Director of Development, Eastern Region
Hebrew Union College - New York, NY

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Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals. In addition to rabbinical programs at each campus, HUC-JIR includes the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, Rhea Hirsch School of Education, School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, and the School of Graduate Studies.

With campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR offers graduate and postgraduate degree programs to scholars of all faiths, and invites the community to an array of cultural and educational programs that illuminate Jewish identity, history, and contemporary creativity, while fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.

Hebrew Union College was founded in 1875 in Cincinnati and in 1950 merged with the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. A campus was opened in Los Angeles in 1954 and another campus was added in Jerusalem in 1963, which serves as HUC-JIR’s Year-in-Israel Program, Israel Rabbinical Program and as the academic center for the Progressive Movement in Israel. HUC-JIR ordained the first woman to serve in the rabbinate 40 years ago and has been in the vanguard of meeting the needs of a diverse Jewish community.

This position is based in New York City at the Brookdale Center on West Fourth Street adjacent to New York University in Greenwich Village.

For more information about HUC-JIR, please visit:


This is a highly-visible position at HUC-JIR with the opportunity to work with an extraordinary network of rabbis of leading Reform congregations in the eastern United States, a Dean who enjoys fundraising, and a dedicated Board of Overseers which is committed to helping the DOD raise funds to support faculty, students, programs and facilities at the New York Campus.

The new DOD will be joining an organization that has a well-tuned development operation, yet will have the latitude to design and implement his/her strategy of broadening the pipeline of prospects and upgrade the base of individual and foundation donors.

This position will provide interaction with the School’s outstanding faculty and program directors and work at the unique intersection of higher education and the Jewish communal world in which HUC-JIR operates.

Part of the challenge for the DOD will be to develop a creative approach to raising major gifts from non-alumni by emphasizing HUC-JIR’s impact in Reform Judaism as well as in the Jewish community more broadly, and by utilizing the many associations that its rabbinic and cantorial alumni have within the Reform movement and beyond

• Create and implement strategies to raise funds from individual and institutional prospects and donors to support the priorities of the New York Campus of HUC-JIR.

• Work with the Dean to set annual campaign goals and to build, maintain and solicit an active portfolio of leadership donors.

• Engage Reform congregational leadership in the Eastern Region, the majority of who are HUC-JIR graduates, to support the goals of the New York School by identifying congregants and friends who might be either prospective donors or members of the Board of Overseers.

• Design and coordinate stewardship plans for major donors by maintaining personal contact and ensuring that donors are appropriately acknowledged and recognized (i.e., donor receptions, reports, briefings, etc.)

• Manage the Eastern Region Board of Overseers including identifying and recruiting new members, actively engaging them in the development process, helping to solicit their annual support, developing Board agendas, and maintaining regular communications with the Board.

• Supervise the budget for the Eastern Region development activities and hire, evaluate, mentor and oversee the regional development staff.

• Collaborate with the National Institutional Advancement staff and the Central and Western Regional directors to shape fundraising priorities and best practices.

• An appreciation for the unique mission of HUC-JIR and its important contributions to the Reform Movement, both in the United States and Israel, and the ability to effectively translate that understanding to prospects and donors

• A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of proven experience leading a major gifts program and developing volunteer leadership, preferably in higher education or for a Jewish communal organization

• A track record of personally cultivating, soliciting and closing gifts at the five- and six-figure levels

• The skill and experience to partner effectively with the Dean, the board, and staff in order to engage them in the development process

• Excellent interpersonal skills with which to interact with the diverse range of HUC-JIR constituencies: high-net worth individuals, leaders in the professions and business community, academic leaders, rabbis, foundation executives, and Jewish communal professionals

• An understanding of the Jewish community, its philanthropy and organizational structure

• A well-developed cooperative approach to problem-solving with attention to follow-through and detail with the ability to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously

• High-energy, socially-sophisticated, politically-savvy, hands-on, can-do attitude is a must

• A comfort with technology and ability to utilize Microsoft Office applications, as well as knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or similar fundraising database

• A valid driver’s license and ability to undertake periodic overnight travel, including occasional weekends

Summary Text
The Director of Development (DOD), Eastern Region will work with individual and foundation major gift prospects primarily in the New York metropolitan area, as well as supporters in Boston, Washington, D.C., Florida and areas in between. Working with the 53-member Eastern Region Board of Overseers, the DOD will identify, engage and solicit new prospects and prior donors (in the five- to seven-figure range) to maintain and build upon the $3 million currently raised annually.

The DOD reports to Dr. Jane Karlin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and works in tandem and collaboratively with the Dean of the New York Campus, Rabbi Shirley Idelson, who has served since 2007. This position is open as a result of the retirement of the previous DOD after 19 years at HUC-JIR.

The DOD will supervise a two-person staff dedicated to supporting students, faculty and programs at the New York Campus. The DOD will also collaborate with national fundraising staff, who are located at the New York Campus, as well as interact with Directors of Development at the other U.S. campuses.

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