We are looking for a full-time personal assistant to Rabbi Michael Lerner, involved in helping to build the community of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls in Berkeley, who would also be the organizer/outreach person for the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) and do editorial work at Tikkun magazine and possibly become Assistant Editor. (The Network of Spiritual Progressives is the activist arm of Tikkun.) This one-year activist opportunity involves full immersion in the activities of our small yet high-powered non-profit. It includes regular night and weekend work, in addition to standard 9-6pm working hours with an hour for lunch.
Our Assistant to the Editor works from our office in lovely downtown Berkeley, across the Bay from San Francisco, and enjoys all the benefits of living in beautiful northern California (3-4 hours ride to Yosemite or to Big Sur). Beyt Tikkun is Rabbi Lerner’s shteebel/shul– a small group of people who meet either Friday night or Saturday morning each Shabbat for Jewish prayer and Torah study. Tikkun magazine was started as the voice of Jewish progressives who both support Israel and strongly critique the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, and who support spiritually progressive politics. We define this in terms of advocating for a new bottom line, in which institutions, corporations, government policies, our health care, education and legal systems, and even our own personal behavior is judged to be “efficient, rational, or productive” not only to the extent that they maximize money and power (the Old Bottom Line) but also to the extent that they maximize our capacities to be loving, caring, kind and generous, ethically and ecologically sensitive, and capable of responding to other human beings as embodiments of the sacred. This job is for someone who is really into the three projects: NSP (www.spiritualprogressives.org), Tikkun magazine (www.tikkun.org), and Beyt Tikkun (www.beyttikkun.org), so please don’t apply until you feel you’ve read enough about all three projects online to have an initial sense of what we are about and how you, your skills, and your interests connect to what we are trying to do in all three of these projects.
Over the past 26 years of Tikkun’s existence, we have evolved into being an interfaith voice for people of every faith tradition or none (explicitly including atheists and secular humanists) who enthusiastically endorse our New Bottom Line. Yet we retain our own roots in the Jewish tradition. It would be a plus (not an absolute requirement) if you were familiar with that tradition, its music, prayers, and holy texts (though you don’t have to be Jewish to have that familiarity and being Jewish doesn’t automatically give you that familiarity either). It would also be a plus if you knew lots of young thinkers and writers of every faith including atheists whom you could recruit to be writing for Tikkun.
Here are the major responsibilities:
1. Assistant to Editor Rabbi Michael Lerner: This includes everything from being the person who arranges his public talks to organizing his desk to responding to his mail to promoting his messages to the world to editing his articles and books to working with him on Beyt Tikkun and the NSP (both explained below). So far he has written 11 books, and you have to be familiar with them and be able to publicly represent their perspective to the world. Please read his 2006 national best seller, The Left Hand of God—Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right, and his latest 2012 book, Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East.
2. Editing Articles and Recruiting Writers: This includes editing, proofreading, and work in shaping both the print edition of Tikkun and the website and blog. It also involves using social media and the internet to broaden our readership online and increase our subscription base. Finally, it includes recruiting new writers for our Tikkun Daily blog, for our online magazine, and for the quarterly print magazine. We don’t pay for articles, which is why we often end up with famous writers who don’t need the money. But we are interested in recruiting young writers ages 18-45 who are not well known but are brilliant in their insights and in their style of writing. And many famous writers and academics got their first big break by writing in Tikkun.
3. Coordinating, Promoting, and Expanding the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP): NSP is the consciousness-raising arm of Tikkun. It is explicitly interfaith and welcoming to people of all faiths as well to spiritual but not religious atheists and secular humanists. We have some chapters in existence and this job is to help expand the number of members and chapters around the U.S. Please read our Global Marshall Plan (www.tikkun.org/GMP), our ESRA—Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (www.tikkun.org/ESRA), our Spiritual Covenant with America, and our Core Vision Statement (www.tikkun.org/CVS). It is likely that the Assistant to the Editor will be in charge of coordinating and promoting a national conference and a training program for NSP in the coming year, which may take place either in San Francisco, New York, Berkeley, or Washington D.C. Please read these documents before applying for this job.
