The Howard M. Holtzmann Jewish Chaplain at Yale (“the Chaplain”) holds a unique, senior position that distinguishes Yale’s Slifka Center from other Hillels.  Distinct from the Executive Director, the Chaplain serves as a senior rabbi to the Yale community in a role that combines teaching, community leadership, pastoral care, and day-to-day work with students and faculty.  The Chaplain has a mandate to support students in building a rich and pluralistic Jewish community, to engage with faculty, and to explore, teach, write, and speak about Jewish texts, ethics, and values.  Together with the Executive Director, the Chaplain represents Slifka and the Jewish community in conversations with the Yale administration, faculty, and the broader community. 

Because of the Slifka Center’s unique leadership structure, the Chaplain has the opportunity to serve the Yale Jewish community as a senior teacher, scholar, and community leader without the operational and fundraising responsibilities that typically accompany leadership roles in Jewish institutional life.

Primary Responsibilities

  • The Chaplain’s primary focus is student-facing work, including pastoral, educational, community building, and intellectual engagement across Yale’s diverse Jewish community of roughly 1,500 total Jewish undergraduate and graduate students, as well as hundreds of other members of the Yale and New Haven communities.
  • The Chaplain holds primary responsibility for facilitating a culture at Slifka Center in which deep friendship, study, debate, and a sense of shared Jewish peoplehood flourishes across denominational, political, and other differences.  The Chaplain establishes the methods, metrics, and goals that guide Slifka’s efforts to engage Jewish students, support student initiatives, build a vibrant and pluralistic Jewish community, and assist students in deepening their Jewish identities. 
  • The Chaplain is the senior rabbi of the Yale Jewish community, leading a team of spiritual leaders who support Yale’s diverse prayer communities (minyanim), designing Shabbat and holiday programming, and providing pastoral care to students and the Yale community.  The Chaplain supports the professional growth of the other members of the student-facing team.
  • The Chaplain is the rabbinic voice of the Slifka Center, teaching Torah in small groups and public lectures, overseeing formal Jewish education, articulating Jewish values, disseminating written Divrei Torah, inspiring commitment to Jewish texts, traditions, and Israel, and speaking to – and on behalf of – the Yale Jewish community during moments of crisis and opportunity.
  • The Chaplain often represents Slifka Center at alumni gatherings, fundraising activities, and community events, and authors substantive messages to the broader parent, alumni, and donor community. The Chaplain also travels periodically for donor visits and/or events.
  • The Chaplain serves as a rabbinic resource, intellectual partner, and primary liaison to the Yale faculty.  The Chaplain may study with and answer questions from individual faculty members seeking to deepen their own Jewish identities or better serve their Jewish students.  The Chaplain may fill a similar role with particularly involved Yale alumni and parents.
  • The Chaplain represents the Slifka Center to the Yale Religious Ministries and the University Chaplain’s Office, and is a key interlocutor for the diverse religious and spiritual communities around Yale.  Together with the Executive Director, the Chaplain represents the Jewish community to the Yale administration.
  • The Chaplain works with the Executive Director in creating a staff culture that is collaborative, supportive, and open.  The Chaplain works with the Executive Director to design initiatives such as staff meetings, retreats, and team building activities.

Potential Expanded Responsibilities

In addition to the Chaplain’s primary responsibilities, it may be appropriate for the Chaplain (in consultation with the Executive Director and the Board) to take on additional responsibilities, including:

  • Direct supervision of Slifka Center’s student-facing staff:  Such supervision would include oversight and stewardship of the “student life” portion of the Slifka Center budget; weekly meetings with supervisees; annual and mid-year performance reviews; oversight of logistical, emotional, and other work-related needs.
  • Formal development responsibilities:  Such responsibilities may include providing strategic thinking for fundraising efforts and stewarding specific donor relationships.
  • Additional academic or intellectual projects: Such projects might include partnerships with academic programs, co-teaching courses, data gathering and statistical analysis about Yale Jewish life, and special writing projects.

Relationship with the Executive Director and Board of Trustees

The Chaplain reports jointly to the Executive Director and to the Board of Trustees.  The Executive Director has primary responsibility for overall management of the Slifka Center, including fundraising, communications, operations, facilities, financial management, human resources, and external stakeholder management.  Day-to-day, the Chaplain works closely with and reports directly to the Executive Director.  The Board communicates regularly with the Chaplain, not on day-to-day work, but to ensure alignment of the Chaplain, the Executive Director, and the Board.  The Board has exclusive responsibility for hiring, evaluation, and any decision to terminate the employment of the Chaplain.  The Chaplain attends board meetings, works closely with several different board committees, and is an important part of board development and culture.  Excellent working relationships among the Executive Director, the Chaplain, and the Board of Trustees are essential.

