of life through a Jewish lens.
As a small organization and a fledgling team, we need to be able to count on this person to contribute in big and small ways, especially as we navigate our “start-up” chapter. As such, you’ll have substantial opportunity to try new things and flex creatively, professionally, and Jewishly, and you are excited to learn and grow at a dynamic and emerging organization. You are able to think critically and creatively about the Jewish landscape; comfort with ambiguity and openness to change is a huge plus!
What You’ll Do*:
Hold rabbinical relationship-based engagement portfolio
- Conduct 1:1 coffee dates with individuals in the East Bay to learn more about them, and help them discover and build relevant, active and meaningful Jewish identities.
- Support community members on their unique Jewish journeys, fostering and cultivating meaningful and ongoing individual relationships.
- Connect individuals to Jewish life, initiatives, and organizations in the Bay Area that are a fit for what they are seeking on their Jewish journey.
- Foster relationships with other local rabbis, clergy, and educators to strengthen the fabric of Jewish life in the East Bay and help build a culture of mutual support and collaboration.
Steward GatherBay’s Jewish education vision
- Create and facilitate a range of meaningful, creative educational experiences (classes, text studies, discussions, retreats) for Jewish young adults that engage them in Jewish learning and help them understand and deepen their own connection to Judaism.
- Utilize existing Gather educational curriculum—as well as ideate and implement new curriculum—to host East-Bay-specific experiences that are welcoming, inclusive, and engaging to a wide range of young adults in the Jewish East Bay.
- Initiate and lead alternative Jewish experiences for 20- and 30-somethings and engage diverse and underserved segments of the Jewish East Bay.
- Host meaningful alternative holiday experiences for the East Bay Jewish community.
- Collaborate with the GatherDC Community Rabbi to share and enact Gather’s education vision.
Provide pastoral care and spiritual direction
- Provide pastoral care and spiritual direction to Jewish and Jewish-adjacent young adults in the community through individual conversations and group gatherings.
- Navigate difficult conversations, supporting community members in times of transitions, and/or discussion of life cycle events with grace, discretion, and support.
- Refer community members to other resources or counseling services as needed.
- Act as chief educator on various GatherBay-led initiatives.
- Provide education support for internal Jewish holiday and life-cycle celebrations.
- Lead staff in thoughtful dialogues about the intersection of Gather’s relationship-based engagement methodology and Jewish educational vision.
- Generate engaging online content as needed and in collaboration with other staff/consultants managing GatherBay’s digital presence.
- Maintain regular data entry to track, evaluate, and evolve engagement efforts.
- Execute office tasks as needed, including logistical preparation for events, sending life cycle gifts to community members, etc.
*These are considered the essential functions of this role. Please note that this role will require a fair amount of in-person meetings across the East Bay, in addition to Zoom/virtual meetings.
- You have 1 to 3 years of professional experience (outreach, community organizing, communications, or related work a plus).
- You have received (or will have received at date of hire) Rabbinic Ordination from a recognized seminary/institution (or smicha from a recognized individual).
- You have at least 1 unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and/or equivalent training in pastoral care, counseling, social work, or related field.
- You have comfort and skill in working with Jews from a variety of identities and backgrounds, including the Jewishly-curious and non-Jewish partners of Jewish young adults in our community.
- Experience and/or familiarity with the East Bay Jewish community is a big plus.
What We’re Looking For:
- You’re a savvy connector. You are able to build and maintain strong relationships with both peers and colleagues. You bring genuine energy and enthusiasm to your interactions and relationships and are able to propel dynamic conversations to connect with anyone you meet.
- You “get” the Gather approach. Gather prioritizes people over programs and understands that cultivating genuine one-on-one relationships is the key to building connection, community, and meaning-making. You’re able to shift your paradigm to our people-first philosophy and let that guide every aspect of your work.
- You’re a creative thinker. You’re great at thinking outside of the box and are able to not only conceptualize new ideas that don’t yet exist, but understand the steps that need to happen to bring them to life.
- You’re an independent self-starter. You are able to ideate and take action with minimal direction, and are highly motivated by successfully achieving your objectives. You’re comfortable with sitting in discomfort while you work through problems, and you’re able to move past roadblocks or difficulties to find alternative solutions to reach your goals.
- You manage complexity. You’re great at quickly understanding new concepts and integrating complex information to identify strategies and solutions appropriate to the task or problem at hand. You demonstrate keen insight into complicated sets of problems or concepts and are able to articulate the core idea or issue, breaking them down into clear and manageable components to find a successful solution.
- You’re comfortable with ambiguity. You’re an eager learner and are comfortable sitting with ambiguity as you work through a problem—but are not afraid to ask for guidance when you get stuck. You don’t mind putting on different hats to help move the team and the work forward, and are able to adjust to changing circumstances with a positive attitude and willingness to dive in.
- You have a strategic mindset. You’re able to zoom out of the daily grind and understand how the different components of the work fit together in the larger picture. You’re able to hold the macro and the micro simultaneously and are energized by the puzzle of how they all fit together, both in the present moment and in looking toward the future.
Please Apply If:
- You have a passion for creative approaches to Jewish ritual and holiday experiences.
- You genuinely love connecting with people in authentic ways.
- You’re passionate about co-creating and weaving communities.
- You’re a self-described “people person” and believe in the power of community.
- You’re excited to get in on the ground floor and play a key role in shaping an exciting new project as it grows.
Benefits & Salary:
- We offer a competitive salary ranging from $104,000 – $110,000, commensurate with experience based on Gather, Inc.’s organizational salary bands, scaled to the Bay Area.
- We provide robust benefits, including employer-sponsored healthcare options, generous discretionary and sick leave, retirement matching, an annual professional development stipend, and more.
- We are fully set up for remote work and are ready to set you up with a comfy home base for when you’re not out and about in the community!
What to Expect:
We know the job application process is never a walk in the park, but we try to make our hiring process as transparent and painless as possible. While we cannot have a conversation with every applicant, we commit to reaching out to every single person who crosses our screen to let them know where they stand in the process within a timely manner (this usually looks like one business week). We recognize the time and effort it takes to prepare and submit this application, and we appreciate your consideration of this role.
Here’s what our general process will look like:
- January 17: Role is live and accepting applications through January 29, 2023. Early applications are encouraged!
- Late January: Candidates with applicable experience will have a 15-minute phone call with Gather, Inc.’s internal screener.
- Late January – Early February: Candidates who advance to the interview stage will have a 60-minute Zoom conversation with the GatherBay Community Director.
- Late February – Early March: Candidates who advance to the second stage will have two 45-minute Zoom conversations with Gather staff members. Candidates will share 2-3 references at this time.
- Mid-March: Interview with Senior Leadership.
- Late March: Final candidates will be asked to facilitate a 45-60 minute text study for a small group of 20- and 30-somethings.
- Late March – Early April: Hiring Manager will check references for finalists. Then, an offer will be extended!
- July 5*: First Day!
*Start date flexible for the right candidate
So, you’ve made it to the bottom. Ready to apply!?
Please submit your resume and cover letter by January 29. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or if you need any specific accommodations during the hiring process. Please note: we are unable to receive applications outside of the above submission form.
Note: In accordance with Gather’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known and preventable hazards, all employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and maintain updated booster shots per official CDC guidance. Barring reasonable accommodations for documented medical exemptions, proof of vaccination is a condition for employment.
We deeply value the diversity of insight, perspective, and experience brought by people from backgrounds typically underrepresented in Jewish organizations. This includes Black, Latinx, and Asian people, Black Jews, Jews of Color, Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities. We also welcome applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual, and cultural backgrounds.