Career Listings

Lead Organizer, New Jersey

Overview and purpose:  

The RAC seeks a talented and experienced organizer to join the team that is redefining Jewish social justice in the Reform Movement for the 21st century. This individual will focus on taking a statewide initiative of the Reform Movement in New Jersey (45 congregations) to the next level by establishing the New Jersey Religious Action Center (RAC-NJ). RAC-NJ’s Lead Organizer will guide and train top lay and clergy leaders and the congregations they lead in the work of community organizing, advocacy, systemic social and economic change; build power across lines of race, class, and faith; develop and run campaigns in Trenton and around the state for public policy that embodies the principles of the Reform Jewish Movement; deepen a network of congregations taking action together; address critical social justice issues facing NJ; and create vital and transformative Jewish life. Along with state organizers in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas, the RAC-NJ Lead Organizer will help build out the RAC’s field organizing efforts to leverage the unique power of the Reform Movement to confront the unique social justice challenges of our time. This position reports to the Director of Organizing.    

You:  

YOU’RE GREAT AT  

  • Campaign Strategy Development – ability to develop and run campaigns to win legislative and corporate policy change at the local, state, and federal levels.  
  • Relationship Building – ability to develop strong public relationships with senior rabbis, elected officials, press, funders, and leaders of powerful coalitions as well as the ability to create productive relationships with the clergy of all faiths, lay leaders, community organizers, and Jewish professionals.  
  • Teaching – ability to teach others, particularly to train and mentor them to be able to become leaders and teachers of congregation-based community organizing efforts.  
  • Leadership Development – experience to effectively build and deepen a network of leaders who in turn develop their own networks of leaders; ability to assess and develop potential talent.  
  • Public Policy – skills to analyze legislative proposals in the context of Reform Movement policies and priorities  
  • Understanding Politics – the ability to think strategically, do a power analysis, and understand the dimensions of power at work in the public square.  
  • Understanding Inequity – training in and a solid analysis of racial and structural injustice and how to transform it through organizing  
  • Imagination – ability to envision what might be possible, and to engage in creative and critical thinking with others.  
  • Evaluation – ability to reflect and evaluate; self-reflection as well as the ability to evaluate the performance of others and their activities.  
  • Expression – ability to communicate in oral and written form.    

Us:  

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is a dynamic network of congregations, lay leaders, clergy and professionals across North America. Our progressive, inclusive approach unites thousands of years of Jewish tradition and values with modern Jewish experience to strengthen Judaism today and for future generations. Through programs, information and networking opportunities provided by the URJ, our nearly 900 member congregations enhance their capacity to build and expand community, deepen Jewish learning, energize worship, pursue social justice and develop inspired leadership.  

What you’ll do as our RAC-NJ organizer:  

The RAC-NJ Lead Organizer will work with Leadership Teams of clergy and lay leaders to:   

  • Support the transition of the existing state-wide organizing project of Reform Jews, Reform Jewish Voice of New Jersey (RJV-NJ) into an official RAC state organizing project. Maintain the leadership of this twelve-year project, sustaining the partnerships they have developed and overseeing their campaigns on climate justice, voting rights, and immigrant justice – specifically, legislation to provide drivers licenses to qualifying undocumented immigrants, supporting voting rights for those with convictions and more issues important to the RAC and the URJOpens a New Window.  
  • Engage New Jersey Reform Jews and other interested Jewish constituencies in strategic listening, research, and action campaigns to discern the issues that are in their hearts and the campaigns that are ripe for action that will move our country closer to equality, justice, and opportunity for all.   
  • Develop broad networks of powerful and strategic constituencies within the Reform Movement: clergy, youth, young adults, and synagogue members through ongoing leadership development and skills training as they engage in campaigns.   
  • Build relationships and partner across lines of race, class, and faith in the strategy-setting and actions of effective coalitions.   
  • Choose local, state-level and/or national campaigns that will improve the lives of New Jerseyans.  
  • Coach Reform synagogues to expand the social justice/community organizing work in their own congregations.   
  • Involve New Jersey Reform Jews in broad strategies such as petitions, call-in days, coordinated in-district legislative visits, and an annual Trenton Lobby Day.   
  • Develop innovative messaging and communications that further campaign goals and motivate Reform Jews to engage with RAC-NJ  
  • Promote the personal spiritual transformation that leads to activism by creating powerful moments and experiences that connect justice campaigns to Torah, Jewish ritual, holidays, and tradition.   
  • Engage our financial stakeholders through regular updates and invitations to participate in our work and identify and recruit new sources – individual and institutional – of funding   

The RAC-NJ Lead Organizer will also:   

  • Learn about and relate to the broader justice and congregational community of New Jersey including both Jewish organization leaders and leaders across lines of race, class, and faith in order to be able to do a clear power analysis of NJ and build enough power to make a significant social and economic change.   
  • As a member of the RAC staff team, this individual can also expect to participate in (to varying degrees):   
    • The planning and implementation of the annual and bi-annual URJ and RAC national gatherings and conferences, weekly staff and supervisory meetings, work with rabbinical interns, general fundraising strategies, strategic planning Reform Movement social justice visioning, evaluation of RAC’s work, and building relationships with other partners in the Reform Movement.    

Qualifications and experience:  

  • At least five years’ experience developing and running campaigns at the local or state level.  
  • Passion for social and economic justice, with a particular focus on the role of congregations in social change.  
  • Proven ability to bridge and build powerful, reciprocal relationships across difference and to help others do the same.  
  • Commitment to our mission of empowering people everywhere to win campaigns on the critical issues of our times.  
  • Desire to be part of a collaborative team and the ability to help the team be greater than the sum of its parts.  
  • A proactive inclination to propose innovative ways to impact issues and engage congregants, clergy, and teens in our campaigns.  
  • Love of the Jewish community and an appreciation of synagogues’ ability to transform individuals and communities. Familiarity with Reform Judaism and the Reform Jewish community.  
  • Strong willingness to take enough risks to win big – occasionally to fail, in which case you learn and adapt.    

Application process:   

Please include a one-page cover letter along with your resume, outlining how your skills and experience and how you meet the essential functions and qualifications of the position. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!   

  

The URJ maintains a strong policy of equal opportunity in employment. It is our objective to recruit, hire, and retain the most qualified individuals including those of any race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. Our equal employment philosophy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, compensation, benefits, training, promotions, transfers, job benefits, and terminations. The URJ encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.   

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understand the scope of the position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, or responsibilities associated with the position.  

Organization: 
URJ
Locations: 
Bergen County , NJ
Category: 
Advocacy/Social Action/Outreach
Employment Type: 
Full Time
Contact: 
Close Date: 
Monday, September 30, 2019
Organization Type: 
URJ