Director, Synagogue Strategy

UJA Federation of New York | New York, NY, United States

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Posted Date 4/26/2023

Position Summary:

UJA is seeking a dynamic self-starter who is passionate about synagogues and Jewish spiritual communities as centers of inspiration, community, and care.  This role requires a proactive thinker and doer, someone who will enthusiastically build substantial relationships with clergy, administrators, lay leaders, and movement leadership to ensure that UJA Federation of NY is a meaningful partner in building sacred communities.

There are close to 600 synagogues and spiritual communities across the UJA-Federation of New York catchment area. They serve diverse communities and have a wide variety of challenges and strengths. Thriving synagogues and spiritual communities shift in concert with the needs of the people they serve, and a strong network of synagogues and spiritual communities helps to ensure that the spiritual and social needs of the community are met for years to come. Working closely with local clergy and organizations, as well as with the national movements and seminaries, the synagogue strategy director will create strategies that meet the needs of area synagogues. Given the size and scope of the enterprise, this will necessarily involve leveraging wisdom and best practice from partner organizations and consideration of the use of diversified revenue sources, including philanthropic dollars.

The Director will actively coordinate and communicate with professional teams throughout UJA, especially colleagues in the Jewish Life department and relevant financial resource development departments.  This professional serves as UJA’s representative to local and national tables and should be comfortable leading and learning in to these environments.  On a day-to-day basis, this position requires facility with creating positive and productive professional and lay relationships.  


Major Responsibilities: 


  • Continuously assess and monitor trends and opportunities by maintaining ongoing communication with:  
    • local synagogues, spiritual communities and minyanim 
    • broader Jewish educational and engagement field  
    • UJA colleaguesincluding community mobilizers, planners and financial resource development professionals
    • community-based organizations 
    •  local and national synagogue organizations including local boards of rabbis, religious movement and seminary leadership.
  •  Nurture strategic partnerships with adjacent organizations working with synagogues, locally and nationally.
  • Provide sector specific expertise to professional and lay colleagues. 
  • Oversee all related grant making including sector specific pilot projects and ongoing initiatives. 
  •  Manage a database of interactions and relationships with synagogues and professionals.
  •  Liaise with the committees of the Jewish Life department and participate in team meetings and retreats. 
  • Take on additional responsibilities as the needs of the department evolve including the participating in committee meetings and lay and professional meetings where expertise in the synagogue landscape is an asset.
  •  Create a curriculum of contact and convening for NY synagogues.
  •  Convene a cross-departmental synagogue strategy planning team with relevant staff members and lay leaders to share ongoing work and discuss evolving priority areas and Participate in relevant cross-committee and cross-department strategic thinking and initiative planning groups. 
  • Participate in Jewish Life Cabinet and department meetings. 
  • Manage lay partners, working groups, and committees as needed. 


Qualifications and Competencies: 


  • Master’s degree or advanced degree in related field preferred. 
  • 7 - 10 years of related experience in non-profit sector.   
  • 7- 10 years of related practical planning and management experience in the field preferred. 
  • Able to quickly gain a sense of the landscape and roles of relevant partners in order to identify unique roles for UJA Federation to play and add value. 
  • Curious learner who builds field expertise through reading relevant materials, meeting lay and professional partners and potential partners and attending events. 
  • Eloquent spokesperson in the community on behalf of UJA’s synagogue strategies and priorities. 
  • Ability to think strategically and systemically about issues and how they relate to synagogues and spiritual communities.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills. 
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to juggle multiple projects. 
  • Strong project management skills and follow through. 
  • Open to occasional travel throughout the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island. 
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the mission of UJA Federation, the Jewish not- for-profit sector, and synagogues and spiritual communities.  
  • Excellent planning, writing, and presentation skills 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook 


Salary Information:

The salary range for this role is $115,000 - $125,000; commensurate with experience and qualifications listed above.




Great Perks. Because We Appreciate Great Employees.


Time Off:

We offer a generous number of vacation days and have the Jewish holidays off as well. Fridays our offices close early (October to March at 3:00 pm and April to September at 4:00 pm). All so you can relax and recharge.


Health Care:

UJA provides a top-tier medical and dental plan, along with a flexible spending account. We also offer life insurance. And for a small cost you can take part in on-site yoga and exercise classes at our Manhattan office. Wellness matters to us.


Planning for Retirement:

UJA employees can enroll in a pension plan and tax deferred annuity.


Career Development:

Classes, workshops, and compelling speakers will keep you at the top of your game.



We come together as a staff to commemorate holidays (from Rosh Hashanah to MLK Day), volunteer at nonprofits, and celebrate our accomplishments together. (Our chocolate chip cookies are legendary!)


Some More (Yes, more!)

We also offer a backup childcare program. And a commuter benefit plan. So you can get to work and feel good about it.


Also, a lot of the times, we’re wearing jeans.


Salary115,000.00 - 125,000.00 Annual
Director | Synagogue Director
Organization Type
Retirement Plans | Dental | FSA | Kosher Food Option Available | Leave Early for Shabbat | Life Insurance | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Paid Vacation | Parental Leave | Sick Days | Mass Transit
Job Location
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