The Harold & Elaine Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson (JCC) is a welcoming and inclusive gathering place that seeks to enrich the greater community by offering social, recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities guided by Jewish values. Located in Westchester County in the River Towns on the eastern banks of the Hudson River, it is 25 miles from mid-town Manhattan. The JCC offers programs for all ages, including preschool, youth and teen programs, adult programs, senior adult life programs, and is home to the JCC Health & Fitness Center. The JCC is at the center of a multigenerational community where everyone is welcome. The JCC is determined to foster an environment of inclusion, diversity, openness, and respect for the many differences that will enrich our staff, members, and wider community, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, socioeconomic status, national origin, language, sexual orientation, and disability.
With the goal of establishing the Shames JCC as a central convener in the River Towns, and expanding its reach into Northern Westchester, the CEO will provide leadership and work to increase the JCC’s impact on the ground in these communities. The CEO will work closely with lay leaders and professionals at UJA-Federation of NY, synagogues, and Jewish communal organizations to cultivate the connectivity and engagement of Jews in Northern Westchester.
The JCC seeks a CEO who is a strategic and visionary leader – one who can execute on that vision and see beyond the walls of the current footprint of the organization; a professional who possesses excellent staff and operational management skills with a proven track record in fundraising and community building. The CEO will lead the JCC out of the pandemic, and into a new era as the premier destination for Jewish life in the River Towns, with a strong “without walls” presence in Northern Westchester.
About the Shames JCC
The JCC’s home is an approximately 75,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, plus active and passive outdoor space, located on 6.6 acres along Route 9 in Tarrytown (near the entrance to the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge). Its 6000+ (pre-COVID) members of all faiths and backgrounds enjoy programs ranging from early childhood to adult learning, from sports, swimming and fitness to Jewish culture, workshops, and social action. The JCC promotes Jewish values and offers a welcoming environment where people can connect with one another for lasting relationships to enhance their lives and benefit the community.
The organization began in Yonkers in 1929. When the Jewish population moved north, so did the JCC, opening in storefronts throughout the River Towns until purchasing and moving into their 17,500 square foot “Legacy Building” in Tarrytown in 1995. This building houses nine classrooms for early childhood, day camp and after school programs, a sensory gym, dance studio, multi-purpose space and administrative offices. In 2008, the JCC
acquired the adjacent former GM training facility site. In 2017, phase one of a $6M renovation and expansion was completed. The JCC grew from 17,500 to approximately 45,000 square feet, including a full court gymnasium, state-of-the-art aquatics and fitness centers, exercise studios, multi-purpose rooms, offices, and beautiful outdoor spaces. The campus also includes approximately 28,000 square feet of unfinished space in the former GM building that is planned for a future Phase Two development. This phase was originally conceived as the location for a café, theater, music studios and conference rooms.
In addition to fitness, the JCC offers extensive programming for all ages. Families enjoy swim and gym programs and family fitness both indoors and outdoors. Parenting programs and workshops, Jewish educational classes and holiday celebrations are offered throughout the week. The Environment Action Initiative connects teens to learn about environmental justice and engage in social action and advocacy. Westchester Circles connects older adults virtually around common interests. A wide range of inclusive and specialized programs are offered for individuals with varying special needs and their families. The Shames JCC Early Childhood Center offers top-quality early childhood education for children ages two through four, providing a warm and caring environment that welcomes children from diverse backgrounds and guides children’s play as they experiment, explore, create, and pursue challenging projects.
River Friends Day Camp, the JCC’s summer program for children ages 3-6, is located at the JCC and offers a variety of engaging, developmentally appropriate activities and experiences. Sports and games, playground time, nature and gardening projects, yoga, water-play, and crafts are just some of the activities offered. Camp Twelve Trails is a collaboration of the Shames JCC, the Riverdale YM-YWHA, and YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. Its mission is to provide children the finest summer experience, with innovative programming and personalized supervision, in top-level facilities at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Pearl River, Rockland County NY.
About the Tarrytown/Northern Westchester Jewish Community
In a 2011 Jewish Community Study of New York, the Jewish population of Northern Westchester and the River Towns was found to be 13% of the general population. Since then, and especially during the pandemic, this has become an attractive area into which many young Jewish families are moving. Many of these families are looking to connect into the Jewish community. There is an abundance of synagogues of all denominations, from small chavurot to large temples and much in between. The closest Jewish day school is the Leffell School in Hartsdale NY, with additional day schools along the eastern region of Westchester County and in Rockland County. This is an area of New York that is seeing significant Jewish growth.
