CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER HOUSTON

POSITION DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is seeking a transformative leader--a change agent and proven community builder with exceptional interpersonal skills. The CEO must be skilled at developing and maintaining trusted relationships with all sectors of the community; board members and volunteers, a wide range of both donors and non-donors, high net worth individuals, unaffiliated Jews, Next Gen, synagogue leadership, agency executives and professional staff. This individual is comfortable with diversity and builds trust through sensitivity, listening skills, openness and a spirit of collaboration and positive thinking. S/he promotes partnerships and collaboration while creatively resolving conflict by identifying and leveraging shared interests and achievable objectives.

 

The new CEO will be able to communicate a compelling vision for the Federation and the community, and translate the vision into achievable goals, strategies and deliverables. S/he will lead and manage innovation and change, building on the successes of the past and its traditional donors while enabling the Federation to meet current and future challenges. S/he inspires engagement, participation and commitment from multiple stakeholders and is able to galvanize the community with a relevant and meaningful Federation message. The CEO will consistently demonstrate a passion for, and a commitment to Jewish life, Jewish values and Israel, and to the work of the Federation and the Federation movement. S/he will be a respected and articulate spokesperson for the Jewish community, establishing relationships to increase the overall fundraising strength and success in the community.

 

The CEO demonstrates and requires fairness and honesty in personal and organizational behavior and takes responsibility for decisions and consequences. This leader promotes and requires teamwork across the Federation and leverages teams to achieve objectives.

 

The CEO is confident managing a complex organization and deploys and manages human and financial resources effectively. The CEO reports to the Board of Trustees. S/he will manage a staff of 38 including 7 direct reports.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

 

 

About the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston has a long history of mutual respect among the professional staff and lay leaders. The Federation has been focusing on its mission of improving lives of Jews in Houston, Israel and around the world for 80 years. In 2015, we raised more than $16.4 million, split evenly between the annual campaign and supplemental campaigns, with a budget of about $2.5 million. During the past two years, we raised about $7 million for our Promise of Hope Appeal to address poverty in our community. This past year, we also raised $1.6 million for flood relief following the 2015 Memorial Day Flood that severely affected the heart of the Jewish community. Last year, John Hagee Ministries contributed $2.8 million to various Jewish and Israeli organizations through the Federation, continuing a decades-long relationship.

 

In support of Israel and Overseas efforts, we have provided $685,000 to JAFI and almost $1.2 million to JDC. In Israel, our Federation has consistently funded the communities of Yoseftal and Dado in Petach Tikvah through the Partnership 2000 program, the Leo Baeck Education Center and the YEDA schools, inspired by KIPP, a network of non-profit public charter schools launched in Houston.

 

Part of our Federation is the Department of Education, formerly the Bureau of Jewish Education. This department serves seven day schools, 16 congregational schools, and 10 pre-schools; manages the PJ Library and One Happy Camper programs; runs the new Israel Engagement Center, created to provide awareness, education and opportunities to connect to Israel at the community level; and they produce Yom Limmud (a day of Jewish Learning), one of our community’s largest Jewish events touching about 2000 people.

 

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Federation, The Houston Jewish Community Foundation was established in 1984 and today professionally manages more than $150 million in assets. Last year, the Create A Legacy program was launched in our community with 15 Houston community partner organizations. It achieved commitments for legacy gifts from 287 individuals, yielding a cumulated expected gift to our community of more than $12 million.

 

About the Houston Jewish Community

In our diverse Jewish community, we have Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Lubavitch and Reconstructionist synagogues. Several congregations are significant in size, including Beth Yeshurun, one of the largest Conservative synagogues in the U.S. founded over 120 years ago; Congregation Beth Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in Texas, a Reform synagogue with about 1600 member households; and Temple Emanu El with about 2000 member households. Our Jewish community works well together. For example, on May 20-21, 18 of our Synagogues, including all the major synagogues, participated in the Federation’s A Shabbat of Unity to express solidarity with Israel.

 

Major Jewish agencies include, Jewish Family Service, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center (with three campuses) and Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services.

 

We recently fielded a $250,000 demographic study to determine the number of Jewish families, their geographic distribution and programming/service needs. At last count, more than a decade ago, we estimated the Jewish community to be about 45,000.

 

About Houston

The fourth most populous city in the nation, Houston is the most ethnically diverse major metro in the U.S., with more than 100 languages spoken here. Ours is a growing city, ranking third in overall lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 most populous metropolitan areas. Texas has no state or local income tax. We average only 18 days per year with temperatures below freezing and have had only 15 measurable snowfalls since 1939.

