Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive
search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search
for the next Director of Alumni Engagement for Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion (“HUC-JIR”).
About Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
HUC-JIR is a global center of innovation for Jewish life and
learning – preparing rabbis, cantors, leaders in Jewish education,
Jewish nonprofit professionals, pastoral counselors, and scholars
to apply their knowledge, commitment, vision, and expertise to
strengthen and transform the Jewish community and larger world. We
are the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership
development center of Reform Judaism.
The alumni community of HUC-JIR is leading a Jewish renaissance
in North America, Israel, and around the globe as leaders in
synagogues, Jewish day schools, supplementary religious schools,
Hillels and college programs, hospitals, camps, the military, and
Jewish organizations worldwide. There are more than 4,000 living
graduates of the Rabbinical School, the Debbie Freidman School of
Sacred Music, the Zelikow School for Nonprofit Management, the
Pines School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Education.
Within the framework of a strategic plan, under the direction of
President, Dr. Andrew Rehfeld and Vice President for Institutional
Advancement, Melissa Greenberg, HUC-JIR has launched a significant
investment in institutional advancement to strengthen philanthropic
support and staff and activities to enhance alumni engagement. We
are recruiting a team to build our infrastructure, expand our
national and global philanthropic community, enhance our
stewardship efforts, and increase revenue as we prepare for a major
campaign celebrating HUC-JIR’s 150th Anniversary.
HUC-JIR seeks an experienced, mission-driven, passionate,
self-starter as the new Director of Alumni Engagement (DAE).
Reporting to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and
working in collaboration with colleagues across North America and
Israel, the DAE will design and execute a new comprehensive
strategy for alumni engagement to deepen relationships with and
among the members of the diverse community of involved HUC alumni.
The principal foci of the program will be to engage alumni to:
- advocate for and enhance the College as the intellectual fount
for liberal Judaism and the thought leader of the Jewish
- create and coordinate meaningful programs for personal and
- recruit the next generation of clergy and leaders for the
Jewish community; and
- identify, introduce, and involve future leadership and
prospective philanthropists for the College.
The DAE will serve as a member of the senior institutional
advancement team and work in concert with the President, Provost,
Deans, faculty, and other stakeholders to connect with alumni
throughout North America and the world. Further, the DAE will work
to build and enhance programs for our growing community of Israel
The DAE will be responsible for alumni fundraising strategies
across the Annual Fund, major gifts, and endowments. The DAE will
manage a major gift portfolio, consisting of alumni, congregations,
organizations, and foundations with the capacity and interest in
making philanthropic investments in the College-Institute.
- Develop and grow HUC-JIR’s alumni engagement program, in
concert with the Institutional Advancement (IA) team and the Alumni
- Function as lead staff for Alumni Leadership Council and
support the development of program priorities, meetings, and
- Work with IA team to develop fundraising strategies, identify
new donors, and plan events to engage alumni donors and
- Develop and implement comprehensive plan with the Office of
Recruitment and Admissions to involve alumni in identification of
- Successfully complete 12-15 in-person meetings with HUC-JIR
alumni donors and/or prospects each month.
- Solicit major gifts in support of HUC-JIR’s
- Partner with staff and volunteer leadership as well as local
alumni and congregations to implement constituency-building
programs and to coordinate HUC-JIR VIP visits to the region.
- Oversee Honorary Degree programs for 25th Anniversary
- Develop and implement comprehensive alumni communications
- Attend events related to Reform Judaism, Jewish professional
leadership development, Israel, and other relevant subject matters
to network with potential donors and partner organizations, and to
represent HUC-JIR’s presence in the target
- Utilize the HUC-JIR database (Raiser’s Edge) to maintain
accurate records of all alumni and donor interactions, individuals’
programmatic interests, trends in giving, and type of support
- Regular travel both nationally and internationally.
The successful candidate is a person who
- 10+ years of experience in a higher education institution or
complex nonprofit, in leadership and management role.
- Experience in developing national engagement, marketing, and
communications programs, preferably with a development and
- Knowledge of the Reform Jewish community and passion for the
mission of HUC-JIR.
- Knowledge of philanthropy and best practices in professional
- A strategic and organized workstyle with excellent oral
communication and writing skills.
- An ability to set priorities, manage projects and meet
- A capacity to manage and thrive during organizational
- A sophisticated and comfortable way in dealing with community
leadership and significant philanthropists.
- Experience with six and seven figure gifts, multi-year pledges
and planned giving strategies, preferred.
- Direct experience in utilizing CRM databases to manage
constituents and prospect
- Attention to detail; high standard for quality and
- Ability to work in a highly collegial manner within a complex,
national and international organizational culture. Experience
working with organizations in Israel preferred.
- Comfort working with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video
- Flexibility and willingness to travel as
- Willingness to work evenings and occasional weekends to
participate in events.
- A bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred.
Working Conditions of Employment
This is a hybrid position, and the DAE may reside anywhere in
the United States. The DAE is expected to visit and work with
colleagues on all the College’s campuses as well as with alumni
wherever they may be.
HUC-JIR is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all
applicable laws and regulations regarding equal employment
opportunities. Qualified applicants are considered for employment
without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender
identity and expression, national origin, sexual orientation,
disability, or veteran status.
Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
is proud of its long-term association with Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion and to be conducting the
search for its next Director of Alumni Engagement. If you, or
someone you know, might be a suitable candidate for this position,
please forward, in confidence, the person’s name, cover letter,
resume, and contact information to Rachel Woda at firstname.lastname@example.org.