Director, Western Region

American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (AFBIU) | Beverly Hills, CA, United States

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Posted Date 8/16/2023

American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (AFBIU) has exclusively retained Sterling Search, Inc. to find its next Director, Western Region (DWR).

A Journey that began with only 75 students is now 23,000 students strong, creating an incredible imprint on the landscape of Israel.

Located near the city of Tel Aviv and founded in 1955, Bar-Ilan University (BIU) is one of the first comprehensive research universities to be established in Israel. Today, BIU is one of Israel's leading institutions of higher education, uniquely combining cutting-edge scientific research with education steeped in Jewish values and social responsibility. Its milestone achievements in the sciences and humanities and all fields of human endeavor have made an indelible imprint on the landscape of the State of Israel.

BIU is currently in a vibrant transformational period of creating challenge-driven research centers that embrace practical research designed to change and improve the human experience. BIU has made great strides and significant advances toward catapulting the University to the forefront of cutting-edge research and scientific technology. It is the ability to fuse a reverence for Jewish legacy and heritage with the rigors of academic study which makes Bar-Ilan University like no other.

Innovation for Israel & The World

  • BIU’s drone technology helps keep Israel borders and IDF soldiers safe.
  • Doron Aurbach - Winner of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Renewable Energy.
  • Ruth Halperin-Kaddari – Director of the Rackman Center for Women’s Rights, a leading voice for Agunoth.
  • Eitan Okun – Working on a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Uri Nir – Game changer in preventing the spread of cancer.
  • Home to Israel’s top:
    • Cyber-Security Lab
    • Laboratories in Artificial Intelligence
  • Bar-Ilan’s Azrieli School of Medicine in the Galilee - overcoming health inequalities in Israel’s North.

Embracing the new while maintaining the traditions of Jewish culture

  • Aren Maier – leading the excavation of Biblical Gath where King David and Goliath made history.
  • Israel’s largest advanced Torah Studies Institute for women.

The critical support of the American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (AFBIU) has made Bar-Ilan University what it is today – a bastion of Jewish Studies and a world leader in Medicine, Cybersecurity, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. AFBIU develops vital philanthropic support for this unique university. The generosity of its donors transforms dreams into realities. It funds state-of-the-art facilities and academic projects which help attract preeminent faculty. Additionally, BIU offers opportunities to support unparalleled academic advancements while promoting an appreciation of Jewish heritage and the Jewish state.

Biggest Challenge and Opportunity: AFBIU’s biggest challenge and its greatest opportunity is recognizing both the philanthropic legacies of its past and sustaining donors while also embracing the many possibilities of engaging new supporters. In doing so, AFBIU must also be sure to maintain the rich heritage of Jewish life and culture as it expands its fundraising program to include a new generation of donors who care deeply about BIU’s future impact on Israel and the world.

In October of 2022, Robert (Bob) Aronson was named Chief Executive Officer of AFBIU. Aronson brings with him 20 years as the CEO of the Jewish Federation in Detroit, as well as two other leadership roles as the President of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and Birthright Israel Foundation. In part, Aronson was hired to be an agent of change as AFBIU traverses this “old to new” vision. Nearly all of the philanthropy in this region to date has been from the Zionist, Orthodox and Holocaust survivors communities in Los Angeles. While recognizing and appreciating the great legacies of these generous philanthropic families, it is imperative that AFBIU build a long-term, sustainable philanthropic base for BIU’s future.

AFBIU’s charge is to create a new generation of donors that include the children of the legacy families and those who embrace BIU’s ingenious research and innovation with its global impact on Israel and the world, all while continuing to honor and exemplify the deep values and principles of Jewish life and culture. Aronson is laying the foundation for this new philanthropic vision until his retirement in October of 2024 when there will be an executive search to find a new CEO to continue to build upon this vision.