 

It’s no secret – Houston boasts one of the most robust and dynamic economies in the world, home to 25 Fortune 500 companies. With many Houston hospitals consistently ranking among the nation’s top institutions, the Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world. It boasts 54 world-renowned medical research and academic institutions, including six general hospitals, 11 specialized hospitals, three medical schools, five schools of nursing, two schools of pharmacy and a dental school.

 

Houston is home to five major universities and numerous community colleges. Two of these universities boast having Jewish Studies programs.

 

Houston is home to 40 of the nation’s 134 publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production firms including 10 of the top 25. Houston's energy industry is currently experiencing challenges, but as has been the case in all previous down cycles, it will rebound and become stronger. The Houston region is an undisputed global leader in international business with ties reaching all over the globe and has long been nicknamed “space city,” home to America’s space agency, NASA. As one of the world’s busiest ports, the Port of Houston is a large and vibrant component of the area’s economy.

 

Houston has four sports stadiums and arenas all less than 15 years old and has repositioned itself as a sports destination, with the annual Shell Houston Open, and coming soon 2017 Super Bowl LI (2004 was here), and the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four was just here in April (2011 was also here). Houston’s home teams include the Astros in Minute Maid Park, the two-time MLS champion Dynamos in the new BBVA Compass Dynamo Stadium, the Rockets in Toyota Center Arena, and the Texans in NRG stadium.

 

Houston is one of the few U.S. cities that offer world-class, year-round resident companies in all of the major performing arts – symphony, opera, theatre and ballet. The museum district includes the Houston Holocaust Museum as well as Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Natural Science, among others. Houston is also the culinary capital of Texas with more than 7500 restaurants covering 60 cuisines, including a kosher fine dining restaurant as well as a premier New York style deli, featured in the 2015 documentary Deli Man, the movie.

 

CEO SUCCESS FACTORS

 

 

Leads and manages change: A forward thinking individual who promotes a culture of innovation and creativity, this individual has the courage to try new approaches and test new ideas. S/he successfully collaborates, working in concert with others to achieve shared objectives. The CEO will clearly communicate the changes that will move the Federation into the future, and then effectively develop the objectives, strategies, activities and deliverables to achieve the agreed upon changes.

 

Builds and maintains trusted relationships: The CEO must be a highly accomplished relationship builder who is comfortable in a variety of settings with multiple constituencies. This individual will reach out to those who have not identified with the Federation in the past as well as long time donors, and include and engage these groups in the work of the Federation, finding common ground and building trust. S/he must be a role model in building and maintaining relationships with all groups, managing ambiguity and uncertainty effectively and balancing competing priorities and points of view.

 

The CEO is open, accessible and accountable. S/he is a warm and engaging leader who is sensitive and listens to all viewpoints, demonstrates confidence and a positive approach and successfully positions and represents the Federation.

 

Visionary and strategic leadership: The CEO thinks and acts strategically, crafting, together with leaders, a clear and compelling vision. S/he is able to see and communicate the “big picture”. Demonstrating passion and commitment to Jewish life and Jewish values, the CEO inspires participation by Federation professionals, volunteers and stakeholders. S/he proudly represents the Jewish community to the general public and, in turn, is a source of pride to the Greater Houston community. Sparking enthusiasm among those who are not yet engaged in the Federation is also critical to the new person’s success.

 

Business leadership and management skills: A results oriented professional, the CEO is confident managing a complex organization and deploys and manages human and financial resources effectively. S/he sets clear goals and objectives and communicates progress effectively and regularly. This individual successfully balances the expectations of multiple constituencies, engaging those constituencies in an effective manner.

 

Proven ability in fundraising/business development: The CEO provides leadership and strategic direction for financial resource development activities, stewarding and closing gifts of significance. Entrepreneurial and attuned to donor interests and concerns, s/he will focus on engaging and re-engaging donors, enhancing the community’s potential. The successful candidate will have shown progress in building relationships and soliciting individuals and donors at every giving level for either philanthropic or business development purposes. Accomplished and facile in reaching a variety of potential prospects in different contexts, this inspiring communicator will also have the experience in reaching new untapped markets.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

 

The ideal candidate will have:

• Strategic leadership and management experience in Federation, business, government, academic and/or non-profit sectors.

• A proven record of successfully building trusted relationships with a variety of constituencies and stakeholders.

• A successful track record of working with a board and sensitivity to the volunteer-professional partnership.

• Enthusiasm about the Federation’s mission and the ability to inspire others to create a community dedicated to that mission.

 

COMPENSATION

 

 

A competitive compensation package including relocation is available for the successful candidate.

CONTACT

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume to Rea.Kurzweil@JewishFederations.org. The cover letter should include a statement addressing why the candidate is interested in this position, and why s/he thinks s/he is qualified.