A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT
As President of Temple Emanu-El, it is my privilege to introduce this special community and give you a sense of our congregation. Temple Emanu-El is located in the City of Oak Park, which is considered an “inner ring” suburb of the City of Detroit. For years, this put the congregation at a disadvantage as many of the families and individuals were moving farther to the north and west. However, in the last decade, Detroit has undergone a resurgence. Younger professionals and families with young children are now attracted to the city and are choosing to live in the inner suburbs like Oak Park.
Bolstered by our strong Early Childhood Center, Temple Emanu-El has benefited from this population shift and we have found stability and growth. This means that the congregation has two distinct groups as its core constituency: empty-nesters who have remained in the area and engaged in their congregational home and those younger families who are moving into the area.
Beyond geography, our congregation has a lot of wonderful things going for it – we are known for our warm, welcoming, and haimish (friendly) way of interacting with everyone who walks through the door. Plus, we have a strong preschool program with a great reputation along with a wonderful and growing religious school.
Our congregation is known for its focus on social action, which is evident from the moment you drive up to our building and see our raised garden beds from which we harvest fresh produce to donate to local food banks. We partner with a local food rescue organization to offer cold storage for rescued food until it can be utilized. We have groups of adult learners who are engaged with the world, thirsty for knowledge and are open to learning many different topics.
In addition to being a nourishing community, we happen to be in an area with a good-sized Jewish population, a wide variety of Jewish engagement, and a cost of living that is hard to rival from other metro areas and Jewish population centers of our size.
I suspect you will read a lot of these profiles and it is hard to discern what a congregation’s nature truly is, but if you are looking for the opportunity to be involved in helping us continue to build for the future and not just manage the daily affairs of a congregation then the Executive Director position at Temple Emanu-El may be exactly what you are looking for.
Very truly yours,
David M. Gubow
President, Temple Emanu-El
Temple Emanu-El (Oak Park, MI)
Temple Emanu-El was founded in 1952 to meet the growing needs of the Jewish community in Oak Park, Huntington Woods and other (then) northern suburbs of Detroit. Called the Suburban Temple of Greater Detroit, it held its first service for its 100 families on January 18, 1952. Within its first year, the congregation grew to almost 300 families. Our membership continues to include founding members, as well as their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Temple Emanu-El is an open, welcoming, inclusive congregation that strives to be a presence in your Jewish journey, wherever you are. We believe in the importance of three of the pillars of Judaism, Torah (study), Avodah (worship), and G’milut Chasadim (acts of lovingkindness). We are committed to Tikkun Olam (repairing our world).
We are a family of families – we work to help all feel included and valued in our community. Through our Early Childhood Community (ECC), and Yachad religious school (Kindergarten – High School), we offer opportunities to educate children in a welcoming setting.
Overview of the Position:
The Temple Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of Temple. The Executive Director works very closely with the Clergy, President, ECC Director and Yachad Director, and other officers, all of whom must maintain a warm, caring, and supportive relationship with our congregants, employees, officers, and volunteers. The Executive Director and his/her office staff create the first impression for prospective new members and visitors.
Areas of responsibilities include:
Human Resources Management: Hires, supervises, trains, motivates and evaluates staff, in coordination with clergy and lay leadership. Develops and maintains employee documentation, including operating procedures, Employee Handbook, job descriptions, the Board manual and minutes, and synagogue organizational chart. Utilizes best practices and applicable laws in workplace leadership and management to create a culture of excellence. Works with staff to set clear goals and supports staff development. Encourages team building by facilitating open communication and positive working relationships. Ensures compliance with current federal and state labor laws as it relates to synagogue operations. Promotes a positive strength-based work culture of teamwork, diversity, collaboration, open communication, and overall respect. Provides annual reviews of staff that he/she supervises.
- Fiscal Management:Implements the Board’s policies for the allocation and distribution of resources. Develops annual budget in consultation with Finance and appropriate standing committees, clergy, staff, and board. Oversees financial systems including payroll, benefits, taxes, budgeting, purchasing, contracting, insurance, and financial resources (with appropriate lay committees).
- Development: Takes active role in coordination and support of fundraising efforts. Staffs the donor solicitation efforts of lay leadership. Coordinates and oversees expanded fundraising efforts and individual donor cultivation in collaboration with lay leaders. Responsible for seeking out grant opportunities and preparing grants or managing others who do so.
- Membership Recruitment, Engagement and Retention: Works with Temple staff and lay leadership to plan and implement membership outreach, engagement, and retention, including spiritual, social, and educational programming. Seeks to understand and address member interests and needs, advises staff and/or lay leaders of specific membership needs. Responsive to member concerns and satisfaction. Serves as first contact for prospective member inquiries. Maintains membership database for accurate membership records. Works directly with the Member Engagement Committee to create and maintain a robust system for recruitment, engagement, and retention of membership.
- Communications, Marketing, and Outreach: Directs Temple communications efforts including website, social media, electronic and print media, utilizing a strategic communications strategy. Oversees calendar systems to communicate programming for all Temple news and events. Promotes community awareness of Temple’s strengths, mission, vision, and legacy. Participates in networking and community activities on behalf of Temple. Builds strong working relationships with community, regional and national groups, and organizations.
- Facilities Management: Supervises facility operations and building usage scheduling, building maintenance and repair, computer systems, rental relations, and security. Oversees the use of the kitchen, including caterer coordination. Works in coordination with the lay leadership and other relevant committees. Manages basic contracts, vendor relationships, and risk management including insurance.
- Program Management: Assists Board and clergy in the development of programs and services. Facilitates and oversees program staff and lay leaders in the conduct of research, planning, development, implementation and evaluation of programs and services. Ensures that program-ming and services meet policy guidelines and reflect synagogue priorities as determined by the Board, Clergy, and lay leadership.
Qualifications: The successful candidate will be a dynamic and experienced manager who is interested in assuming a key leadership role in supporting our vibrant and welcoming congregation.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- Excellent organizational, communication and interpersonal skills.
- Significant financial management, budgeting and reporting, and internal controls skills.
- Appropriate computer skills such as Excel and digital communications as well as payment tools or organizational management software (such as QuickBooks, ShulCloud).
- Knowledge of marketing and communications, including website, social media, and virtual engagement.
- Ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse constituencies.
- Ability to think strategically considering topics of importance to today's world and to the future.
- Ability to prioritize, make sound decisions quickly and appropriately on a wide variety of issues and tasks.
- Familiarity with Jewish ritual, holiday, and life-cycle traditions.
- Strong written and oral communications skills.
- Ability to work evening and weekend hours as needed to attend synagogue meetings and events.
- Ability and desire serve as an active and positive Temple ambassador within the wider community.
- Positive attitude, approachable, functions with clarity, transparency, and integrity.