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Director of Jewish Innovation

The Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester is located alongside the Erie Canal in Brighton and is a 200,000 square foot facility that houses our state of the art fitness, wellness and recreation programming, an aquatics center, a Professional Theatre, child-care Children’s Center and our a Premier Camping Program.

We pride ourselves on providing our 15,000 members with quality educational, cultural arts and social programming, and we are an inclusive community center that welcomes families and members of all faiths, backgrounds, and ages.

The Jewish faith and culture are deeply rooted in the Rochester area with a population of 20,000 Jews, over (10) synagogues and several Jewish Day Schools. We collaborate with other Jewish organizations including Jewish Family Services, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, and Jewish Senior Life to serve our Jewish Community and the Rochester area.

We are very fortunate to be working closely with major donors including the William and Sheila Konar Foundation, konarfoundation.org, the Max and Marian Farash Foundation, farashfoundation.org and other foundations and community members who have supported us in good times and are supporting us during these challenging times.

The Jewish Community Center recently purchased (105) acres of natural preserve directly adjacent to our building, and we are actively exploring opportunities to put it to use for the JCC and the community at large.

General Job Summary:

The Director of Jewish Innovation will report to the CEO and work together with staff, stakeholders internal and external to the JCC, and with synagogue and agency partners to infuse Judaism into what we do daily at the JCC and in Rochester broadly. The Director of Jewish Innovation will create an environment where imagination becomes reality and Jews are excited about the possibility of having relevant, meaningful, and fun Jewish experiences. The Director of Jewish Innovation will bring a spirit of creativity to how we experience Judaism on campus and beyond our campus, thinking about how people live Jewishly in Rochester. This individual will work with Staff and partners to reimagine, develop, and strengthen Jewish programs and opportunities, including strategy, content, and atmosphere.

Essential Roles and Responsibilities: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable an individual with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. Through the JCC, create opportunities to celebrate and explore Jewish living, to build engagement opportunities throughout Rochester.

  • Build, plan and bring to fruition strategic initiatives to engage Jews in our community.
  • Incubate new ideas and ventures in Jewish living.
  • Collaborate with Jewish start-ups.
  • Collaborate with Jewish organizations and institutions locally and nationally to build unity and synergy around Jewish life programs and events.
  • Create Jewish opportunities inside and outside the JCC.
  • Create, or collaborate with partners to present, innovative JCC- wide programming around major Jewish holidays
  • Work with staff and lay leaders to develop content and determine partners for events both on and off campus
  • Lead Jewish Education initiatives (including, but not limited, to those for our ) JCC Youth Camps and Early Childhood Education Programs.
  • Be a Jewish educator to JCC constituents
  • In collaboration with agency partners and synagogues, coordinate Programming around unique, Jewish Life-cycle events. For instance, develop programs that can meet people where they are Jewishly and take them to the next step in their Jewish journey. Follow some constituents’ Jewish growth and help them move from opportunity to opportunity.
  • Help to ensure an impactful Jewish presence inside the JCC.
    • Bring a Jewish neshama to the JCC – from ambiance on campus to content in the programs
  • Participate in leading the JCC
  • Support our Israeli community and Jewish engagement with matters related to Israel.
  • Work with Fundraising team to build support for programs and efforts including Grant Writing and Foundation interaction.
  • Offer Jewish educational opportunities for Board and Staff
  • Other related duties as required or directed

Key Competencies for Success:

  • Teamwork
  • Programming Development
  • Communication
  • Budget Management
  • Leadership
  • Trustworthiness & Ethics
  • Results Orientation
  • Problem Solving
Job Requirements
Supervisory Responsibilities: Possible Experience:

  • Strong knowledge of Jewish values and traditions.
  • 5+ years’ experience creating, designing, and developing innovative programming including implementation and growth.
  • Demonstrated success as a Jewish educator for different demographics.
  • Record of success in developing and securing funding sources to support program opportunities.
  • Excellent communicator with ability to communicate effectively with staff, lay leaders and program participants.
  • Positive, dynamic, contagious love for Jewish Life, community builder.
  • Strong conflict resolution and problem-solving skills.
  • Out of the box, creative thinker.
  • Self-starter with comfort taking initiative.
  • Demonstrated ability to work comfortably with all parts of the Jewish community.
  • Ability to work some weekend and evening hours and holiday-appropriate responsibilities on the Jewish holidays.
  • Relocation assistance will be considered.

Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of: Microsoft Office Suite including Excel, Power Point and Publisher and comfortable learning payroll, fundraising and other industry specific software.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Jewish or Rabbinical Studies preferred. Alternate degrees with applicable work experience also encouraged to apply.


Other Requirements:
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job the employee is frequently required to:

  • Stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, grasping and twisting, climb or balance.
  • Stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl
  • Lift and/or move up to 35 pounds
  • Use of computer keyboard

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential function of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform within the described work disabilities to perform within the described work environment.

If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Ernst, Talent Acquisition SpecialistPhone: (585) 461-2000, ext. 210     Email: jernst@jccrochester.org