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Director, Center for Jewish Leadership

Director, Center for Jewish Leadership

Director, Center for Jewish Leadership

Spertus Institute is an innovative and creative institution of higher Jewish education.

As Spertus approaches its centennial, it is positioned to be a leading center of high-impact, applied Jewish learning: learning that applies Jewish texts, thought, and experiences to solve the most pressing challenges of today and tomorrow. Building on our decades of impactful work in Chicago, we are strategically and successfully expanding our programmatic and geographic footprint worldwide.

This is an exciting moment in Spertus Institute's history, as we implement a Strategic Plan focused on invigorating comtemporary life and communities, engaging with emerging issues through Jewish lenses, increasing global access to Jewish learning, and building adaptive Jewish communities by empowering learners and leaders.

As Spertus Institute looks to the next century of this important work, it seeks a Director for its acclaimed Center for Jewish Leadership.

About the Center for Jewish Leadership

Rooted in the belief that great Jewish communities need great Jewish leaders, the Center for Jewish Leadership transforms Jewish life by cultivating innovative approaches to leadership and enhancing the abilities of Jewish professionals and lay leaders. Since its inception, the CJL has reached more than 2,500 Jewish communal professionals and volunteers representing more than 250 organizations. These current and future leaders have gained the knowledge, expertise, creativity, and strategic agility required to guide Jewish organizations with strength, integrity, and success.

The Center for Jewish Leadership has a Chicago focus and an increasingly national and global scope. It is supported, in part, by a grant from the Crown Family.

Offerings include:

Position Overview

The Director of the Center for Jewish Leadership will oversee the Center's offerings and strategic growth, manage the Center’s programs, advise and support students enrolled in the Center's programs, and work to identify and initiate new programs and initiatives. 

Position is onsite in Chicago and reports to Dean/Chief Academic Officer. 


Program Management (50%)

  • Manage the Center's academic and program scheduling (in partnership with the Assistant Director of Mentoring and Programs)
  • Communicate regularly with students and work to enhance the student experience
  • Identify, develop, and communicate student and alumni impact stories for PR, recruitment, and development purposes
  • Engage with curricular review, program evaluation, and assessment of student learning (in partnership with the Dean/CAO)
  • Identify potential new faculty and presenters
  • Work with Assistant Director of Public Programs and Assistant Director of Mentoring and Programs to develop continuing education opportunities for students, alumni, and broader Spertus audiences
  • Generate and assist with generating student enrollment reports and reporting information for outside oraganizations (including Higher Learning Communission, Illinois Board of Higher Education, and program funders)

Student Advising and Support (30%)

  • Advise MAJPS, EMAJPS, and Certificate students
  • Develop and implement a system for regular student check-in
  • Track student progress for purposes of retention and completion
  • Supervise/evaluate the mentoring program (not a supervisory relationship with Assistant Director of Mentoring and Programs)
  • Support student enrollment growth by working with Recruitment/Outreach to develop strategies for student recruitment, community or organizational collaboration, and program positioning

New Program Initiatives (20%)

  • Explore new program opportunities and conduct market research
  • Evaluate ideas and recommendations for new programs and develop business and implementation plans
  • Identify foundations and other funders to support the development of new programs (in partnership with VP for Advancement)

The Director of the Center for Jewish Leadership may have the opportunity to teach of one or two courses annually, as appropriate to Director’s academic and professional areas of interest, education, and experience.

Position Requirements


  • Earned doctoral degree or terminal graduate degree in a related field
  • 3-5 years of experience in academic affairs or relevant administrative experience
  • Experience working with graduate students in Jewish Studies or related fields

Related Skills or Knowledge

  • Strong communication skills, including written, verbal, public speaking, and presentation skills
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of the Jewish community and Jewish organizations and institutions
  • Knowledge of professional training programs and best practices
  • proven success in working with diverse constituents
  • proven ability to plan strategically and successfully multi-task.


  • Minimal, as needed for meeting with key stakeholders, funders, and prospective collaborating partners


  • Salary Range: $70,000-$90,000
  • Attractive Benefit Package includes vacation and paid sick leave, medical and dental insurance, retirement savings, employee assistance program, early Friday closures, and Jewish and secular holidays.

Application Deadline 

  • September 15, 2021

Start Date

  • No later than February 2022


Submit a cover letter and resume to with the words Director, CJL in the subject line. 

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. 


Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership is a nondenominational institution of higher Jewish education, proudly based in Chicago and increasingly serving students around the world. Its offerings include graduate degree programs in Jewish Studies, Jewish Education, and Jewish Professional Studies, as well as a range of sophisticated professional and public programming.

Founded in 1924 as Chicago’s College of Jewish Studies, Spertus Institute today offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. These opportunities enable personal growth, train future leaders, and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Spertus Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is guided by core principles that inform its operations and programming. Mission and Core Principles >

For Spertus, this is a time of exciting opportunity and growth. Tied to a new Strategic Plan, we are building our standing as a leading center for thoughtful and relevant applied Jewish learning, with programs that address current and emerging needs. About to enter our second century as an academic institute with renewed vigor and vision, we are expanding the Spertus teamto achieve ambitious academic and global expansion goals. 

What is it like to work at Spertus? Here is what our staff has to say.

In our most recent employee survey, 9 out of 10 employees agreed that: 

  • Their work contributes to the organization’s mission, strategy, and goals.
  • They have what they need to be successful in their roles.
  • They are comfortable asking for help from others on their team.
  • They have confidence in the leadership of the organization.
  • Spertus demonstrates care and concern for its employees.

If this is what you would like to be saying about your workplace, Spertus just might be the place for you.

Spertus Institute provides equal opportunity in all employment practices to all qualified employees and applicants without regard to race, ancestry, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, marital status, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal, state, and local laws. This policy applies to all aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment, hiring, compensation, promotion, transfer, disciplinary action, layoff, return from layoff, training, and social and recreational programs. All such employment decisions will be made without unlawfully discriminating on any prohibited basis.


Photo above courtesy DMK Adrien Barakat.