Gary Sexton Photography


Community Docent Volunteer

Available by Application


The Contemporary Jewish Museum is a lively and welcoming cultural center that brings together people, art, and ideas to celebrate the Jewish experience. Education, dialogue, and the sharing of multiple perspectives are central to the mission of The Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Led by The CJM’s experienced Associate Director of Education, the Community Docents program facilitates experiences that encourage discussion and perspective-sharing. Community Docent volunteers are an important public face of The Museum and serve as ambassadors to visitors. 

What do Docents do?

Upon successful completion of volunteer training sessions, Community Docents give public tours of The Museum’s architecture. Community Docents may also be asked to train and give public tours of selected exhibitions. On occasion, Community Docents will be stationed throughout The Museum to welcome visitors, answer questions, provide information, and engage visitors in both scheduled and impromptu conversations about topics explored in the exhibitions, artwork, architecture, and programming.

The CJM’s Community Docent Volunteers learn about The Museum’s history, architecture, and exhibitions through training sessions and independent readings. Docent participation in all weekly training sessions plus the ability to make a one-year commitment of at least two tours per month is expected in order to ensure a great experience for our visitors. 

The next docent training module begins in March 2018. Trainings will be held on the following Thursday mornings from 9:30am–12pm. Subsequent trainings will be held on Monday mornings. 

2018 training dates

  1. Thursday, Mar 8 • 9:30am–12pm
  2. Thursday, Mar 15 • 9:30am–12pm
  3. Thursday, Mar 29 • 9:30am–12pm
  4. Thursday, Apr 12 • 9:30am–12pm
  5. Thursday, Apr 19 • 9:30am–12pm
  6. Thursday, Apr 26 • 9:30am–12pm
  7. Thursday, May 3 • 9:30am–12pm
  8. Thursday, May 10 • 9:30am–12pm
what kind of people make great docents?

A great CJM Community Docent Volunteer offers...

  • Ability to facilitate dialogue among people of different backgrounds, ages, and perspectives
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills
  • An open mind and genuine interest in the opinions and experiences of others
  • Knowledge of and interest in Modern and Contemporary Art
  • Knowledge of and interest in Jewish culture, history, and/or tradition
  • Experience volunteering in an art, cultural, or educational setting
  • Some teaching or educational experience
  • Some experience facilitating conversations which include diverse opinions
  • Experience giving interactive, discussion-based museum tours
  • Ability to positively represent The Museum, its exhibitions, and its mission
  • Comfort level with standing for extended periods of time
  • Comfort with accessing information by email and online—we provide most of our training information in digital form 

Community Docents are volunteers who receive a rich training on every exhibition, learning from curators, artists, historians, professors, and more. 

our appreciation

All Community Docents are welcome to attend CJM exhibitions, programs, and most events, and have access to on-site discounts at Wise Sons Deli and on merchandise for sale in The Museum. 

next steps

To apply, please complete the online application. We will contact all qualified volunteer applicants for interviews.