Director of Academic Communications

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, headquartered in downtown Chicago, seeks a Director of Academic Communications to advance the institution’s position as an innovative leader in the fields of Jewish Studies and Jewish Leadership. We are looking for an accomplished writer/editor who can combine strategy and practice to elevate Spertus Institute’s standing and capacity as the organization celebrates its centennial and begins its second hundred years!

For more information about Spertus Institute, see below.

About the Position

Director of Academic Communications is a new position. The person who fills this role will develop integrated communications strategies to advance the institution’s position and capacity. This position includes both strategy and practice, so the Director of Academic Communications will also have a direct role in implementing the communications strategies they develop.

They will work closely with colleagues on the Academic, Marketing, and Development teams.


The Director of Academic Communications will develop integrated communications strategies to:

  • Expand awareness of Spertus Institute and its work.
  • Aid student recruitment efforts.
  • Provide a communications platform for alumni initiatives and projects.
  • Support fundraising and resource development.

Strategy development will require the Director of Academic Communications to have or gain a platform of knowledge in the fields of Jewish communal work or higher education as well as familiarity with related publications and media outlets.

Writing and Editing

The Director of Academic Communications is an accomplished writer/editor. Because this position includes hands-on writing and editing as key components, the Director of Academic Communications will have a direct role in implementing the communications strategies they develop.

The Director of Academic Communications will:

  • Meet with faculty, administrators, and key constituents to identify and develop communications to highlight thought leadership, academic initiatives, and impact.
  • Communicate weighty material in ways that appeal to a range of audiences.
  • Be a curious storyteller who can tease out compelling narratives from the activities of Spertus Institute trustees, donors, students, and alumni.
  • Be a skilled communicator who is comfortable working in a range of formats, across media types, from long-format academic articles and grant proposals to creative briefs and media releases.
  • Plan, develop, and disseminate information to keep the communities served and broader public informed about programs, accomplishments, etc. in order to elevate the brand, reputation, and awareness of the Institute.
  • Working with the Marketing team, plan the implementation of digital and social media.

Publication and Placement

  • Prepare materials for in-house publication, both in print and online, including the management of an academic section of the Spertus website focused on Ideas & Impact.
  • Strategically develop leads and secure media placements in academic journals, professional publications, and mainstream media outlets, as well as select podcasts, blogs, and newsletters.
  • Manage special publications.

Thought Leadership

  • Participate in think tanks, as relevant.
  • Write short articles in areas of expertise and about the impact of our programs.
  • Regularly scan the market within our existing programmatic areas to identify trends and opportunities.
  • Occasionally teach courses across our programs, in area of expertise.

Institutional Leadership

  • Contribute to the preparation and reporting of grants, fundraising communications, and broader development efforts as they relate to academic offerings.
  • Represent the institution in the broader community through meetings, communal gatherings, alumni and student engagement, articulating its impact and aiding in brand awareness.
  • Develop workshops and seminars to engage a broader audience with the work of the institution.
  • Contribute to strategic resource development.



  • BA/BS in Communications, Journalism, Education, or related field.
  • Eight to ten years of experience with a focus on strategic communications or public relations.

Key Qualifications

  • Must be an accomplished writer and editor.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively, through writing and verbal presentation, with a range of audiences.
  • Proven ability to strategically plan and successfully manage multiple simultaneous projects with numerous components and fixed deadlines.
  • High degree of attention to detail and outstanding organizational skills.
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of constituents and collaborate with a range colleagues.
  • Knowledge of the Jewish community and/or higher education.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary Range: $80,000-$100,000

Attractive Benefit Package includes:

  • Vacation and paid sick leave
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement savings/401K plan
  • Employee assistance program
  • Early Friday closures and Jewish and secular holidays

The Director of Academic Communications reports to the Dean/Chief Academic Officer.

This position includes opportunity for advancement within the organization.

To Apply

Candidates must submit a resume, cover letter, and three writing samples.

Please note that Spertus Institute requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination status for employment.

Spertus Institute is an established DBA for Spertus College of Judaica.

About Spertus Institute Programs

Degree & Certificate Programs: At our core are degree and certificate programs in which students engage with Jewish ideas in the service of personal growth, community leadership, and professional advancement. These offerings, which merge theory and practice, educate Jewish professionals, community leaders, and those who seek quality, reflection-driven Jewish Studies scholarship. They serve students and organizations around the world.

Many Ways to Learn: Our academic and professional offerings are complemented by onsite and online programs, in an array of formats that invite people of all backgrounds and denominations to experience the richness of Jewish learning and culture. These programs are open to all. Every year thousands of participants increase their understanding of Jewish history, culture, and beliefs.

Why Work at Spertus?

Spertus Institute 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 values that inform its operations and programming.

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 team to 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.