Job Opening: Director of Education and Family Programming

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Employment Opportunity: 

Director of Education and Family Programming

Full-time, permanent position

Application Deadline: May 6, 2018

Start Date: June 25, 2018 (flexible)

Location: Toronto, ON

Organization Overview

Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism is a grassroots Toronto community fusing Jewish tradition and progressive values through spirituality, learning and culture.  Makom creates inclusive space that inspires diverse participants to explore together how Judaism can meaningfully enrich our lives.

Makom Afterschool educates, inspires, and creates community among diverse Jewish children in downtown Toronto.  Now in its seventh year, Makom Afterschool is a growing, substantive five-day-a-week after-school program of Hebrew language immersion and Jewish learning for 70 children in JK through Grade 4, hosted in three public schools during the school year.

Makom ATID is an innovative program for Jewish pre-teens and teens to discover the wisdom Judaism holds for their maturing minds and bodies in today’s world.  Students in Grades 5-8 gather twice a week for nuanced, pluralistic Jewish learning; Hebrew conversation and literacy; investigating philosophies and structures of prayer; Torah and haftarah chanting skills training; and hanging out with their peers.

Position Responsibilities

The Director of Education and Family Programming will advance Makom’s mission of connecting diverse downtown Jewish children and families with high-quality Jewish education, meaningful Jewish experiences, and vibrant Jewish community.  Reporting to and working closely with Makom’s Founding Rabbi/Executive Director, s/he will grow Makom Afterschool’s and Makom ATID’s student bodies and strengthen Hebrew and Jewish learning, as well as expand the reach and deepen the impact of Makom Families programming.

As the Director of Education, the successful candidate will oversee all operational and pedagogic aspects of Makom Afterschool and Makom ATID, including:

  • Formulating strategic plans in collaboration with lay leaders and the Executive Director;
  • Forming positive relationships with students and parents and helping them connect with Jewish life and Makom;
  • Recruiting and retaining students and families in Makom Afterschool and Makom ATID;
  • Hiring, supporting, and supervising teachers, teaching assistants, and specialists, e.g., reviewing lesson plans, observing classes, providing guidance, and conducting regular meetings with staff;
  • Researching, writing, updating, and purchasing curricula and curricular materials;
  • Designing and overseeing implementation of student learning assessments and program evaluation;
  • Liaising with Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and host-schools’ faculty and staff;
  • Marketing and communications, including recruitment materials and Makom Afterschool and Makom ATID newsletters
  • Preparing and managing budgets and finances;
  • Researching, applying for, and reporting on grants; and
  • Working with lay leaders to fundraise for Makom Afterschool and Makom ATID.

Additionally, as the Director of Family Programming, the successful candidate will:

  • Form warm relationships with families and help them connect with Jewish life and Makom;
  • Develop and run monthly for Makom Families;
  • Plan and lead Family Services for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and occasional Shabbatot;
  • Market Makom Families programs and recruit participants; and
  • Maintain and expand existing community partnerships.


  • Mission-driven and passionate about Jewish learning, Hebrew language, and helping diverse Jews of all ages connect with Judaism and Jewish community
  • Creativity and enthusiasm to try new approaches
  • Excellent relational skills – ability to form collaborative bonds and communicate well with parents, teachers, TDSB principals and teachers, families, lay leaders, and Makom staff members
  • Strong leadership skills and experience running educational programming
  • Experience hiring, managing, and supervising teaching staff
  • Ability to foster a pluralistic approach to Jewish education for diverse students and their families
  • Success in student recruitment and retention
  • Strong professional skills – ability to work quickly, independently, and with accountability
  • Attention to detail and ability to produce high-quality written and media materials
  • BA in Education, Jewish Studies, or related field/experience; Masters degree preferred
  • Two or more years of teaching experience in formal and informal education
  • Fluency in English; strong knowledge of Hebrew and Judaism
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Proficiency in or ability to learn quickly online applications (e.g., Facebook, MailChimp, WordPress)


$50,000-$60,000, plus performance bonus

Benefit package includes professional development and paid vacation days and statutory holidays.

To Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter to aaron@makomTO.org by May 6, 2018.


Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism | 402 College St. Toronto, ON M5T 1S8 | 416-546-6043 | info@makomTO.org

NEYSHEV: Meditation in Silence + Song

Fridays, Apr 13, 20 & 27

@ Makom  402 College St
PWYC | $10-20/session
RSVP required

Neyshev. Let’s sit. Chanting, meditation instruction and sitting. Everyone is welcome. No previous experience necessary.

Led by meditation teacher, musician and prayer leader Aviva Chernick.

Please arrive before 7:45 to set up. There are chairs for sitting in. Please feel free to bring a cushion for the floor and a blanket to wrap up in for warmth and comfort. Registration required; please email Aviva.

SHABBAT MORNING Learners’ Service

This Saturday, Apr 21
@ Makom
 – 402 College St
FREE | RSVPs Appreciated

Want to know how to navigate and find meaning in a traditional Shabbat morning service? Join us for this abridged, explained service for pre-teens (grade 5 and up) with their parents, teens, and adults.

Co-led by Rabbi Aaron and Rabbi Emma, we’ll learn the service structure, sing key prayers, discuss the Torah portion, and enjoy a light kiddush (snacks). [This service will be mixed seating and egalitarian.]

PJ PLUS: Bringing Jewish Books to Life

Sundays, April 15 – May 13,  10 – 11:15am
Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism – 402 College St. 
$75 for 5 weeks
For details and to register: HERE

PJ Plus is a parent/grandparent & tot (2&3 yr olds) weekly class, based on PJ Library books.

This Spring session come and experience: Celebrating Israel and Yom Haatzmaut, Shavuot Shakes, Mother’s Day Magic and much more through hands-on Jewish learning, crafts, music & movin’ based on PJ Library books. Have fun and connect with other young Jewish families downtown!

Questions? Contact Adina Lipson at alipson@ujafed.org or  416-621-5675.




Spadina: Then & Now, Photos & Film

Tuesday, Apr 24

@ Makom – 402 College St
FREE | RSVPs Appreciated

Join us for an evening celebrating the historic and present-day Kensington Market and Spadina Avenue through photography and film. View architectural photographer David Kaufman’s new portfolio on display at Makom​ of the contemporary urban landscape of Chinatown and ​Kensington Market. Watch the classic documentary Spadina (1984) by David Troster, incorporating interviews with community members as well as archival footage and images of one of Toronto’s first Jewish neighbourhoods. The screening will be preceded by remarks from Kaufman about his document​ation of​ the evolution of Spadina and the Market.
​ ​
The area’s history is equally honoured in the current FENTSTER exhibition in Makom’s storefront window.  A Place for Wholesome Amusement by Chinese-Canadian artist Shellie Zhang illuminates​ how Toronto’s Jewish and Chinese communities fostered their cultures in the same theatre at Spadina and Dundas.

​Screening followed by light refreshments.

Presented by Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism, Toronto Jewish Film Festival and FENTSTER
[IMAGE: David Kaufman, Flash Back Used Clothing, 2015]

The Murmuring Deep: Literary and Psychoanalytic Reflections on Torah, with special guest Dr. Avivah Zornberg

Sunday, Apr 29
7:00 – 8:30 PM
@ MNJCC – 750 Spadina Ave 
Advance Tickets – $10, Door – $15
Tickets Here

World-Renowned Torah scholar and Professor of English Literature Dr. Avivah Zornberg joins us from Israel for a richly textured exploration of biblical narratives, modern midrash and the biblical unconscious.