Position Overview
AFBIU raises approximately $12 million annually with the United States fundraising efforts divided into four regions. Reporting to the President/CEO, the DRW will provide strategic leadership and direction while also serving as the chief fundraiser for the Western United States. The Western Region typically raises up to $4M annually, although there have been banner years raising $19-24 million through its individual giving efforts. The DWR will lead fundraising strategy and carry a personal portfolio of top-tier, longstanding donors and new prospects. The DWR will also benefit from a transition period with a long-tenured and well-respected colleague from the Los Angeles market, who will be retiring in 2023. In addition to the continued strategic management and elevation of existing donors, the DWR will focus on expanding the base of support through donor acquisition efforts to engage a broader population of philanthropists with a passion for Jewish heritage and academic advancements in the scientific and medical sectors.

A significant priority for the Western Region is the expansion and development of a Regional Board of lay leaders with influence and affluence, all of whom will serve with the expectation of supporting the organization financially as well as helping to grow the base of support through their own personal and professional networks. The DWR will continue to foster an equitable and inclusive culture of collaboration and partnership, which is also a reflection of AFIBU’s values. 

The DWR will be a self-starter, possess an entrepreneurial spirit, and will be someone who is ready to hit the ground running. AFBIU is poised for momentous growth, and the new DWR will have a tremendous opportunity to be an integral leader in its growth and future.

The Role: Primary Responsibilities and Duties

  • Participate with the CEO and staff to lead the AFIBU’s development strategies and continue to chart its course in fund development for the Western United States.
  • Lead, manage, and direct the funding/revenue base while focusing on a comprehensive fund development plan to enhance the short- and long-term diversified funding base for the Western United States.
  • Manage the development and cultivation of a strong lay leader Circle of Impact fundraising council for the Western United States. Assist the council in determining fundraising goals and objectives and help evaluate performance regularly.
  • Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in keeping with the organization’s values, mission, vision and plans.
  • Develop a balanced funding mix from donor revenue and other solicitation programs tailored to the needs of the organization with the overall goal of attracting, retaining and motivating donors and fundraising volunteers. Broaden and develop a robust major gift and planned giving program.
  • Oversee performance measures, monitor results, and evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program for the Western United States.
  • Develop and execute an annual plan for fundraising events and donor salons.
  • Ensure timely utilization of donor and prospect records, gift management systems, and informational reports.
  • Oversee the implementation of acknowledgment, stewardship, and recognition programs with feedback and verification systems of completed tasks throughout the donor giving cycle.
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintain accountability standards to donors, and ensure compliance with code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.
  • Execute all other reasonable duties as assigned by the

Professional Experience and Qualifications

  • Candidates must have a passion and affinity for the State of Israel.
  • At least seven to ten years of successful nonprofit fundraising required with three years of executive leadership experience with increasing levels of responsibility.
  • Significant experience identifying, cultivating, and soliciting six- and seven-figure gifts from individuals and foundations.
  • A demonstrated ability to plan and operate strategically, to build philanthropic support, to develop and strengthen fundraising infrastructure, to inspire staff, to develop strong working relationships with lay leadership, and to develop effective fundraising programs.
  • Significant experience in and a successful track record of securing major gifts, capital campaign gifts, and successful annual fund fundraising.
  • A demonstrated track record of fundraising management and operations leadership, implementing development processes and systems to measure activity and accountability, as well as revenue forecasting.
  • Experience building and inspiring a high-performing team.
  • A track record as an effective communicator skilled at writing and public speaking; adept at writing proposals, solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other types of materials to enhance fundraising.
  • Ability to juggle many responsibilities at once and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team.

A Flagship of Tradition - The Future of a Nation
Impacting Israel and the World

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate. The budgeted salary range is between $250-300k plus benefits. The salary will be commensurate with experience.

Please send resumes to:
Sterling Search, Inc.
[email protected] (310) 909 4897

Direct all correspondence, emails, and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc.

Salary190,000.00 - 250,000.00 Annual
Full Time
Organization Type
American Friends of
Retirement Plans | Medical Insurance | Paid Vacation
Job Location
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