Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ)
Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) is a global network of 30,000+ Jewish women working together to empower women and communities through bonds of sisterhood, spirituality, and social justice. Since its founding in 1913 and as an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), WRJ has been a leading voice for social action and advocacy issues. WRJ Resolutions have preceded policy in areas such as women’s reproductive rights, civil rights, and economic justice. Guided by the principle of Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world”), WRJ works to create a more just and compassionate world for people of all backgrounds and identities.
Through philanthropic endeavors such as WRJ’s YES (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) Fund, donors help strengthen Jewish life and provide the necessary support for spiritual, social, and educational growth in North America, Israel, and worldwide — funding Jewish organizations that align with WRJ’s views in creating a more inclusive society. In 2021 – 2022, the YES Fund allocated over $200,000 to empowering the next generation. WRJ grants funding to North American organizations committed to furthering work in the Jewish community’s space of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
WRJ inspires individual and collective spiritual growth by enriching contemporary life with Jewish rituals, traditions, culture, and opportunities for lifelong learning. With 300 active women’s groups in synagogues across North America, Israel, and the world, WRJ creates sisterhoods for everyone, empowering Reform Jewish women to find strength, joy, and connection in their communities and giving them the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves. WRJ produces multiple virtual programs, trips, and in-person events providing subject matter, social justice, and leadership training on an annual basis.
WRJ seeks a highly innovative, collaborative, and visionary individual to serve as the next Executive Director, representing the organization and increasing awareness of WRJ across the United States, Canada, Israel, and the world. The ED will work closely with a variety of stakeholder groups including the soon-to-be seven regional districts and their leadership. These seven geographic districts, spread across North America, serve affiliated sisterhoods and individuals who are attracted to and supportive of the mission and vision of WRJ. WRJ Districts serve Reform Jewish women as grassroots facilitators: helping them organize, cultivate leadership, and connect with programs and projects.
Reporting to the WRJ Board of Directors, the ED will serve as the professional voice and leader of WRJ. The ED will bring a clear vision and leadership to execute the mission of WRJ, possess demonstrated success with balancing stakeholders, drive and increase all levels of engagement, and continue strengthening WRJ's role in the Reform movement and the social justice arena. The ideal candidate will be an innovative leader for the organization, and show demonstrated commitment to the values of WRJ (sisterhood, spirituality, and social justice) with the ability to deepen connections both within and outside the Reform movement. The ideal candidate will embody a commitment to safety, respect, and equity (SRE) values, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and be highly relational, flexible, and comfortable with public speaking in a variety of settings.
Long Term Priorities
- Determine the vision of WRJ in partnership with the lay leadership
- Maintain and increase a culture of philanthropy within the organization
- Assess the changing Jewish communal world and be proactive in identifying and creating new roles for WRJ, and implementations of our pillars of sisterhood, spirituality, and social justice
- Expand leadership training throughout the North American WRJ leaders
- Identify the strengths and challenges of WRJ’s current membership model and make decisions in partnership with the lay leadership
- Advocate for specific issues that need to happen across the board in the Reform movement (e.g., gender wage gap, reproductive health and rights, etc.)
Executive Leadership and Management
- Provide thoughtful and visionary leadership that is inclusive and transparent to support and guide the organization’s mission
- Champion WRJ in the Reform movement and the larger Jewish communal world; serve as a voice and a presence for WRJ
- Represent the organization and serve as a leading spokesperson at events, conferences, partnership meetings, and to the media
- In partnership with the Assistant Director, lead, develop, collaborate with, and nurture the staff; maintain a culture of professional development, growth, and innovation
- Ensure that staff manages effective systems to track and regularly evaluate progress toward goals, and to measure successes and challenges that can be effectively communicated to the Board, funders, and other constituents
- Understand and implement the necessary steps to create a smooth transition; anticipate, navigate, and manage arising changes throughout the Jewish nonprofit sector
Lay Leadership and Supporter Collaboration
- Work closely and collaboratively with the President and the leadership
- Actively engage and energize Board members, partnering organizations, and funders; communicate effectively with the Board working with staff to provide members with all information necessary to make informed decisions in a timely and accurate manner
- Uphold and embody the WRJ covenants of lay and staff partnership (Brit Kehillah and Brit Avodah)
- Diversify membership across WRJ, increasing membership at the local levels
- In collaboration with the President and Executive Committee, build and implement clarity around all lay leader roles, responsibilities, and operations across each level of the organization
Fundraising and Philanthropy
- Forge and maintain positive relationships with major individual and institutional funders; work with the Director of Philanthropy and WRJ Board to expand the pool of potential funders
- Oversee the Director of Philanthropy to ensure that the development team builds revenue-generating and fundraising activities to support WRJ initiatives, YES grants, operations, and WRJ growth as well as steward donors and grantees
Engagement, Communications, and Social Justice
- Work with the Directors of Engagement, Events and Leadership, and Communications and Social Justice to strategically position WRJ
- Work to identify priorities, provide advocacy, action, and visibility for WRJ’s voice and presence
Financial Management, Human Relations, and Administration
- Assume responsibility for the fiscal integrity of the organization
- Work with staff, the WRJ Treasurer and the various WRJ finance committees (investment, audit, and budget); in partnership with the Executive Committee, prepare the organizational budget and ensure that the organization operates within budget guidelines
The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker, bringing prior fundraising skills and creativity, and non-profit operations experience. The candidate has demonstrated an understanding of organizations comprised of supporters and stakeholder groups. The candidate must show success with collaborating across a variety of groups and an ability to make decisions while leading with organizational values at the forefront.
- Proven executive leadership and organizational management experience in the non-profit sector
- Prior experience working with lay leaders and a non-profit board, including a demonstrable understanding of board development and governance
- A relational, empathetic people-person, with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build strong, transparent, and trusting relationships with multiple constituencies
- Experience in budget management
- Outstanding communication, oral and written, and public speaking skills
- Comfort, ability, and experience with technology
- Strong management skills that encourage collaboration and growth
- Successful track record of fundraising, stewarding relationships with committed and prospective partners
- Cultural competency and ideological alignment with WRJ values and the Reform Movement
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation for this position ranges between $170,000 - $185,000, commensurate with experience. WRJ offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits package for all staff members.
This position description is based upon material provided by WRJ, an equal-opportunity employer.
To apply to this position, please click HERE.
Nina Cogan, Talent Consultant
Rachel Carter, R&O Associate
Sarah Raful Whinston, Principal