Dr. Avivah Zornberg was born in London and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father was a Rabbi and the head of the Rabbinical Court. She studied with him from childhood; he was her most important teacher of Torah. She holds a BA and PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. After teaching English Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she turned to teaching Torah. For the past thirty years, she has taught Torah in Jerusalem at Matan, Yakar, Pardes and the Jerusalem College for Adults. Dr. Zornberg also holds a Visiting Lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies. She travels widely, lecturing in Jewish, academic and psychoanalytic settings.

Dr. Zornberg is the author of five books, some of which will be available for purchase at the event: Moses: A Human Life, The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious, The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis, The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus, and Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers.

Co-sponsored by Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, City Shul, Congregation Shir Libeynu, Danforth Jewish Circle, First Narayever Congregation, Kiever Synagogue, Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism, and Miles Nadal JCC.

Partners: Annex Shul


6pm – Doors Open; 6:15 – Services Start
@ Makom  402 College St
$10 for Dinner (only $5 for Makom Members)
Registration Required


Dinner Dates:

 JAN 26 | FEB 23 | MAR 23 | APR 27 | MAY 25 | JUN 22 | JUL 27 | AUG 24


Celebrate Shabbat with spirit! Wind down from the week and welcome Shabbat with soulful, song-filled services, in which everyone can participate.

After services, we’ll enjoy a delicious, catered vegan Shabbat dinner together. Very limited space; register now.

Makom is a proud participant in the Synagogue Vegan Challenge, in which the Shamayim V’Aretz Institute for Animal Welfare and VegFund are subsidizing our all-vegan food for 5778.

Makom is a diverse and inclusive community that welcomes participants who espouse many different approaches to Judaism, from secular to traditionally observant. In order to join together as one community without regard to denominational labels, our services blend traditional and progressive practices. Both women and men lead different parts of services. We offer men’s, women’s, and mixed-seating sections. We need an egalitarian minyan of 10 Jews in the room + a non-overlapping traditional minyan of 10 men in the men’s section to start the maariv service, so we encourage you to come on time.

Hope to see you there!


Friday Night SERVICES  + Potluck KIDDUSH

Friday, Apr 13
 – Doors open; 6:15 – Services start
@ Makom  402 College St

Celebrate Shabbat with spirit! Wind down from the week and welcome Shabbat with soulful, song-filled services, in which everyone can participate.

After services, join us for a community kiddush; please bring a kosher-certified food or beverage to share for snacking & schmoozing.

TORAH STUDY by the Lake

5 Tuesdays, Apr 10 – May 8
65 Harbour Sq (Queen’s Quay W & York St)
$125 for the series

Come learn Torah! In our ongoing, multifaceted study of the Torah, we’ll learn and discuss Devarim (Deuteronomy) chapters 25-29 from a great variety of perspectives: ancient and modern, traditional and academic, literary and historical, etc.

No prior Jewish study or Hebrew knowledge required. Contact Rabbi Aaron for more info and to register.

FENTSTER presents: A Place of Wholesome Amusement

February 26 – May 22, 2018
@ Makom – 402 College St

In a striking new neon light installation, Toronto-based and Beijing-born multidisciplinary artist Shellie Zhang reimagines marquee signage to represent two significant cultural institutions established by Chinese and Jewish newcomers to Toronto in the same building at the corner of Dundas and Spadina. First known as the Standard Theatre, the venue opened as a Yiddish theatre in 1922 and five decades later hosted Chinese cinema as the Golden Harvest Theatre. The artist considers how one building served as a locus for cultural expression and cohesion for two different communities. Accompanied by a detailed overview of the building’s colourful history and reproductions of archival materials, the exhibition surfaces immigrant narratives embedded in the architecture of the Kensington Market-Chinatown neighbourhood, revealing little-known points of connection and breaking down siloed conversations about our city’s past.

Presented by FENTSTER and the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre as part of the 2018 Myseum Intersections city-wide festival
Curated by Donna Bernardo-Ceriz, Dara Solomon and Evelyn Tauben