Full Time

Senior Director, Community Engagement - JFNA NY/DC

Jewish Federations of North America New York NY

DEPARTMENT: Community and Jewish Life
REPORTS TO: Chief Community and Jewish Life Officer
The Jewish Federations of North America (“JFNA”) represents 146 Jewish Federations and over 300 Network communities, which raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services, and educational needs. The Federation movement, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).  
JFNA's newly formed Community and Jewish Life Division is working to conceive of, develop, and execute initiatives that reshape engagement practices and expand engagement in Jewish life and community across North America. This is done by working collaboratively with cross-organizational partners, including by partnering with and supporting Federations, largely in their Jewish/community engagement and Jewish education efforts. Focus areas may include a broad range, such as: children and young families, young adults, teens, Jewish travel, Jewish diversity and belonging, interfaith families, mental health, employment, Jewish poverty, etc.
Federations represent one of (if not the) largest supporters and conveners of local Jewish engagement in North America, and conversely some 30-50% of Federation funding goes to support Jewish education and engagement programs. The Senior Director of Community Engagement will support Federations as conveners, catalysts, incubators, and leaders in building flourishing local communities. The Senior Director will identify, design, lead and facilitate several core approaches through which JFNA will support 1) individual Federation needs, and 2) convene and help Federation leaders exchange ideas, develop new concepts that result in new local initiatives, and learn from and with each other to maximize community engagement opportunities. 
The Senior Director will be responsible for leading several of the division’s core strategies, as described below, and will support the department’s overall goals and processes. 
  1. Create, develop and lead the division’s strategy to support Federations, continually refining and sharpening the approach and set of offerings and be the central address for the division’s relationships with Federations.
  2. Be an expert in A) a broad range of Jewish engagement and community building programs and models from across the Jewish world, and B) the unique needs, approaches, and programs in local communities in North America. Leverage this unique knowledge set to make connections, matches, and links between national programs/models and local community needs as well as creating value-added programming. 
  3. Create and maintain productive relationships with Federation professionals and with national agency leaders who work in this area; from these relationships, identify strategic issues or shared needs that might drive communities of practice, blog posts, and webinars. In addition, provide support to individual community needs. 
  4. Develop ideas for new strategies to support Federations' work in this area.  Translate lessons learned from national experiments into learning for community-based professionals; lead areas of potential growth for Jewish Federations and the communal system, adapting lessons from local successes to other communities.
  5. Convene Jewish Federations’ Jewish education and engagement professionals regularly via webinar and in more sustained learning (through days-long conferences) around areas of interest and need.  Identify, create, and manage communities of practice and groups of Federation leaders that may be learning together and developing new strategies. This includes a broader Jewish Life Roundtable as well as smaller/topic-specific groups as needed.
  6. Create and manage a Community and Jewish Life communication strategy for Federations, which may include one or more e-publications, WhatsApp group, or other approaches. 
  7. Support the use of FedCentral, JFNA's web-based platform for idea exchange and conversation, as well as JewishTogether.org. 
  8. Work in close collaboration with the division’s Director of Partnerships, as well as key internal partner staff in Public Affairs, Impact and Growth, and FRD.
  9. Identify areas of greatest need and interest and create content for JFNA’s key conferences and events, including the General Assembly, FedPro, and others, as they arise.
  10. Serve as a resource within and outside of the Jewish Federation system on the needs and trends associated with North American Jewish life. 

The successful candidate will be:
  • Creative, strategic, assertive, and vision-driven
  • Flexible, able to experiment, to gather iterative feedback, and passionate about building something new
  • Intra-preneurial; combining an appreciation for existing institutions with a love for innovation
  • An able project manager, competent in breaking down and directly implementing project steps 
  • Able to build meaningful and trusting relationships with inter-organizational partners and internal colleagues
  • A team player, supporting the work of others, and being accountable to colleagues
  • A quick study who can understand and translate complex information
The successful candidate will have:
  • A proven track record of results and commitment to excellent relationship management 
  • 5-10 years of related experience
  • Graduate work (preferred; MA or equivalent)
  • Experience with Jewish communal life and with building successful partnerships
  • Knowledge of the Federation system, Jewish organizations, and key trends in Jewish life
  • Willingness to travel
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and experience in relationship management
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to write and engage all audiences 
  • Ability to recognize and articulate strategic questions facing Jewish education and engagement in North America
JFNA has U.S. offices in NYC and DC. Open to remote work location.
Please submit a resume and cover letter, to ResumesCommunityJewishLife@jewishfederations.org
As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, JFNA celebrates and welcomes people of all identities and backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.