KAHAL: Your Jewish Home Abroad seeks a dynamic, inspirational and entrepreneurial individual with a passion for operational excellence, resource development, organizational strategy, and Jewish enrichment for the role of Chief Executive Officer. This role provides a unique opportunity to expand and implement KAHAL’s dynamic growth and scale strategy, working in tandem with KAHAL’s Board of Directors, Staff, and Associate Board of Directors. KAHAL is at a pivotal point in our trajectory, transforming from what we are today to what we envision for tomorrow. Our next CEO will lead this transformation.
KAHAL creates and facilitates transformational Jewish experiences for study abroad students. A robust resource and support network, KAHAL works with local communities around the world, providing Jewish study abroad students with the resources, tools, and personal connections they need to meaningfully engage with local Jewish communities, augment their transformative abroad experience, and deepen their connection to the global Jewish people. Since its founding in 2013, KAHAL has connected more than 10,000 Jewish students to immersive Jewish experiences during their life-changing time abroad. By incorporating Jewish experiences and choices into this transformative environment, KAHAL measurably increases students’ attachment to the global Jewish people and increases the likelihood of their long-term Jewish choices.
Over the past seven years, KAHAL has grown from a fledgling startup into one of the most respected, high-functioning, impactful organizations in the Jewish world. KAHAL’s partnership network extends to more than 65 countries and 130 cities worldwide; our award-winning staff are energized and committed to organizational growth and impact; our board has grown, while retaining core members and increasing its role in strategic planning and decision-making; and our funding relationships have solidified, placing KAHAL—despite a pandemic-ravaged economy and travel landscape—in the strongest financial position in our
While KAHAL began with a focus on deepening the experiences of Jewish students abroad, our vision is far broader. Amid the longest pause in travel in modern history, KAHAL is in a unique position to leverage our stability and success to plan and build for a new future of travel and exchange – not just for students, but for all travelers who want to deepen their Jewish connections through international and/or regional travel, or through virtual travel experiences from their own homes. With this vision in mind, and with the realization that new skills are needed to fuel this growth and diversification, Alex Jakubowski, KAHAL’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, will transition to the Board of Directors to allow for a new CEO to steward a strategic planning process and lead KAHAL to realize a fresh vision, new opportunities and a significant expansion of KAHAL’s reach, impact and resources.
About the Position
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for overseeing all aspects of KAHAL’s general operations, administration, fundraising, human resources management and strategic planning efforts. The CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors and will work with the Board to establish specific goals and evaluate progress on an ongoing basis. The position carries with it phenomenal growth potential and the opportunity to lead a rapidly-growing, highly-impactful organization into the future.
Areas of responsibility include:
--Manage a high-performing senior leadership team and play an active role in attracting, retaining and developing a best-in-class staff
--Model and support a positive and thriving culture of employee development and empowerment, team-building, and innovation
--Oversee the Chief Operating Officer to execute on KAHAL’s organizational priorities and ensure that all program activities operate consistently and ethically within the mission and values of KAHAL
--Work with the Chief Operating Officer to maintain strong team dynamics and create an intentional staff ethos and culture
--Provide effective and inspiring leadership to guide an organizational culture of feedback, design thinking and iteration
--Develop an annual organizational budget for approval by the Board of Directors; monitor financial performance throughout the year
--Act as KAHAL’s principal spokesperson, negotiator, liaison, and advocate with other organizations, outside vendors, partners, government agencies, and the press
--Serve as the primary liaison between the KAHAL staff and Board of Directors
--Work with the Board’s Governance Committee to recruit new Board Members and to maintain a strong and engaged Board
--Maintain productive, active relationships with KAHAL’s most significant funding partners
--Liaise frequently with various internal and external stakeholders, including former staff, former Board Members, former Associate Board Members, parents, former parents, alumni, and others
--Oversee KAHAL’s Development Team, including the Development Manager, any/all Development Interns. Work closely with the Development Chair of the Board of Directors.
--Lead KAHAL’s annual fundraising efforts, including major gift development, grant proposals and foundation relations, crowdfunding, and event planning
--Work with the Development Team to research and develop new revenue sources to help KAHAL meet its annual revenue goals
--Ensure a diversified funding base that includes earned revenue, membership, events, corporate partnerships/sponsorships, and other creative revenue sources
--Work in tandem with the Board of Directors to develop and a monitor a strategic plan for organizational growth. Lead conversations at the Board and Staff level related to goal attainment, mid-course corrections, and iterative design processes
--Lead the KAHAL Board of Directors and Staff in ongoing visioning exercises and processes to identify future programmatic, financial, or other strategic growth opportunities
--Work in tandem with the Chief Operating Officer to envision, create, develop, and manage new strategic and programmatic initiatives to advance KAHAL’s values and mission
--Participate in weekly staff meetings, staff learning sessions, and ongoing Jewish learning and professional development opportunities
--Develop personal relationships with KAHAL’s resource and program development partners, program participants, and key vendors. In the past, this has required frequent travel (both domestic and international) and is likely to be part of a successful fund development and coalition building strategy in the future. However, CEO and staff travel will be reinstated only when deemed safe by the CDC and federal health guidelines.
--Embody the values and culture of KAHAL by personal example
Qualifications and Experience
As a rapidly-expanding organization, KAHAL is seeking leaders who are interested in growing alongside the organization. Entrepreneurial instinct and talent will be considered in addition to field experience. Our Search Committee understands that no one candidate will necessarily possess every attribute we are looking for. In your cover letter, please outline a plan for developing any areas of knowledge or experience you may lack.
Desired qualities in KAHAL’s next leader include:
--Experience managing and leading an entrepreneurial organization or company, particularly through a phase of growth and transition
--An understanding of nonprofit management and governance, including experience working with a Board of Directors and/or serving on one
--Ability to work independently and to manage a growing team of remote professionals
--Accomplished organizational, business and project management skills related to the areas outlined above
--Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to effectively communicate with a variety of stakeholders from varying backgrounds
--Experience making direct, personal asks from individual donors of varying giving capacities
--Knowledge of the Jewish landscape, including funders, organizations, publications, and the major players in the Jewish world
In addition, the successful candidate will have these personal attributes:
--Entrepreneurial instincts, comfort with cutting-edge technologies, and an interest in human-centered design
--A commitment to a nimble, “fail fast” and self-reflective culture
--Comfort with a consensus-driven culture that encourages engagement at every staff level
--A growth mindset and commitment to personal and professional development
--A serious work ethic and not-so-serious sense of humor
--Willingness to take risks and learn from unexpected situations
--Ability to travel (when safe) and to employ flexible hours necessary to complete tasks
--A commitment to pluralism and a comfort with your own Jewish identity
--Empathy and emotional intelligence with demonstrated self-awareness, self-regulation, social rapport, positivity and motivation
--A sense of adventure and a positive, can-do attitude
--Passion for our mission and our vision for the future
Salary and Benefits
The salary range for this position is $100,000-$130,000 per year. Performance bonuses may be available, but are not guaranteed. In addition, KAHAL provides employees with a range of benefits, including:
--Unlimited paid-time-off (PTO)
--Flexible work hours
--World-class health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (PPO, HMO, or HSA)
--A simple IRA plan with a 3% annual employee match
--Access to group whole-life insurance plans and other financial services
--Opportunities for professional growth and development