LIPPMAN KANFER FOUNDATION FOR LIVING TORAH
WALNUT RIDGE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT COMPANY
DIRECTOR OF LEARNING AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
Outstanding Career Opportunity with an Established Philanthropic Foundation /
The Director of Learning and Strategic Communications will lead LKFLT’s efforts to learn from
its work and apply that learning both (1) to support continuous programmatic and operational
improvement in the foundation’s work, and (2) to promote LKFLT’s mission by synthesizing and
disseminating actionable knowledge in the fields in which the foundation operates. The Director
will need to span and integrate expertise across two distinct-yet-complementary fields: learning,
with its focus on research, evaluation, and interpretation; and strategic communications, with its focus on the development and dissemination of audience-specific products designed to
inform and influence (e.g. reports, infographics, social media, etc.). This position is based either
in Brooklyn, New York or in Akron, Ohio; reports to the LKFLT President; and is a full-time,
Key Areas of Responsibility Include:
- Lead the development and implementation of a research and learning strategy for LKFLT’s grantmaking and other programs that enable the foundation to distill insights and make meaning from its work.
- Identify and/or develop effective tools and frameworks to understand the impact of programs, from the problem definition phase through design, implementation, and final evaluation.
- Oversee and guide the work of outside evaluation/assessment consultants as needed.
- Cultivate a culture of organizational learning and continuous improvement.
- Cultivate and support a culture of reflective practice.
- Cultivate and maintain a strong organizational culture of learning, including experimentation, acceptance of risk, reflective practice, and a commitment to learning from failure (e.g., by managing before – and after – action reviews for key programs and initiatives).
- Propose initiatives, programs, and studies that contribute to the field and the practice of applied Jewish wisdom.
- Collaborate with team members to synthesize and utilize research and learning to inform continuous refinement and improvement of LKFLT’s operations and grantmaking and other programs.
- Utilize diverse communications tools and channels to share and promote LKFLT’s mission and strategies.
- Develop mechanisms for sharing and disseminating research and learnings to key audiences in ways that support and enhance their work and promote LKFLT’s mission and brand.
- Cultivate strong working relationships with peer funders and other key audiences with an eye toward strategically positioning LKFLT for maximum influence.
- In partnership with the Communications Manager, utilize a range of communications vehicles (e.g. traditional and social media; public speaking opportunities; webinars; conferences; self-published, commissioned, and collaborative research and reports; etc.) to raise awareness of, and promote, the applied Jewish wisdom approach and framework.
- Proactively seek public speaking/presentation opportunities to represent LKFLT and serve as a voice at the table in relevant venues.
- Lead the design and development of strategic initiatives – including the development of case studies and other products – to capture and share best practices and move LKFLT’s agenda forward.
You’re excited about the mission of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. You believe that Jewish wisdom can offer guidance and inspiration to help people live better lives and shape a better world. You have experience translating complex research and analysis for a popular audience, and you’re firmly convinced that a big idea, a well-told story, and/or compelling data can have a profound influence on people and events. You’re equally adept in the world of quantitative analysis and in the world of narrative, storytelling, and ethnography, and you’re sophisticated about which to deploy in different situations. You love data, not for its own sake, but for how it can help you and your colleagues learn and improve, and how it can help you tell
more effective stories, re-frame conversations, change narratives, and exercise influence. (You may, in fact, have a Pinterest board dedicated to particularly well-crafted infographics.) You’re a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s ability to synthesize and draw insights from across diverse fields of
inquiry. You are decisive and have an intuitive sense about when you need to seek counsel and when you should just make a call. You’re intensely curious, eager both to learn new things and to regularly question your own assumptions. You hold the big vision and the day-to-day details in mind simultaneously. You seek out and appreciate working with people whose experience and expertise are different from—yet complementary to—your own.
Credentials and Experience
• Graduate degree or equivalent.
• 10+ years of professional experience, including work with philanthropic foundations and/or
• Significant experience and expertise in education – particularly adult Jewish education –a plus.
• Strong foundation in Jewish text and tradition with a commitment to Jewish pluralism.
• Experience with organizational strategic planning and/or strategy management a plus.
• A good sense of humor.
• Willingness to travel domestically approximately six to nine times annually.
Knowledge and Skills
• Excellent oral and written communications skills, with demonstrated capacity to present
complex information in clear, concise, and persuasive ways.
• Expertise in evidence-based and action-oriented research and /or evaluation.
• Robust emotional intelligence and capacity to effectively facilitate diverse groups to
make meaning from complex information.
• Skill in process-level thinking (i.e., ability to optimize systems and resources and
anticipate critical next steps).
• Track record of demonstrating sound judgment (e.g. by making appropriate decisions,
anticipating problems and innovating creative solutions), managing complex situations
with discretion and tact, and prioritizing and completing tasks in a skillful and timely
• Experience in utilizing a range of communications tools (e.g. traditional and social
media; webinars; research reports; public speaking; etc.) to share knowledge and
• Working knowledge of Microsoft Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint,
OneDrive), and other productivity software.
• Capacity to develop productive relationships with grantees, peer funders, board
members, staff team members.
This is a great opportunity for the right person to join an established foundation/family office
and to be a key player in a high-energy and learning environment.
We provide an outstanding
benefits package including medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance coverage, 401(k),
health and/or flexible savings account, paid vacation and an exceptional work environment.
Walnut Ridge Strategic Management Company (WRSMC) is the management services company
and family office that supports the wide-ranging business, non-profit, philanthropic and family
activities of the Kanfer family referred to collectively as the Kanfer Family Enterprise (KFE).
KFE is led by Joe Kanfer and his daughter Marcella Kanfer Rolnick. (The three-generation
Kanfer family includes Joe and his wife Pam; their four children and four spouses; and thirteen
grandchildren ages 12 and under.)
Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah (LKFLT) works to help Jews and fellow travelers
apply Jewish wisdom to live better lives and shape a better world. In growing numbers, Jews
and others who are exploring both traditional and new ways to engage with Jewish teachings
and practices are drawing on these experiences and sensibilities to shape their thinking and
behaviors. LKFLT supports the professionals and organizations leading this work through
grantmaking, convenings and network building, thought leadership, and strategic
communications. As part of this four-pronged strategy, LKFLT runs the Lippman Kanfer Prize
for Applied Jewish Wisdom and publishes and supports research on applied Jewish wisdom in
the field. For additional information, see the Foundation’s website: www.lippmankanfer.org.
In its fourth year as an independent foundation, LKFLT is working both to refine its strategic
approach and targeted outcomes and to build its organizational infrastructure and systems to
ensure efficient and effective operations over the long term. LKFLT has a sister foundation—
Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation (LKFF)—which is dedicated to building and sustaining a
multi-generational family culture of tzedakah (philanthropy) through thematic issue-based
grantmaking and support of the vitality of Jewish communities where Kanfer family members
live, especially in their hometown of Akron, Ohio.
WRSMC is staffed by finance and accounting professionals who support the foundations in
How To Apply:
Please submit your resume in Word or PDF format, along with a cover letter describing your
interest, qualifications, salary requirements, by November 17th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. In addition, please respond to these two
questions in your cover letter:
• What excites you about working with Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah?
• What excites you about the role of Director of Learning and Strategic Communications,
and what specific expertise and experiences will you draw on to do the job?