About Tarrytown and the River Towns
Tarrytown NY is located on the eastern banks of the Hudson River, in what is known as the River Towns in the lower Hudson Valley region. It is 25 miles from midtown Manhattan and considered an easy commute. It feels like the suburbs yet is known as “hip and artsy.” Scenic walkable villages have been transformed by an influx of trendy restaurants and fashionable shops. It is rich in Revolutionary War history and culture and has always been a popular spot in the Hudson Valley for its river views, its historic houses and its many hiking and other outdoor activities. Among them are Rockefeller Nature Preserve, Old Croton Aqueduct trail, Lyndhurst Castle, Tarrytown Music Hall, and the nearby Jacob Burns Film Center. It is an area of New York with progressive sensibilities, strong family values and an emphasis on social action and activism. Tarrytown has a large diversity in housing choices and top tier hospital and health care systems. The area has highly rated public schools, and Tarrytown is rated in the top 15% of safest places to live in New York.
Presents Visionary and Strategic Leadership
The CEO will promote an all-encompassing and compelling vision that captures the energy of the JCC and robust, engaged and involved community going forward. The CEO will actively engage with other Jewish and secular community organizations, working to support existing collaborative programs and to envision new ways to work together. The CEO must see the big picture and be able to think outside the box - managing current issues while thinking long term and well beyond the walls of the JCC, creating a vision to expand the JCC’s presence beyond the River Towns.
Provides Exemplary Executive Leadership
The CEO will be a warm and engaging leader who is accessible and listens to all viewpoints, demonstrates confidence, and manages through a positive approach. The CEO must be a highly accomplished relationship builder, comfortable with all levels of constituencies from the most seasoned lay leaders to new young leadership, professional staff, general members, and those not yet engaged. The CEO will lead efforts directed toward the creation and enhancement of community among individuals, agencies, and synagogues in the Westchester region. A forward thinking, energetic individual, the CEO will promote a culture of innovation and inclusion and be a change agent to create on-going excitement for the JCC in the region.
Demonstrates Skill in Operational Management
The CEO provides leadership to all aspects of the JCC operations and is responsible for the day-to-day management and security of the JCC. This includes an understanding of the physical plant, technical support systems and running the various businesses of the JCC. Visibility and skilled responsiveness to members is essential. The CEO will be decisive in action, adaptable and accountable.
Displays Sound Staff Management Skills
The CEO will create and nurture a culture of positivity and productivity in the work environment, inspiring, engaging and empowering the professional staff of the JCC. Through selecting, developing, and motivating staff, the CEO will foster innovation, teamwork, and collaboration to ensure that best practices and cutting-edge programs are the norm.
Proven Ability in Fundraising and Resource Development
The CEO must engage and steward donors and seek gifts of significance. Entrepreneurial and attuned to donor interests and concerns, the CEO will establish strategies and direct forward-looking practices in donor development to enhance and improve the community’s potential. Highly visible in the community, the CEO will reach out and cultivate new potential donors at all levels, including seeking grants from local and State government, foundations, and support from local businesses.
Displays Financial Acumen
The CEO will oversee all financial matters including annual and long-term budgeting, ongoing financial performance, and financial strategy. The CEO will work with the Chief Financial Officer, Board of Governors, and the finance committee to develop a realistic budget and work to ensure that revenues and expenses are consistent with the budget approved by the Board.
The ideal candidate will have:
· Minimum of a bachelor’s degree with 10+ years of strategic leadership and management experience in JCCs, Jewish communal organizations, business, and/or non-profit sectors. An advanced degree is preferred.
· Proven ability to build strong and lasting partnerships with Jewish, corporate, government and other organizations, and engage key stakeholders and audiences.
· Demonstrated track record of fundraising success, including knowledge of and participation in individual donor development, planned giving, grant procurement, capital campaigns, corporate sponsorship, and special events.
· Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach and manage staff and develop high-performance teams and set and achieve strategic objectives.
· Strong analytical skills and ability to work with financial data to make key decisions.
· Ability to develop and drive both short-and long-term strategy for the organization.
· Dynamic Leader to serve as the public face of the organization.
· Appreciation and real commitment to diversity; works easily with a broad range of people across all aspects of diversity.
· Past success working with a Board of Directors, committees, and volunteers with the ability to cultivate existing relationships and develop new ones.
· General knowledge and understanding of Jewish culture, practices, and tradition.
· Outstanding oral and written communication skills
A competitive compensation package including relocation is available for the successful candidate.
Qualified candidates can apply for this position at jccworks.com/Shames – please include a resume, cover letter and salary requirements.
Deadline to apply: March 25, 2021 – sooner is preferred