Job Opening at Tikkun: Managing Editor
You Probably Know Someone Who’d Love This Job as Managing Editor to Tikkun magazine! So spread the word on social media and to your friends, contacts, students, colleagues, etc.
Please read this thoroughly to the end because if you are interested in this job, this note sets forth several steps in the application process.
Tikkun magazine is looking for a managing editor to produce its award-winning print magazine and manage its lively online content–someone who is aligned with our goals (described in the articles mentioned below) to heal and transform the world. Ideally, you have prior editorial experience, but we would be open to hiring an academic, a social change activist, a religious leader, a social change theorist, a psychotherapist, or someone who has the intellectual sophistication and also has editing skills even without previous journalistic training to fill this role. But it would be someone who is deeply aligned with the ideals and vision of Tikkun magazine.
Tikkun is a magazine of ideas seeking the kind of global transformation that would save the earth from environmental destruction and overcome the ethos of selfishness and materialism that have caused so much suffering on our planet. We approach politics with an unabashedly utopian perspective. We believe that the liberal and progressive world has been largely focused on what they are against, but rarely articulate what they are for–so we are a consciousness raising enterprise, helping liberals and progressives to move beyond the immediate crisis (and the Trump years seem to offer us many each day) to envision and articulate a different worldview and an expansive vision of the world we want. Not every article in Tikkun seeks to do this, but this is one part of our goal–to change and deepen the discourse in the liberal and progressive world in ways that will attract people who have not been attracted by the current level of discourse on the Left. The person we are looking for would have to be deeply aligned with the left’s commitment to social and economic justice, redistribution of wealth, nonviolence, and radical democracy, yet understand that to get there we need to speak to the deep spiritual and psychological needs people have for a world of love and generosity, and a life of higher meaning and purpose that involves serving humanity and feeling part of a supportive and ethically coherent community–needs that are systematically frustrated by global capitalism. The managing editor we seek is someone who can enthusiastically and without cynicism or defeatism embrace these values and affirm to others that they can in fact be achieved by a humanity mobilized to realize them and that s/he deeply wants to be part of Tikkun as one of the vehicles that will help make such a world possible. If you are or know such a person, this could be an amazing opportunity for you or that person. Let them know about this job.
How to Apply:
A. Please read everything on this page before even thinking of applying.
B. Write a self-disclosing personal letter to us, revealing to us who you really are, what you’ve accomplished so far in your life, what have been the victories and what have been the defeats, what you’ve discovered about yourself and what parts of the Tikkun vision you share and what parts you would find difficult to be an advocate for. Tell us what magazines you read, what intellectual, political and/or spiritual issues you grapple with, and what articles you have read recently in Tikkun or elsewhere that really turn you on or excite you. In your cover letter please demonstrate that you know our perspective on key issues by reading and engaging with some of the key ideas of Tikkun in the articles below and why you would feel comfortable representing these ideas in the world. Those articles should minimally include:
- Our Core Vision http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/tikkuns-core-vision
- Our position on Israel/Palestine http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/healing-israel-palestine
- Our vision of the world we seek to bring into existence www.tikkun.org/covenant
- Our strategy for how liberals and progressives can be most effective in the Trump years ahead http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/overcoming-trump-ism-a-new-strategy-for-progressives
C. Please send your resume, cover letter, and two published writing samples as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your responses to these 4 articles, and be sure to address the issues in them and that we’ve raised in the above paragraphs.
This is a full-time position in our Berkeley, California office with a starting salary of $47,000 to $52,000 in the first year, depending on experience. Staff at Tikkun receives excellent health and dental benefits and a generous number of paid vacation days and floating holidays.
You don’t have to be Jewish or religious to be considered seriously for this job – we encourage people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.
- Experience as an editor or the skills to be an excellent editor even if never having been employed as one.
- A familiarity with the issues that are alive and contested in the world of progressive politics and social change movements, social theory, and the ideas that one encounters when reading magazines like Tikkun, the Nation, the NY Review of Books, the London Review of Books, The Progressive, Mother Jones, the New Yorker, Sojourners, The Atlantic, Jacobin and listening to Democracy Now, Rachel Madow, and pod casts (tell us which ones).
- Excellent line editing, copy editing, proofing, fact-checking, and writing skills.
- A creative visual imagination and sensitivity to the implications of image choices.
- Ability to self-educate as necessary.
- Ability to recruit, train, and closely manage interns and volunteers.
- Ability to prioritize efficiently without becoming overwhelmed.
- Superb organizational skills: without the savvy use of spreadsheets, timelines, calendar alerts, checklists, and file management systems, it is not possible to keep up with this job.