Qualifications

  • Rabbinic ordination and advanced degree in Jewish Studies or Jewish Education. 4+ years of formal study of Torah and Rabbinics, as well as a demonstrated commitment to ongoing, regular Jewish text learning.
  • 5+ years of relevant work. Experience in grassroots community organizing, Hillel, interfaith work, youth movements, camping, or experiential Jewish education is helpful.
  • Passion for Jewish texts, Jewish ideas, and Israel, and proven success with pluralistic community-building and outreach.
  • Training and experience in pastoral care and counseling, staff supervision, and leadership development.

We are looking for someone to lead in this space, with vision and ability to expand this work. If you feel that is you, but you do not meet every qualification listed in this job posting, we encourage you to apply. 

Compensation

  • Competitive salary ranging from $160,000 to $180,000.
  • Comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan, life insurance, long-term disability (LTD), vacation/sick time, and parental leave.
  • Great professional development, mentoring, and skill-building opportunities at Yale and with the Hillel movement.
  • Opportunities to attend global conferences and travel regionally and abroad.
  • Access to events and amenities as members of the Yale community.

Please do not let the salary range deter you from applying.  If this range is not in line with your expectations, we are open to having a conversation with you.

About the Slifka Center

Slifka Center is a self-supporting non-profit that serves more than 1,400 Yale undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, staff, and members of the greater New Haven community. Located at 80 Wall Street, in the heart of Yale University’s campus, the Slifka Center provides a warm, welcoming, and diverse Jewish environment in which students and other members of the university community can connect socially, culturally, intellectually, and spiritually.  The Slifka Center is the home to Yale Hillel which hosts multiple minyanim and communities of students with diverse interests including Magevet (Yale’s Jewish a cappella group), Shibboleth (Yale’s undergraduate journal of Jewish thought), W{Holy} Queer (Yale’s religious LGBTQ program run in partnership with other campus organizations), Yale Friends of Israel, Jewish service and social justice programs, as well as other student groups. For more information see www.slifkacenter.org.

The Slifka Center contains the only kosher dining hall on campus, which serves as a focal point for student life within and beyond the Jewish community and a meeting place for students, faculty and community members alike. In addition to the kosher kitchen, the facility also features a chapel, a library, a Beit Midrash, an art gallery, as well as additional gathering spaces utilized by the Yale campus community.

Slifka Center is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating an accepting and inclusive environment for all.

About New Haven

Now Connecticut’s second largest city with a population of nearly 130,000, New Haven, the nation’s first planned city, sits on the coast midway between New York and Boston. The central town square, established in 1640 and located across the street from Old Campus (Yale’s “front door”) and a block away from Slifka Center, hosts many summer concerts and other events. A wealth of museums, theaters, and Yale’s architecture-style Gothic academic buildings are all woven into the fabric of the city, which stretches for 20 square miles and is picturesquely surrounded by the red bluffs of East and West Rock. Famed for its intellectual life, sports, cuisine, theater and music, New Haven expands each summer with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, a 15-day festival of performing arts, lectures, and conversations that celebrates the greatest artists and thinkers from around the world.  New Haven has had a significant Jewish presence since 1758 and continues to host a thriving Jewish community with several synagogues and kosher restaurants and close connections with Yale and the Slifka Center.

Timeline and Contact Info

Our hope is to have someone in this role by the beginning of the 2024-2025 academic year.

We will, however, consider candidates who may have commitments beyond the summer.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Please submit applications by May 5, 2024

If you have questions, please contact Jake Rubin, Associate Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Strategy at Hillel International (jrubin@hillel.org).

Please also feel free to contact the search committee chair, Yishai Schwartz (Yishai.Schwartz@gmail.com), and Slifka Center’s Executive Director, Uri Cohen (Uriel.Cohen@yale.edu).

About Hillel International

In 1923, Rabbi Benjamin Frankel started Hillel with humble means, a noble mission and a breathtaking vision: to convey Jewish civilization to a new generation. Today, Hillel International continues to enrich the lives of Jewish students and is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world at more than 550 colleges and universities across North America and around the world. As Hillel evolves as an organization, the mission remains steadfast: to create lasting connections with every Jewish student that foster an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel and train them to become the next Jewish leaders.

Hillel is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating an accepting and inclusive environment for all.

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