Head of School
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)
Primary domain: Education
City: Bryn Mawr
Postal code: 19010
Country: United States
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy is a pluralistic Jewish day school for students in grades six through twelve from a broad variety of backgrounds. The school integrates a comprehensive and rigorous college preparatory curriculum with the teaching of essential Jewish and American values and texts. Barrack graduates value diversity, celebrate the richness of Judaism's language, culture, and history, and have a strong connection to Israel. Barrack prepares future leaders of the American, Jewish, and global communities who work for a better world through acts of justice and compassion.
Derech Eretz Values
For Barrack, four core values lie at the heart of what the school is all about. They provide the foundation for the communal Derech Eretz pledge, connecting the students and faculty to each other and to a higher purpose.
As members of the Barrack kehillah (community), the students and faculty pledge to uphold the highest levels of Derech Eretz in keeping with the school’s four values:
HONOR. COURAGE. KINDNESS. COMMUNITY.
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy is a pluralistic Jewish day school for students in grades six through twelve from a broad variety of backgrounds. As the nation’s first pluralistic Jewish secondary day school, Barrack’s modern approach to education is steeped in history. Barrack integrates a comprehensive and rigorous secular college preparatory curriculum alongside a vibrant Jewish studies curriculum steeped in Torah, Derech Eretz, prayer, tikun olam and a love for Israel.
From its start as Akiba Hebrew Academy in 1946 to today, Barrack has been teaching students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers by integrating a comprehensive and rigorous college preparatory curriculum with the teaching of essential Jewish and American values and texts. Barrack’s founders envisioned a school where Jewish adolescents could experience a dual curriculum of secular and Jewish studies, prepare for leadership roles in the Jewish community and the community at large, and come together to study their common heritage, living Jewish values in a pluralistic and mutually respectful setting.
Throughout its 74-year history, the school has grown and continued to find educational excellence by reevaluating its curriculum and introducing the cutting edge of educational techniques and technological support, without losing sight of its essential heritage and mission of teaching Jewish and American values and developing a deep connection to the State of Israel. Barrack develops future leaders who are connected to Torah, to Israel and the community at large. It is with this knowledge and within this lens that their sense of justice and compassion is strengthened to help the greater community.
Barrack currently serves 344 students from 3 states and 47 zip codes and has a combined administrative and teaching staff of approximately 100. The school’s annual budget is $12.5M and has an annual fundraising campaign of $2.9M. Barrack’s two buildings of 100,000 sq. feet sit on a 35-acre campus.
The Head of School will serve as the Chief Executive and Education Officer and the “face of Barrack” to the community. The Head of School will attract, manage, and engage an accomplished faculty and staff, and lead a vibrant, engaged community of learners in a pluralistic Jewish community school that embraces a holistic approach to academic excellence and future success, and a strong connection to Israel.
The Head of School will serve as the Storyteller in Chief and will have ultimate responsibility for driving Barrack to continue to achieve new heights as an innovative, leading 21st century school. This position will require a dedicated student-centered leader who can demonstrate a genuine passion and appreciation for students and their well-being, as well as out-of-the-box thinking for different forms of learning, including experiential learning.
The Head of School will be expected to advance Barrack's commitment to the highest educational standards in both secular and Judaic studies, as well as Hebrew language learning, and to provide a dynamic learning environment for students and teachers, to enable students to achieve success in their future educational and career endeavors. The Head of School will be expected to advance Barrack’s commitment to foster its students’ connection to Israel and understanding of Zionism. The Head of School will lead efforts to define strategic priorities and to establish systems that respond to today’s educational challenges and opportunities and to ensure the school’s future success.
The Head of School will have primary responsibility for all operations, including supervision of the school's administrative team, oversight of its financial well-being, advancement of its financial resource development, growth of enrollment, and the building and maintaining of communal relationships and partnerships. The Head of School will work closely with the Board of Directors and the development professionals to identify new fundraising opportunities and capitalize on those that currently exist.
The Head of School will be a charismatic and compassionate leader and educator who, as a part of the Barrack family, will motivate, empower and collaborate with the entire school community in setting the course for sustained growth and will serve as an advocate for a community-based, multi-denominational education that is welcoming and respectful of all students. The Head of School will help establish and maintain the school as the center for jewish learning throughout the greater Philadelphia area. This person must also have exemplary communication skills and a high emotional quotient.
This unique opportunity is well suited for an enthusiastic executive with business acumen and a demonstrated growth mindset, to be a visionary, who will help shape and implement a vision of excellence for the future of the Barrack community and for Jewish day school education.
Head of School’s Responsibilities
This position reports to the school's Board of Directors and has the following responsibilities:
- To embrace the pluralistic values of the school and implement the vision and mission of the school. To outline priorities and identify strategic plans for growth in quality and quantity. To supervise all senior administration and have direct oversight of administrative, educational and financial operations, institutional advancement and community relations.
