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CURATOR OF JEWISH CULTURE
Position Summary

As the only museum in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary Jewish art and culture, The CJM welcomes all to explore what it means to be Jewish today and the ways in which Jewish life is evolving towards the future. We believe that this work is essential to Jewish life flourishing in all its beautiful diversity—and to building a civic space in which people of all identities find understanding, joy, and respect.

Reporting to the Senior Curator, the Curator of Jewish Culture specializes in developing thematic exhibitions and experiences that offer an expansive, inclusive view of Jewish identity and explore the many ways of being and doing Jewish across the present-day Diaspora. Potential focus areas include community life, ritual practice, popular culture, history, literature, music, current events, social justice, intersectional identities, cross-cultural exchange, and forms of cultural transmission/exclusion. This position is also encouraged to partner with the CJM’s art curators, educators, and public program staff to develop experiences that extend across multiple program areas, engage other Jewish organizations, and invite visitor participation.  

The successful individual in this role will be a compelling ambassador who possesses a deep knowledge of Jewish culture and history, a passion for conveying the Jewish experience, and engaging audiences through storytelling, material culture, and interactive experiences with an inclination toward experimenting with new themes and approaches. This person will thrive in a creative and collaborative environment with experienced professionals who work closely together on exhibition planning and development, conducting research critical to mounting world-class exhibitions, and representing The CJM locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Curator of Jewish Culture will also be responsible for the research and development of The CJM’s first ever semi-permanent exhibition exploring Jewish life from our particular vantage point along the Pacific Rim. The exhibition will delve into how the Bay Area Jewish community began and continues to evolve, expanding to explore underrepresented Jewish communities internationally, including western Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Australia, Southeast Asia, and more. Presented alongside our temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, this longer-duration exhibition will offer evergreen opportunities for visitors to learn more about the unique stories and experiences of these Jewish communities living on the edge. This exhibition will also serve as the primary educational exhibition both for servicing local schools and curricula, as well as general visitors seeking to learn something new and concrete about contemporary Jewish culture in this region. 

For all positions, The Museum expects an interest in and commitment to the mission and core values of The CJM, including its beliefs in anti-racism, diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.

Position: Curator of Jewish Culture
Department: Exhibitions and Curatorial
Reports To: Senior Curator
Status: Regular, Full-time, Exempt
Date: December 2023
Pay Range: $75,000–$90,000 annual
Location: On-site with the ability for some remote work

Essential Job responsibilities
  • Undertake the research, organization, and development of Museum exhibitions and in-gallery experiences.
  • Conceive and project-manage select exhibitions and/or commissioned artwork production.
  • Provide direction, instruction, and/or guidance to Curatorial Assistant and occasional interns, with support from Senior Curator.
  • Initiate and confirm loans of art and artifacts, including communication with lenders as needed, in coordination with The CJM’s Registrar and Director of Exhibitions.
  • Write, edit, and produce exhibition labels and supplemental texts.
  • Review unsolicited exhibition submissions with the Curatorial team and draft responses.
  • Research and identify exhibitions originating from external venues that may be of interest to The CJM.
  • Prepare presentations of planned exhibitions and present to staff, trustees, and community members as needed.
  • Schedule and occasionally lead internal cross-departmental meetings.
  • Provide exhibitions-related information and materials to Education, Marketing, and Development teams.
  • Write and originate content for exhibition publications and website, including brochures, newsletters, blog posts, and catalogs.
  • Liaise with and host artists and guest curators, as needed.
  • Develop and manage occasional non-exhibition artist opportunities, including studio programs and residencies.
  • Contribute to, and help coordinate, exhibition installation.
  • Collaborate with Design staff on graphic identity design for exhibitions, creative briefs, and preparation and review of object labels, wall texts, and publications.
  • Assist with or undertake special administrative curatorial projects and departmental processes as needed.
Minimum qualifications

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree in Jewish Studies or a related field such as History, Anthropology, or Sociology. PhD preferred, but not required.
  • Minimum three to five years of curatorial experience in a museum or university context focused on Jewish culture.
  • One year of supervisory experience desirable.
  • Adequate fluency and intermediate reading proficiency of the Hebrew language.
  • Familiarity with fundraising and grant-writing.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Jewish visual culture, Jewish philosophy, ideas, and history; intellectual curiosity regarding comparative cultures.
  • Infectious enthusiasm for sharing the diversity of the Jewish experience with audiences of all knowledge levels.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Teams, Excel, Word), database management, and Adobe suite.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Exceptional research, project management, and organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to work collaboratively, within the curatorial team and with other departments.
  • Ability to perform detailed tasks accurately, manage multiple projects, and to meet deadlines  and budget requirements.
  • Informed understanding of a museum’s responsibilities to serve the public and its communities.

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a keyboard and computer.
  • No lifting/moving objects involved.
How to apply

SEND A COVER LETTER AND RESUME TO:

The Contemporary Jewish Museum

Email: jobs@thecjm.org

Please indicate “Curator of Jewish Culture” in the email subject line

The Contemporary Jewish Museum is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin or ancestry, age, marital or domestic partner status, sex, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, The CJM will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.