Director of Development – Central Region
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion - Cincinnati, OH

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Position Description & Candidate Qualifications

The Director of Development for the Central Region will work in partnership with the dean of the Cincinnati campus to secure the financial resources that are needed to realize the vision for the campus. The Dean, Jonathan Cohen, PhD, was appointed to his position in September 2011. During the past year Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) has increased its involvement in the Cincinnati Jewish community, culminating in a transformative $5.225 million grant from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati (JFC) for service learning, recruitment, and community engagement. The grant provides unique opportunities for the director to build upon the momentum that the collaboration with the JFC has created.

The dean will look to the director for strategic and tactical support in growing the fundraising program. The director will increase individual, foundation, and corporate revenue streams by identifying, engaging and soliciting new prospects and by stewarding current donors; manage an active Board of Overseers; engage faculty, staff, and students in soliciting and building relationships with donors; represent HUC-JIR in the Cincinnati community and throughout the Central Region, including at Jewish and secular communal organizations, congregations, educational institutions, corporations, and foundations; oversee the Development Office on the Cincinnati campus; and maintain a portfolio of donors and prospects with five-to-seven figure gift capacity.

This position is located at the Cincinnati campus, in the historic Clifton neighborhood and reports to the Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement (based on the HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus). The director will supervise a staff of two, who are dedicated to supporting faculty, students and staff on the Cincinnati campus. The director will collaborate with staff located at the other HUC-JIR campuses and will interact with other Institutional Advancement department members, including Alumni Engagement, Communications and Public Affairs staff.

Opportunities and Challenges

This is a highly-visible position at HUC-JIR with the opportunity to work with a broad community that highly values HUC-JIR, engage an extraordinary network of rabbis of leading Reform congregations in the central region of the United States, a dean who enjoys fundraising, an extraordinary faculty, and a dedicated Board of Overseers that is eager to help the dean and director expand upon recent fundraising success.

The new director will be joining an organization that has an energetic and collaborative development operation. The director will have the tools and the latitude to design and implement his/her strategy of broadening the pipeline of prospects and upgrading the base of individual and foundation donors.

This position will interact 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.

Nationally, HUC-JIR is entering the public phase of a $125 million comprehensive campaign. To date, 60 percent of the goal has been raised by an effective team, including HUC-JIR’s President, national Institutional Advancement officers, Deans and regional fundraising professionals. The Cincinnati campus and the Central Region have played a key role in this achievement.

A challenge for the director will be to develop a creative approach to raising major gifts from non-alumni by emphasizing HUC-JIR’s impact on 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 to reach new prospective supporters in the central region of the United States.

Key Responsibilities

  • Create and implement strategies to raise funds from individual and institutional prospects and donors to support the priorities of the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR;
  • Work with the Dean to set annual campaign goals, including building, maintaining and soliciting an active portfolio of leadership donors and determining target communities throughout the central region for fundraising;
  • Work in partnership with the dean, including preparing the dean for fundraising meetings, accompanying the dean on calls, representing the dean at meetings with internal or external constituents, and drafting fundraising correspondence and proposals as needed;
  • Engage Reform congregational leadership in the Central Region, the majority of who are HUC-JIR graduates, to support the goals of the Cincinnati campus by identifying congregants and friends who might be 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;
  • Manage the Central 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 in collaboration with the Board Chair, and maintaining regular communications with the Board;
  • Supervise the budget for the Central Region development activities and hire, evaluate, mentor and oversee regional development staff;
  • Collaborate with the national Institutional Advancement staff and Eastern and Western Regional directors to shape fundraising priorities and best practices; and
  • The ability to undertake periodic travel throughout the Central Region, including overnight business travel and on occasional weekends.

Ideal Experience

HUC-JIR is seeking a high-energy, politically savvy and socially sophisticated, hands-on individual who possesses a “can do” attitude. The ideal candidate will also have excellent interpersonal and writing skills with which to interact with a diverse range of HUC-JIR constituencies, including leaders in the professions and business community, faculty members, rabbis, non-profit and foundation executives, and a wide array of Jewish communal professionals. Candidates should also possess a well-developed collaborative approach to problem solving and the ability to manage the details of multiple projects simultaneously.

Ideal candidates will also demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the Jewish community, its philanthropy and organizational structure, as well as an appreciation for the unique mission of HUC-JIR and its important contributions to the Jewish world and beyond, both in the United States and Israel, and the ability to effectively translate this 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 substantive donor engagement and personally cultivating, soliciting and closing gifts at the five- and six-figure levels;
  • The facilitation skills and experience to partner effectively with the dean and program directors, faculty and staff, Board members, current and prospective donors, alumni, organizational leaders and others, and to engage this wide range of constituents meaningfully in the development process;
  • A comfort with technology, including the ability to utilize Microsoft Office applications and a working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or a similar fundraising database.

Background on Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Founded in 1875, HUC-JIR is the nation’s oldest institution of Jewish higher education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to the Reform movement and the Jewish people worldwide as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. Academic programs are offered at the four campuses of the College-Institute: Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York City.

With an enrollment of over 400 full-time students and 800 part-time education and graduate studies students, as well as undergraduate students at Xavier University in Cincinnati and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, HUC-JIR is the largest of all Jewish seminaries in North America. Students benefit from exceptional resources, including the Klau Library (the second largest Jewish library in the world) and the American Jewish Archives, with its 15 million documents recording American Jewish history and preserving Reform congregational and institutional records.

The 47 scholars on the full-time tenured faculty represent the largest Jewish studies faculty outside of Israel. Last spring the faculty saw 162 students ordained and graduated, joining nearly 4,000 active alumni. The FY 2013 budget of $40.7 million is balanced, with 48 percent of revenue from fundraising and investment, 26 percent of revenue from Union for Reform Judaism congregational dues, and 21 percent from tuition.

Each campus is deeply rooted in its local community, reaching out widely to share its educational and cultural resources with individuals, congregations, Jewish communal organizations, schools, Jewish community centers, and clergy of other faiths. For more information about HUC-JIR, please visit:

Application Instructions

A review of application materials will begin immediately. Please forward a cover letter, resume/ curriculum vitae, salary history and a list of three references to:

Jeremy F. Perlin
National Director of Human Resources
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220-2488


Consistent with the provisions of applicable state and federal law, it is the policy of the College - Institute not to discriminate against or harass any person employed by or seeking employment because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status or age. The College - Institute also prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, status as a Vietnam-era veteran, or on the basis of citizenship.