- To display leadership qualities and to serve as an approachable mentor to students, parents and faculty. To nurture and advance the school’s culture and values and to encourage the right mix of traditional educational excellence with a forward-thinking, dynamic learning environment.
- As an institution builder, the Head of School will lead efforts to define strategic priorities and to establish systems that respond to today’s educational realities and ensure the school’s future success. In addition to building the institution, the Head of School serves as a valued community partner in preserving and reshaping the legacy of Jewish education in the greater Philadelphia area.
Leadership and Management
- Work with the Board of Trustees and the school's administrative team to identify and prioritize areas for institutional growth, academic excellence and community engagement.
- Clearly articulate and implement the school's vision and provide overall leadership and direction to develop and implement a strategic plan, specifically around enrollment and recruitment, with Barrack Board and staff.
- Ensure academic excellence and maintain updated knowledge of current trends in education, educational administration and school management; cultivate opportunities for experiential learning; and explore new avenues in education.
- Enhance Barrack’s strong reputation among higher education institutions.
- Hire, supervise, evaluate, and support the school's faculty and management team; provide progressive professional and continuing education opportunities for faculty and administration; and foster trust and maintain positive morale among all faculty and administration members.
- Ensure efficient management of the financial operations of the school and school facilities.
- Integrate and develop a comprehensive post Covid-19 plan that includes contingencies and short, medium, and long-range scenarios.
- Direct and collaborate with the development team on annual and endowment fundraising strategies and planning.
- Directly participate in fundraising activities, including: the identification of new fundraising opportunities and donors; the cultivation and stewardship of donors; and the solicitation of major gifts.
- Strengthen the profile of Barrack amongst the Philadelphia Jewish community and the alumni base.
- Represent the school in the Jewish and secular education communities as a spokesperson and personification of the values of the school. Articulate the school's mission and values to the school's constituencies.
- Encourage, foster, and maintain meaningful relationships with all constituencies including teachers, staff, administrators, students, parents, Board, donors, alumni and the broader Jewish community.
- Serve as a community leader in shaping the conversation about the future of Jewish education in Philadelphia.
- Forge a strong relationship with the Board in achieving the school’s mission. Keep the Board informed of all matters relating to the school through reports at Board meetings and immediate communication following major school events.
- Ensure the timely provision of accurate data, analysis, projections and reports regarding strategic planning, academic performance, financial resources, development, and other areas to assist the Board in its work.
- Make recommendations to the Board for approval of the operating and capital budgets.
- Engage and support the Board in raising funds, increasing enrollment, and maintaining and strengthening the reputation of the School.
For this critical role, the leadership seeks a Head of School with an ability to communicate the vision, mission, values, and ideas of Barrack in an inspiring, thoughtful, passionate, and consensus-building manner to all constituencies. This position requires an entrepreneurial and data-driven leader who engenders confidence and approaches the job with professionalism, curiosity and a willingness to try new things. The successful Head of School will also possess the following:
- Dynamic relationship builder who displays a sincere interest in each student and engages them with the values and ethos of the school.
- A commitment to fostering an appreciation of the diversity of American society and the understanding of the range of differing life experiences within it. Where appropriate developing enhancements to the school’s efforts in this regard.
- An appreciation of and commitment to inclusiveness regarding the diversity within the Jewish people, locally and globally, with respect to: race, sexual orientation, gender identity, country of origin, mother language, cultural background, and economic circumstances.
- Proven track record as an organizational leader and/or educational administrator.
- Open and collaborative management and leadership style. Comfort with soliciting input from others while still being decisive and independent in the decision-making process. Strong ability to delegate and transfer authority and responsibility for work to others and help navigate others through a plan of action.
- Ability to see the “big picture” and maintain a strategic overview in addressing problems and planning solutions in a results-oriented manner. Vision to develop and advocate for new, imaginative, and unique solutions.
- Demonstrated track-record of identifying, attracting and developing top talent.
- Visionary leadership with a proven growth mindset who sets an expectation of excellence in every facet of the school.
- Successful track record with working with a development plan and implementing an advancement strategy; proven experience with donor cultivation.
- Ability to set clear priorities from amongst a number of diverse tasks and needs, meeting predetermined schedules, and laying out a timely course of action to address issues and problems.
- Excellent people skills. Approachable, enthusiastic, and honest approach in dealing with others. Ability to interact and engage comfortably with a wide variety of key constituents including students, parents, Board members, major donors, and community leaders.
Commensurate with Experience
Posting Expiration Date:
How to Apply:
This position description is based upon material provided by Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, an equal opportunity employer.
Dara Z. Klarfeld, CEO
Sarah Raful Whinston, Senior Search Consultant Debra Katz, Search Specialist
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