Educator/Advisor - Teen Informal Educator
The Jewish Student Connection (JSC) (formerly Jewish Student Union) is a national, cross-denominational organization dedicated to establishing and supporting Jewish student clubs in public and secular private high schools.
Much like Hillel, the mission of JSC is to involve students in an active Jewish lifestyle. As a stand-alone informal Jewish education tool, the clubs are invaluable for creating a sense of Jewish community in a public school environment and providing Jewish teens in public school with an in-school educational experience focusing on issues of Jewish pride, identity, and connection to Israel. However, a larger goal of JSC is to act as a portal for connecting participants to the greater Jewish community.
JSC seeks to provide Jewish teens attending public and secular private high school with a deeper appreciation for their rich Jewish heritage and inspire them to live a fully committed Jewish life. JSC’s trained professionals facilitate the formation of student run and school sanctioned Jewish clubs in public high schools. JSC helps Jewish teens establish official Jewish clubs in their high schools which offer specially crafted programs designed to:
Enhance each teen’s Jewish identity
Nurture a connection to the State of Israel
Inspire an enduring relationship with the Jewish people
Provide a portal for deeper involvement with the Jewish community
The JSC Field Staff person is responsible to achieve the objectives of the Jewish Student Connection within a defined a group of high schools. The field staff person is the local JSC leader responsible for furthering Jewish identity among the youth of the assigned high schools, and must therefore possess the Judaic knowledge and excitement about Judaism necessary to accomplish that goal.
The JSC Field Staff person requires personal, organizational, and leadership skill and experience to effectively involve, educate, excite and guide JSC youth. The position requires the ability to work with a diverse student population in order to ensure a successful JSC program and connect the youth with the Jewish organizations and outlets appropriate for each individual Jewish teen.
The Field Staff person’s responsibilities fall into two general categories:
1) Implementing, coordinating, and recruiting for JSC after-school clubs in designated area high schools. Developing educational materials (multimedia, source/reference material, skits, creative educational presentations) for use in JSC clubs.
2) Developing relationships with the students in those high schools, specifically focusing on ensuring their continued Jewish involvement beyond attendance at the JSC clubs, especially by connecting them with other Jewish organizations that would be of interest to them.
The Field Staff person reports to the Area Director of JSC or the designated staff appointee.
The duties and activities of this position include:
1. JSC Club Activities
a. Plan and organize weekly club activities to inspire Jewish pride and identity in the assigned area public high schools for which you are responsible.
b. In consultation with assigned supervisor, determine a target attendance level for the JSC club at each school. Advertise and recruit for those clubs, utilizing print materials posted within the schools, homeroom announcements within the schools, and emails to club participant lists in order to reach target attendance number.
c. Develop educational materials (multimedia, source/reference material, skits, creative educational presentations) for use in JSC clubs. You may also (of course) make use of any materials developed by other JSC staff people around North America, however the creation of new and innovative materials is also expected, as detailed in item #3 below.
d. Pick up kosher pizza, beverages, and other refreshments to bring with you to each JSC club meeting.
e. Work with the assigned Area JSC Director to identify 2-3 other area public or secular private high schools that are ripe for hosting JSC clubs. Endeavor to initiate JSC clubs at those high schools by contacting school officials, faculty, and Jewish teens from those schools. Report on a bi-weekly basis to assigned supervisor on progress.
f. Involve the teens from JSC clubs in local, regional and national JSC activities, where appropriate.
2. Relationship Building
a. Maintain reliable records of the teenagers attending assigned JSC clubs in the JSC database, including (at minimum) names, grades, phone numbers and email addresses for all participants.
b. Keep in touch with JSCers by phone or e-mail on a regular basis.
c. Develop relationships with the JSCers outside the club format, inviting them to lunch or coffee, etc. in order to strengthen and deepen those relationships.
d. In consultation with assigned supervisor, develop a “follow-up plan” for each individual JSC participant so that their involvement in Jewish activities extends beyond JSC club attendance. Work with each individual participant to ensure that involvement. Examples of programs in which to involve teens are: Jewish youth groups, AIPAC, synagogue/congregational life, Write On for Israel, Israel Film Festival, etc.
e. Submit weekly status reports to supervisor indicating progress in achieving the goals outlined in individualized follow-up plans.
3. Educational Materials and Curricula
a. Develop (either by creating new materials or culling existing materials) sufficient programs and educational resources for use in JSC clubs. Included are:
i. A list of potential speakers to bring into JSC clubs
ii. Articles to use as discussion triggers
iii. Video clips to use as discussion triggers
iv. Original multimedia programs
v. Activities relating to holidays, Israel or other Jewish ideals for the teens to engage in during club meetings
b. Work with other JSC staff members to develop unique city-wide educational programs that can engage and educate JSCers outside of club time.
4. Administration Assistance
a. Assist the Area JSC Director in the day-to-day administrative office tasks. Which could include, but are not limited to:
i. mailings, filing, and supply purchasing
Qualified candidates will have experience in informal Jewish education and work with teens, as well as a dynamic and outgoing personality. Candidates must be prepared to work with teens and organizations from all backgrounds and to work as part of a broader team of professionals. Position requires some evening and weekend work and limited travel.
Position begins on or about August 1, 2012. Position will be based in Chicago. JSC does not pay relocation expenses. Salary commensurate with experience.