- Tact and non-reactivity in conflict situations, empathic understanding of others, a non-defensive ability to hear criticism and consider it seriously, a good sense of humor, and a personality that is joyous and happy even while capable of feeling sadness and anger at the state of the world.
- Facility with or willingness to quickly learn: Word, Photoshop, WordPress, and Adobe Acrobat, and InDesign
- Ability to face HTML without getting scared (no original coding required).
- Another plus but not absolute requirement: A familiarity with Judaism and its issues in at least two of the following areas: Jewish religious practices, prayers and holidays, theology, debates about Israel and the tension between Jewish particularism and universalism, the psychodyanmics and politics of American Jewish life, Jewish history, the Bible, Jewish spirituality/mysticism, Jewish literature, Jewish renewal, Jewish feminism, and/or Jewish studies in the universities.
- Our managing editor must have a willingness to be associated with a magazine which is BOTH pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, and hence gets critiqued by both sides in that struggle.
Our office is in Berkeley, California, 3 blocks from the University of California campus, and half hour on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from downtown San Francisco. The S.F. Bay Area is one of the most exciting cultural, political and intellectual centers of the U.S., a center of resistance to the hurtful and repressive policies coming from the centers of economic and political power in our country and to similar policies around the world, a physically beautiful place to live, and within a few hours drive of some of the most exquisite and awesomely beautiful parts of planet earth (Yosemite national park, Redwoods national park, Big Sur, and much more). Downside: since many many people want to live in this area, rents are unreasonably high (though not as bad as Manhattan and Brooklyn), and with our tiny staff, we don’t have the capacity to help you find a place to live–you are on your own (though many people do find such places within reasonable proximity to our office).
To flourish here, you must be at once a big-picture person and a details person, a news maven , a hard-nosed diplomat and an empathetic mentor for both authors (who are not paid, because we don’t have enough money to pay for articles, so they need to be treated gently and with much respect) and interns (same as authors, plus they need guidance). In this role you are responsible for producing all of Tikkun’s editorial content from start to finish, from the initial story idea brainstorm to the meticulous proofing of the final layout. You work under the supervision of Tikkun’s founder, Rabbi Michael Lerner and his defacto co-editor Cat Zavis (executive director of Tikkun’s Network of Spiritual Progressives), coordinate closely with Duke University Press (Tikkun’s publisher), and recruit and manage multiple volunteers, but most of your own work is self-directed. Our staff is tiny, so the managing editor also serves as commissioning editor, developmental editor, copy-editor, web editor, art director, volunteer coordinator, and social media director. Our most successful managing editors through the close to 31 years of Tikkun’s existence have been those who have managed to recruit unpaid smart, energetic and socially aware interns from colleges in the Bay Area and around the country. You must have basic computer competency.
Why do people write for Tikkun for free or volunteer or intern for free? Because Tikkun is one of the most respected intellectual magazines in the U.S., winner of the Best Magazine of the Year award by the mainstream media’s Religion Newswriters Association in 2014 and 2015, and its editor Michael Lerner, mentored by Abraham Joshua Heschel at the Jewish Theological Seminary, author of 11 books including 2 national best sellers (Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation and The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right, has received the Martin Luther King jr/Mahatma Gandhi Award from Morehouse College in Atlanta, the PEN-Oakland award, chosen by Utne Reader as one of America’s most significant visionaries, by the Forward as one of the most influential rabbis in the U.S., and described by Cornel West as “the most significant prophetic public intellectual and spiritual leader of our generation” and by Howard Zinn as “a rare voice of sanity and intelligence” and his book Embracing Israel/Palestine has been lauded by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Avrum Burg (former chair of the Knesset), former President Jimmy Carter, Rep. Keith Ellison (first elected Muslim to the U.S. Congress, and now vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee), Uri Avnery (chair of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom), Rev. Brian McLaren, Jessica Benjamin, Robert Bellah, Zygmunt Bauman and Rabbi Aryeh Cohen (professor of rabbinics at the American Jewish University).
Does this sound exhilarating to you or do you know someone (a colleague, a former student, or a super-bright intellectual) who might love this job? That person should have the energy, high-level organizational skills, and stellar efficiency necessary to manage these many projects and timelines at once, without missing a deadline and a personality this is warm, empathic, and open to non-defensively accept supervision while nevertheless being able to be a self-starter and someone who takes initiative and has no hesitation reaching out to get the best possible authors? A candidate for this job should be passionately interested in contemporary intellectual debates and debates in the liberal and progressive world, and ideally have some ideas about who should be writing for Tikkun and on what topics.