Executive Director | Congregation Emanu El

Congregation Emanu El | Houston, TX, United States

Jewish Jobs Weekly

Our most popular service.
Subscribe to a weekly email of jobs!

Click here to Subscribe

Posted Date 4/21/2023

Congregation Emanu El

Executive Director

Houston, TX





Congregation Emanu El was founded in 1944 and, with a membership of more than 1600 families, is one of America’s largest Reform synagogues. The congregation boasts numerous active affinity groups to serve our diverse congregation, as well as two thriving education centers: the Helfman Religious School for K-12 learners and the Becker School, which serves our youngest learners. Emanu El has been a leader in community service, education, arts and culture, and social justice since its inception. The two statements which flank our pulpit, “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God” and “Be a light unto the nations,” reflect the dual commitment of Emanu El: to teach our members the values through which Jews infuse their lives with spiritual meaning, and to provide them a place to bring those values to life through service to the Jewish people and all humanity.

For more information about Congregation Emanu El, go to https://www.emanuelhouston.org/.



Congregation Emanu El seeks to partner with an energetic, skilled and professional Executive Director to bring their talents, aspirations and initiative to the community. A desire to facilitate and build relationships, a strong presence, and ability to lead, are all important characteristics. The Executive Director will strategically lead all financial, human resources, facility, technology and administrative operations for this $7.8 million organization with a 95,000 square foot facility (plus a new 30,000 square foot Center for Jewish Learning that they are currently designing) and approximately 68 full-time employees and over 100 part-time employees (including clergy, staff, preschool and religious schoolteachers). Reporting to the President of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will provide strategic leadership and directly manage a team of five or six staff members, depending on an evolving organizational structure with additional staff members reporting to direct reports. The ideal Executive Director will be both a leader and a team player, and a professional colleague and partner with staff, lay leadership, and the congregation at large, all in accordance with Congregation Emanu El’s mission, bylaws and policies.


Role Priorities

  • Deep experience in finance and budgets; create strong processes for financial control
  • Organized, experienced manager and supervisor with a strong background in policies and procedures while always having an open door
  • Partner with the Senior Rabbi and Board President to implement the vision for the congregation; create a clear sense of responsibilities between the three different roles
  • Serve as the North Star, the Chief of Staff of the congregation, to ensure departments are speaking to each other, work is happening and that processes are efficient 
  • Work on teambuilding with the staff; continue to support staff in professional development and career trajectories
  • Engage and partner with the leadership in board development


Leadership and Management

  • Embrace and take shared ownership of the vision and strategic direction of the synagogue to enable the continued growth and success of the community.
  • Directly or indirectly manage all Congregation staff, excluding clergy, teachers, programming and development.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration, communication, customer service, integrity and shared responsibility across and among all staff.
  • Mentor staff with a genuine interest in their professional growth and development.
  • Execute on decisions made in collaboration with the Senior Rabbi, Congregation President or Board of Trustees, as appropriate, regarding human resources issues, operational issues, and other major activities and issues.


Finance and Operations

  • Manage all financial operations, including, but not limited to, accounting and financial reporting, billing, collections, purchasing, expense control, cash management and analysis, contract negotiations, budgeting and investments.
  • Manage banking relationships, Endowment investments and coordinate with outside accountants for tax and audit preparation. Work with legal counsel and insurance experts for employment, liability and real estate issues, as needed.
  • Direct activities along with the Communications Director related to internal and external communication strategies
  • In conjunction with the Facility & Security Director, ensure Emanu El's operational continuity by providing well-maintained, clean, safe and secure facilities.
  • Engage in the planning and development of Emanu El's Campus Renovation & Expansion Project
  • At the direction of the Investment Committee, perform or direct investment transactions of a $24 million Endowment Fund, which consists of over 60 individual restricted, unrestricted, designated and undesignated funds. At the direction of the Endowment Committee, determine allocation of such funds to operations and other areas of financial need.
  • Assist the Director of Congregational Advancement in creating a strategy for revenue enhancements, including creative ways to generate additional member and community contributions.
  • Manage 25-acre cemetery, including coordination of burials, sales of plots, and maintenance.



Lay Leadership Development

  • Orchestrate monthly Executive Committee and Board meetings for 34-person Board, including preparation of agenda, reports and discussion topics. Act as staff liaison for various other committees.
  • Work with the Board President and Executive Committee to ensure the Board is properly supported with information and data as needed.
  • Work with the Board President, Clergy, senior staff and other lay leaders to identify, engage and cultivate lay leaders within the congregation.
  • Implement Board guidance, training, and direction; ability to demonstrate progress on key initiatives and communicate those effectively to the Board over time.



  • Ability to create, build, and maintain relationships with staff, members and lay leaders
  • Experienced strategic and creative thinker, planner, and self-starter
  • Has deep experience in all financial areas, including, but not limited to budgeting, accounting, and financial management systems and ability to put processes into place
  • Demonstrated success in supervising, motivating and developing staff; an inclusive management philosophy and style that strives for and promotes excellence, encourages creativity, growth, problem solving and accountability
  • Proven ability to identify business issues and effect positive change
  • Knowledge of technology and social media to support administration, events, membership and marketing
  • Deep experience with board training, onboarding, recruitment and management
  • Experience in running the day-to-day operations of a facility with a diversity of programs
  • Experience with best practices around customer service; understands how to work with members around sensitive matters (and can leverage other staff and community members to partner)
  • Familiarity with Jewish rituals, customs and holiday celebrations, and the connection to Israel, or a willingness to learn
  • Availability to be physically present at the synagogue on holidays and selected events and Shabbatot to ensure events run as planned
  • Participate in local and national organizations as it relates to professional development, and the ability to network with other administrators in the field
  • Familiarity with the nonprofit sector is a plus





The base salary for this role is between $180,000-$220,000 depending upon experience. The benefits include medical, retirement, life, disability and paid time off.  In addition, professional development and technology allowances are provided. 


This position description is based upon material provided by Congregation Emanu El, an equal opportunity employer.


To apply for this position, please click HERE.


Sarah Raful Whinston, Principal


Raven Stubbs, Talent Consultant


Gabrielle “Bee” Smith, Associate

Full Time
Executive Director
Organization Type
Job Location
Views 410

Share this job

Part Time, Seasonal, and Contract Nonprofit Jewish Communal Jobs

Nonprofit Jewish Communal Jobs Online