Israel, Mishegas

Job: Israel Conversations Initiative Program Coordinator

I sure wish I lived in NY. Actually, I wish this was somewhere other than NY. But for someone out there who likes living in NY, this is a bahhhhgain.

The ground-breaking Israel Conversations Initiative (name to be determined) aims to build an inclusive, empowering model supporting young Jews to talk, study, deliberate, and ultimately define their own relationships to the State of Israel. The project will center on training a cohort of emerging Jewish leaders to facilitate and convene a series of conversations and events drawing together New York Jews in their 20s and 30s across diverse viewpoints. Moving beyond the avoidance, intimidation, and volatility that has surrounded many public conversations on Israel in the American Jewish community, the Initiative will create forums for productive, welcoming, head-on engagement with “hot topics” that inspire passionate disagreement.
The Initiative is part of a broader Campaign for Civility sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) that seeks to restore mahloket l’shem shamayim – sacred disagreement – to American Jewish discourse around Israel and other charged social issues. Seeking far more than “respectful disagreement,” the Campaign is working to build communal capacity for probing our differences rather than quieting them or attacking each other in the face of them. Working at both national and local levels, the Campaign hopes to play a catalytic role in restoring a spirit of openness, dynamic conversation, and genuine problem-solving across political divides.
The JCPA is the coordinating body for public policy and community relations in the Jewish community representing 15 national agencies and 125 local community relations councils throughout the United States. Our mission is to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world; and to protect, preserve, and promote a just American society, one that is democratic and pluralistic.
The Initiative is seeking exceptional applicants for the position of Program Coordinator. The Program Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing programmatic operations at each of the Initiative’s four stages: training of fellows as facilitators and conveners, designing and planning for events, event implementation, and evaluation.
In the process, the Program Coordinator will have an opportunity to be mentored in cutting edge theory and practice in the fields of conflict resolution and dialogue facilitation from veterans in the field, and will serve a central role in an ambitious campaign to address one of the American Jewish community’s most pressing tensions.
The Program Coordinator will play an integral role in the development and evolution of the Initiative by planning events and building, nurturing, and sustaining relationships with partners and participants throughout the greater NYC area.
The Program Coordinator will oversee all aspects of programmatic operations for the Initiative including:
· networking, outreach, and recruitment of fellowship applicants, project partners, and event participants;
· planning 3-day retreat for 20-25 attendees;
· supporting fellows to design community events, consulting to fellows on operational and programmatic needs, and identifying and troubleshooting challenges;
· supporting fellows to convene events by securing supplies, food, printing, and all other event preparation as needed;
· preparing marketing and publicity materials for online, social networking, list-serves, and print publications for all events;
· corresponding with all participants, keeping them informed and connected with one another as projects move forward;
· serving as on-the-ground eyes and ears for California-based director.
Primary Qualifications and Personal Characteristics:
The Program Coordinator will join the JCPA office in New York but report to the Program Director, who is based in California. Thus, the position requires a true self-starter, with excellent time and project management skills who can take control of local development with limited in-person supervision.
The ideal candidate will:
· possess outstanding leadership, communication and interpersonal skills;
· demonstrate ability as a self-motivated doer able to set goals and outcomes and achieve results;
· be comfortable and adept at communicating with a wide swath of partners throughout the Jewish communities and subcultures of the NYC area, including across lines of social, religious, and political differences;
· communicate with nuance, sensitivity, calm, and empathy with diverse populations on topics that are sensitive and controversial;
· be extremely well-organized and detail-oriented, capable of successfully managing and contributing to multiple projects simultaneously;
· be able to write eloquently under deadline and serve as a spokesperson for the Initiative;
· be a strong networker throughout the young adult Jewish worlds of NYC, able to successfully recruit potential partners and participants to be involved with the program;
· possess a nuanced understanding of the American Jewish community in general and the New York City area’s Jewish community in particular, with a particular focus on communal engagement with and responses to Israel. Experience working with such constituencies is strongly preferred;
· be willing and able to attend program events, which will sometimes take place during evening and weekend hours;
· have a commitment to the mission of mahloket l’shem shamayim – sacred disagreement –around Israel and other charged social issues;
· have a personal interest and background in conflict transformation, conflict resolution, and/or dialogue and deliberation.
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Eyal Rabinovitch at [email protected] with “Israel Conversations Project Coordinator” in the subject line.

3 thoughts on “Job: Israel Conversations Initiative Program Coordinator

  1. Interesting.
    At the end of July you had a post discussing why certain opinions shouldn’t be allowed.
    Now you have a post for a position that encourages dialogue ‘across diverse viewpoints’.
    Here’s a prediction: When somebody brings up a point that this ‘coordinator’ doesn’t agree with, no matter how sensible, that POV will not be allowed since ‘unrestricted free speech isn’t such a good thing’.
    However if someone brings up a point that the ‘coordinator’ does agree with, no matter how ridiculous, that POV will be allowed since we must dialogue ‘across diverse viewpoints’
    Just like college!
    Jewschool-two blogs in one.
    PS Don’t you think that a progressive organisation like the JCPA should mention something about pay in its job description?

  2. Dave, here’s a handy tip for reading Jewschool:
    At the top of each post, there’s an attribution that indicates who wrote or posted that piece. Different people contribute here, both regularly and as guest posters. There is no editorial mandate that posters agree with each other. In fact, we disagree all the time, and often quite vociferously behind the scenes.
    Hope that helps!

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