Temple Beth Torah is dedicated to serving the spiritual, intellectual, and cultural needs of our members. In anticipation of Rabbi Eve’s impending retirement as our Director of Education, Temple leaders began a process of evaluating staffing responsibilities. An online article “Staffing Patterns in the Synagogue of Today: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future” by Dr. Ray Goldstein and Barry Mael influenced our perspective. One key point the authors make is “Attention should be paid to task analysis. It is critical that leadership undertake a process of analyzing current job descriptions and tasks to determine what gaps exist. These gaps then need to be filled either by hiring new staff or modifying existing positions to change job descriptions and priorities.”
We have done precisely that by examining the job descriptions for our past two Directors of Education. We have determined that there is a pressing need to redefine the position. Essentially, the issue relates to the fact that we have required our Director of Education to oversee Early Childhood Education (i.e., our preschool); our Religious School; and Adult Learning. Andrea Fleekop and Rabbi Eve are superb educators, but both would tell you that Early Childhood Education (ECE) was not part of their professional training.
Therefore, after careful consideration, the Temple board has approved the creation of two separate staffing positions for the coming fiscal year. One position will be solely devoted to the responsibilities of serving as Director of Gan Sameach. The other newly titled position of Director of Learning and Engagement will be our lead educator for our Religious and Hebrew School. This staff person also will have responsibilities for adult education; holiday programs; and some aspects of teen engagement.
We are very fortunate that Janice Fonteno will be chairing our search committee for the Gan Sameach Director and Cheryl Cohen will chair the search for the Director of Learning and Engagement. I can think of no two people in our congregation better qualified to head-up these searches. We hope that the search committees will be successful finding two qualified, dynamic individuals to fill the new positions.