Job Title: Executive Director

Date Last Updated: 11/29/2012
Job ID #: 10494

Role/Job Category: Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director
Organization Name: Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
Location: Waukee, Iowa
Status: Full-Time


Eexcutive Director
Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
Des Moines Jewish Foundation

The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines and Des Moines Jewish Foundation is looking for an Executive Director with superb interpersonal skills who can inspire others towards increased philanthropic participation, continue to build a community environment of collaboration and has the ability to attract and engage the next generation of community leaders. The Executive Director will be a dynamic and passionate leader with strong leadership, fundraising and financial management skills to lead this vibrant community into the future. 

Located in central Iowa, with a population of more than 2,500 Jews and a long tradition of deeply committed volunteer leadership, the Federation raises about $500K annually and is proud of its Foundation with some $15mm in assets and growing. The community is searching for a leader who, above all else, will inspire the Jewish community and build commitment to the mission of the Federation. With strategic thinking, strong business acumen and outstanding communication skills, this person will partner with volunteer leaders and stakeholders to create, articulate, and execute a vision for the community.  This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who enjoys the challenge of building community, campaign and leadership.

To enrich Jewish living through connection, education, and compassion.

The Executive Director is the chief professional officer of the Federation, responsible for oversight of all Federation functions including a Jewish Family Service, and community religious school and summer day camp fully supported and operated by the Federation.  The Iowa Jewish Historical Society also makes its home on a beautiful 46-acre campus and is regularly visited by school groups and other organizations from across greater Des Moines and Iowa.

The Federation is comprised of 6 full time and 2 part time staff as well as about 15 part time religious school teachers. 

Ranked the #1 city among “America’s Best Cities for Young Professionals in 2011” by Forbes magazine, the five county metropolitan area of greater Des Moines now ranks 88th in US population with nearly 570,000 residents.  Home to the Iowa caucuses, in 2007 The New York Times,  stated, "if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines.”
Known for its miles of bike trails, Des Moines boasts numerous recreational opportunities as well as cultural and performing arts institutions including the Des Moines Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera and the Des Moines Art Center as well as a world class zoo, botanical center and Civic Center hosting Broadway and other live professional theatre.

The central Iowa school districts maintain a strong reputation and Des Moines is home to the main campuses of two four-year private colleges: Drake and Grand View Universities, the renowned osteopathic medical school, Des Moines University, and several other public and private colleges. 

Relevant information about the greater Des Moines area and the Jewish community can be found at the following links:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines:

Caspe Terrace (home to the Federation and Foundation):

Greater Des Moines chamber:

The job responsibilities of the Federation Executive Director shall be guided by the following five values of the Federation.

  1. COMMUNITY- Committed to connecting our Jewish community to one another, Israel and the people of the world

  2. LOVING KINDNESS- Committed to caring for our Jewish elders and those among us who are least able to care for themselves

  3. L’DOR VA DOR (Generation to Generation) - Committed to honoring all generations, remembering our Jewish past, while welcoming our Jewish future

  4. HATIKVAH (Hope) - Committed to bringing hope and support to Israel and the world’s citizens who face disaster, oppression, and persecution

  5. INTEGRITY- Committed to transparent communication, ethical practices, and stewardship of our community’s trust

Along with volunteer leaders, the Executive Director will be responsible for designing and implementing an integrated fundraising campaign. S/he must have a passion for Jews in our community and worldwide and the ability to attract and nurture donors from all economic levels, as well as connect with younger and unengaged members of the community. 

Federation Responsibilities fall into five main categories:

  1. FUNDRAISING - the Executive Director has responsibility for initiating, developing and measuring all fundraising efforts.

  2. STRATEGIC PLANNING - The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing all central planning efforts of the Federation.

  3. BOARD OF GOVERNORS - the Executive Director will serve as the liaison between the Board and the committees to fulfill the requirements and directives of the Board.

  4. INTERNAL MANAGEMENT- the Executive Director oversees the performance of all staff and work output of the Federation and its committees to include employment, performance, evaluation, separation, and all other related personnel activity in consultation with the Personnel Committee and in accordance with its guidelines.

