Mashgiach Ruchani position at Camp Yavneh

Camp Yavneh seeks a rabbi to be the camp’s Mashgiach Ruchani (spiritual advisor) and to lead all aspects of the camp’s Jewish mission and vision.

Mashgiach Ruchani Job Description

Introduction to Camp Yavneh

As Camp Yavneh approaches our 75th anniversary in 2019 and are in the midst of a year-long strategic plan process; our community is energized by our commitment to Jewish life and practice in a vibrant, relevant world. Yavneh, a K’lal Yisrael camp, is dedicated to instilling our campers with both an engaging and enduring Jewish camping experience.

We live this ideal by forming a community centered on a core of common values – a community by design. Chief among these is respect for the individual captured in the Torah’s imagery of Tzelem Elokim. Other common values include the importance of Jewish ritual and practice (kashrut, tefillah, and Shabbat), the commitment to the land, state, and people of Israel, and the value of open discourse.

Being a K’lal Yisrael camp means that we believe that there are many ways of being, acting, and thinking that are all legitimately Jewish. One of the beautiful tensions that arises in our community is the challenge of creating commonality in the face of diversity. The key to navigating this diversity at Yavneh is a tradition of common practice that has been carefully and sensitively derived over years of trial and error and discussion. We, at Yavneh, are committed to constantly re-evaluating the application of our philosophical beliefs and to re-interpreting our practices within a halachic framework as part of the process of building community. This discourse is central to the Yavneh experience. We believe that while every person at Yavneh could critique some aspect of our common practice, in the aggregate it remains a living testament of our commitment to our shared values.

Thousands of campers have been profoundly affected by camp – many of them now leaders in their Jewish communities including  rabbis and educational leaders spanning the religious spectrum.

Camp Yavneh serves 500 campers every summer on idyllic Lucas Pond in Northwood, NH with winter offices in Boston. Our campers come from 26 states and four countries. They are educated  in both congregational schools and Jewish day schools.We are proud to have campers who span both denomination and non denominational Jewish affiliations –  and many unaffiliated campers too.

We pride ourselves on having a tzevet who lead our campers on a life-changing experience.

Job description

Leadership

The Mashgiach Ruchani is part of the senior leadership team at Camp Yavneh and reports directly to the camp director. They will be the lead religious authority guiding our community in both practice and belief.

The Mashgiach Ruchani is the central religious figure at Yavneh, yet is not the only religious voice around the table. They  grapple with all types of halakhic issues, and as new issues arise, will help create “policies” to help guide our community.  (I.e. eruv, havdalah times, Kashrut, etc.)

The Mashgiach Ruchani should be a Doogma Ishit – a personal role model for the Derekh Eretz we hope for from our chanichim.

The Mashgiach Ruchani works in consult with the Rosh Mishlachat and other staff members who work on the Israel programming.

During the summer, the Mashgiach Ruchani writes a weekly message to the Yavneh community. The Mashgiach Ruchani is responsible for other writing during the year.

Education

The Mashgiach Ruchani sets the tone for the educational vision of the camp working with the Rosh Chinuch to ensure that all faculty understand the mission and vision of camp. With the rest of the Hanhallah (Leadership team) and with input from the Rosh Chinuch, they will oversee the selection of a yearly educational theme that permeates much of camp life.

The Mashgiach Ruchani consults with the Rosh Chinuch in defining the job descriptions and the recruitment strategy for the chinuch staff to ensure a match to our educational goals and camp philosophy.

The Mashgiach Ruchani works with other members of the full-year staff to assess and create an experiential, outcomes based curriculum and work on camp-wide educational programming. (For example, maccabiah (color war), zimriyah (music festival))

The Mashgiach Ruchani believes deeply in the Hebrew language as a connector for the Jewish people and works with all staff to incorporate Hebrew into the daily life of camp.

Camp-wide Jewish life

The Mashgiach Ruchani works with our t’filah team in creating engaging t’filah experiences at Camp Yavneh as we attempt to engage our campers in both keva and kavannah.  Our prayer options are varied and multifaceted to meet the needs of our greater community. The Mashgiach Ruchani is a presence in daily t’filot.

The Mashgiach Ruchani works with tzevet chinuch on Shabbat programming including themes around sichot Shabbat.

The Mashgiach Ruchani oversees Tisha B’av programming

The Mashgiach Ruchani works with the Family Camp director to help secure a scholar in residence/Rabbi for Family Camp.

The Mashgiach Ruchani works in collaboration with the Food service director and mashgichim to ensure proper kashrut oversight.

Programming

The Mashgiach Ruchani works with programming staff to ensure cross dimensional collaboration.

The Mashgiach Ruchani is a resource for Kerem (CIT – Leadership) and Na’aleh (Israel trip) programming.

The Mashgiach Ruchani helps create year round educational opportunities for our community.

The following should be noted:

  • The Mashgiach Ruchani must be available for the entire summer starting with staff orientation a week prior to camp. (8-9 ½ weeks depending on the summer)
  • The Mashgiach Ruchani works during the school year in a part-time consultancy role to ensure continuity and preparedness for the summer, including some occasional programming.

Job Requirements:

Smicha from a recognized institution or rabbi

Personal commitment to Halacha

5 years working with youth preferably in an overnight camp environment

Experience working in the education world and/or in informal education is preferable

To apply for the position, please send your resume. In place of a cover letter, please send a brief essay answering the following question “How does one live in a K’lal Yisrael environment and hold onto their beliefs as a Jew?”

All inquiries for the position can be sent to Bil Zarch, Director at bil@campyavneh.org.