4. Coordinating, Promoting, and Expanding Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls: Beyt Tikkun is a small community of people drawn to pray and study with Rabbi Lerner, often at his home, though on high holidays and other Jewish holidays also at rented facilities. The Assistant to the Editor is expected to do everything from shopping for food for the pot-luck that happens after every service (usually two Friday nights from 7-10:30pm a month and 2-3 Saturday mornings a month from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) plus Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot, Chanukah, Tu B’shvat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot and annual Beyt Tikkun weekend retreat. S/he also helps with set up and does clean up after each event. In addition, s/he is expected to help nurture the community and bring in new people, hopefully people in their twenties and thirties.
To be a candidate for this job, you must feel equally comfortable with both mundane tasks and challenging tasks. Most importantly, you must be eager and willing to pour your heart and soul into the mission of NSP: bringing our spiritually progressive perspective into the public consciousness. Your day-by-day tasks will vary greatly—in the same day, you might coordinate a book tour event for Rabbi Lerner, reach out to conferences that might be interested in having an NSP speaker, go shopping for food for a Beyt Tikkun synagogue service, and edit articles for Tikkun magazine.
Yes, we know that this job is really four or five jobs, and that this is an immense commitment of time and energy, which is why we think of it as a one-year job of full immersion and commitment. It’s a great stepping stone to other employment as well because Tikkun is well known and respected in academia, the media, the publishing world, and in American politics. Please don’t apply if you are not ready for this kind of immersion, which is comparable to the schedules of interns in medicine or newly hired lawyers in major law firms, or newspaper reporters with major assignments.
We are seeking college graduates who are passionate, flexible, have a good command of computer and internet skills, and comfortable working independently. You must have excellent time management and follow-up skills and an ability to successfully handle multiple projects concurrently. Most importantly, you must have strong interpersonal skills, a good sense of humor, an ability to shift from one task to another, a willingness to work with a strong visionary, a full willingness to tirelessly throw yourself into this job beyond reasonable limits (think of being a first year lawyer in a high-powered law firm, a soldier in the army, a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Africa, a new M.D. interning at an inner city hospital, or a journalist with assignment in Afghanistan to get what we mean) and a passionate commitment to our mission.
Pay: Between $2,500 and $3,200 per month, depending on experience. Plus health and dental insurance, 10 days paid vacation, and normal holiday vacations. We wish we could pay three times this amount but our finances are so tight that we had to ask Rabbi Lerner to work for free (he receives no salary).
Tikkun is a quarterly magazine focused on politics, spirituality, and culture. Associated with the magazine is our membership organization and activist arm, the Network of Spiritual Progressives.
Named after the Jewish concept of mending and transforming a fragmented world, Tikkun offers analysis and commentary that strive to bridge the cultural divide between religious and secular progressives. By bringing together voices from many disparate religious and secular humanist communities to talk about social transformation, political change, and the evolution of our religious traditions, Tikkun creates space for the emergence of a Religious Left to respond to the influence of the Religious Right and the distortions of global capitalism, while simultaneously critiquing the narrowly framed economistic, religiophobic, and reductionist views that sometimes prevail in liberal and progressive circles. The magazine, which began as a progressive Jewish publication, provides intellectually rigorous, psychologically sophisticated, and unconventional critiques of politics, spirituality, social theory, and culture and is known for its coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, social justice issues, and the environment.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, a protégé of Abraham Joshua Heschel, leads Beyt Tikkun, a Jewish Renewal synagogue in Berkeley, and is a co-founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and the editor of Tikkun. Our staff includes people of diverse religious backgrounds, along with agnostics and secular humanists.
How to apply:
Email a self-revealing cover letter and resume to email@example.com. In your cover letter, describe your background in organizing, editing, and activism, your relationship to the ideas of NSP and Tikkun as you understand them, your familiarity with Judaism and comfort in taking a role in building Beyt Tikkun, and explain why you are capable of doing first-rate work in this capacity. If we are interested in your application, we will contact you. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.