  5. COMMUNITY OUTREACH- the Executive Director works cooperatively with the Rabbis, congregational leadership and others involved with the welfare of the Jewish community.

Foundation Responsibilities include duties similar to those of the Federation. Additionally, the Director is significantly involved with most Foundation solicitation.  The Foundation, with assets of some $15 million and bequests of $7.5 million, will become an increasingly demanding administrative and soliciting responsibility. Also, the supervision of Caspe Terrace and endowment funds add to the Executive Director’s other responsibilities.

Inspires Others and Builds Commitment
The Executive Director will demonstrate a passion for and commitment to Jewish life and Jewish values and will have an understanding of and appreciation for the mission and work of the Federation.

Builds Trusted Relationships
The Executive Director will build and maintain trusted relationships with a range of stakeholders, including the chief volunteer officer, other senior volunteers, major donors and prospects and synagogue and other community leaders within and outside of the Greater Des Moines Jewish community. The Executive Director is expected to identify shared interests, manage expectations and consistently deliver on commitments. S/he will position and represent the Federation in the community and Federation movement.

Communicates Effectively
The Executive Director will communicate in a compelling fashion (written and verbal) to different constituencies, actively listening and demonstrating sensitivity to the ideas and concerns of others.

Leads and Manages Change
The Executive Director will promote a culture of innovation and creativity and will demonstrate forward thinking.

Business Management Skills
The Executive Director will manage a complex organization under changing conditions; deploying and managing human and financial resources in an effective and efficient manner. S/he will have a strong understanding of process and the ability to guide it effectively. The Executive Director will set clear direction and objectives and communicate effectively. S/he will anticipate the impact of emerging trends and incorporate those into decision making, programs, services and business operations. The Executive Director will surface and consider uncomfortable facts and opinions and will not hide bad news. S/he will track and evaluate progress and achieve results.

Thinks and Acts Strategically
The Executive Director will communicate a compelling vision for the Jewish community and the Federation and will translate the vision and mission of the Federation into objectives, strategies, activities and deliverables.

Fundraising Skills
The Executive Director will understand the communal needs and funding opportunities and will demonstrate a working knowledge of multiple income streams and philanthropic vehicles. S/he will engage and excite the imagination of high net worth individuals and her/himself will demonstrate a personal commitment to the values and work of the Federation by making a quality personal financial commitment.

Ensure Teamwork and Collaboration
The Executive Director will promote and require teamwork and collaboration across the Federation, will leverage her/his team to achieve objectives and will address, rather than avoid, conflicts using the means appropriate to the situation and the desired outcome. S/he will build coalitions with other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and leaders in the community to identify and promote opportunities for collaboration in service of shared interests.


The successful candidate will be:

  • Passionate about Judaism and Israel, with compassion for and understanding of the Jewish people and the needs and welfare of Jews locally, in Israel, and around the world.

  • An energetic self-starter with highly developed interpersonal skills who can relate well with staff, volunteer leadership, donors and the community at large.
    A collaborator who can develop and steward relationships of trust with donors, prospects, community agencies and synagogues.

  • Knowledgeable of fiduciary responsibilities, finance and accounting operations of nonprofits, as well as general legal, reporting and governance requirements.

  • An outstanding manager able to work with staff in mentoring, setting goals and objectives.   Able to evaluate and motivate staff, drive performance and operate an efficient organization.

  • A good communicator and good listener.

  • A fundraiser with demonstrated ability to increase financial resources and philanthropic capacity through multiple vehicles.

The successful candidate will have:

  • A minimum of 5 years progressive leadership experience and 2 years of progressively responsible experience in Jewish or other non-profit organizations or a combination of strong business and Jewish volunteer leadership experience.

  •  Bachelor’s degree minimum, MBA or other post graduate management degree preferred.

COMPENSATION:  A competitive compensation package is available.

Desired Education Degree/Level: Bachelor's

Career Level: 5-10 yrs. experience

How To Apply
Contact For Job: JFNA - MCLE - RW
Contact Title: Consultant
Preferred Contact Method: E-mail
Submit Resume to:
Additional Information: 

Want to apply for this job online? Click Here.