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State organizer - Illinois


THE ROLE

The Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism seeks a top-notch organizer, with a focus on the state of Illinois, to join the team to help redefine Jewish social justice in the Reform Movement for the 21st century and mobilize others for racially equity and a more inclusive Jewish community. The RAC’s team of State Organizers will establish 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.

WHAT YOU WILL DO

The State Organizer of Illinois, will report to the Director, Organizing, and is responsible for the following:

  • Engage, support, and strengthen the organizing efforts of congregations poised and committed to do social justice campaign work in Illinois.
  • Build on successful cross-congregational campaigns of Reform synagogues in Illinois, including ending money bail and protecting the dignity and rights of immigrants
  • Bring RAC-IL into and/or deepen RAC-IL’s involvement in multiracial coalitions and partnerships leading campaigns for a more just and equitable Illinois
  • Engage Illinois Reform Jews and other interested Jewish constituencies in strategic listening, research, and action campaigns.
  • 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.
  • Coach Reform synagogues to expand the social justice/community organizing work in congregations.
  • Involve Illinois Reform Jews in broad strategies such as petitions, call-in days, coordinated in-district legislative visits, and visits to Springfield.
  • Develop innovative messaging and communications that further campaign goals and motivate Reform Jews to engage with RAC-IL.
  • 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.
  • Support Illinois congregations as well as, on occasion, leaders, and congregations in additional states, to participate in RAC’s national campaigns, both legislative/policy campaigns as well as civic engagement campaigns.
  • As a member of the staff team, participate in, to varying degrees, other aspects of the RAC’s work including staffing some L’Taken Teen Social Justice Fellowship weekends (located in Washington DC), as well as Union for Reform Judaism gatherings (location varies).

WHO YOU ARE & KEYS TO SUCCESS (THE MUST-HAVES):

To be successful in this job, you excel in the following areas:

Social Justice & Campaigning. Passion for social and economic justice, with a particular focus on the role of congregations in social change. Ability and passion to develop and run campaigns to win legislative and corporate policy change at the local, state, and federal levels. Ready to launch a strategic campaign for change, implement it with determination and a readiness to adapt strategy as needed, and persist until successful. A proactive inclination to propose innovative ways to impact issues and engage congregants, clergy, and teens in our campaigns. Five years’ experience developing and running campaigns at the local or state level. Familiarity with Illinois’ political landscape.

Relationship Management. Can develop strong public relationships with senior rabbis, elected officials, press, funders, and leaders of powerful coalitions. Exhibits high “emotional intelligence,” prioritizes relationship building, is a good listener. Proven ability to bridge and build powerful, reciprocal relationships across difference and to help others do the same. Able to offer training in and a solid analysis of racial and structural injustice and how to transform it through organizing. Effective oral and written communication skills.

Organize & Mobilize. Demonstrated ability to think strategically, do a power analysis and understand the dimensions of power at work in the public square. Possess the capability to teach and empower others, particularly to train and mentor them to be able to become leaders and teachers of congregation-based community organizing efforts. Effectively build and deepen a network of leaders who in turn develop their own networks of leaders and can assess and develop potential talent.

Reform Judaism. 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. Ability to analyze legislative proposals in the context of Reform Movement policies and priorities.

REDI Experience (Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion). Demonstrated experience prioritizing and executing on Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (i.e., ableism, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, antiracism, etc.) priorities.

ABOUT US

Every team member at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) plays an essential role in our mission to create a whole, just, and compassionate world. Our team is creative, thoughtful, and innovative. Each member of the team is empowered to make meaningful contributions to achieving our shared goals. Our diverse team is made up of individuals with different skills and backgrounds and every team member is willing to take risks as well as take action to develop and create big ideas for the future of the Reform Movement. While this position focuses on a particular area of work, every team member is a vital part of our overall success.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) provides vision and voice to build strong communities that, together, transform the way people connect to Judaism and change the world. We acknowledge that due to racism, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression, that our communities are not whole until everyone experiences a sense of belonging within the Jewish community. As the largest Jewish movement in North America, we stand for a Judaism that is inclusive and reflective of a wide range of identities and accept the responsibility of dismantling oppression both inside and outside of our communities. Through camping, youth experiences, programs, information sharing, and networking opportunities, our over 850 congregations and 15 residential camps create opportunities for our communities to enhance their capacity to build and expand community, engage in meaningful and authentic Jewish life, deepen Jewish learning, energize worship, pursue social justice and develop inspired leadership. Together, our employees and stakeholders, are creating Reform Judaism of today.

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