The Neighborhood: An Urban Center for Jewish Life is seeking a Founding Director to bring their entrepreneurial spirit & tenacity and ability to build an organization; ability to connect with a wide array of community members; Jewish community knowledge and passion; operational, financial, and general management experience; and overall leadership to an exciting new 501(c)3 in Brooklyn, New York.
About The Neighborhood
The Neighborhood: An Urban Center for Jewish Life is embarking upon a new model of community center designed to match the needs and spirit of the Jewish communities in Central/Northern Brooklyn. The Neighborhood will be a platform for making connections across the diverse Jewish communities of Central/Northern Brooklyn. It will be particularly designed to attract the thousands of Jewish Brooklynites and their friends who may not yet have found their Jewish home and are curious about new ways of engaging in Jewish communal life.
The Neighborhood will be a physical gathering place for local organizations that don’t have their own space or that need different spaces than what they have. We’ll collaborate with Jewish groups and institutions to co-produce offerings. We’ll produce programs to fill gaps for underserved demographics and geographies. People will also be able to host their own gatherings or just spend casual time with friends in The Neighborhood.
We envision one larger Center as well as pop-up happenings in neighborhoods across the area. The Center will be a dynamic, multi-purpose facility that can host numerous, simultaneous Jewish activities from the cultural to the spiritual. It’ll be a well-designed space that attracts Jews from all walks of life and their friends to come for programs or hang out, particularly appealing to young adults, families with young children, teens, and empty nesters.
The Neighborhood will be built with insights and input from community members and institutions. It’ll tap into the unique spirit and trends of Brooklyn and be guided by local needs, cultures, and sensibilities. The Center is targeted to enhance and complement the existing Jewish infrastructure and grow the overall number of people actively involved in the Jewish Community.
We’ll network with a wide range of organizations and institutions in Brooklyn from Reform to Orthodox to non/post/trans-denominational spiritual and religious, from social justice-focused to arts & culture-focused, from informal learning-oriented to social, from local to Israeli to global. The Neighborhood will welcome Jews and those who don’t identify as Jewish who have a range of religious observances, political perspectives, and identities.
We’re at a moment when we have an opportunity to expand our infrastructure that can serve our community for the next 100 years. Central/Northern Brooklyn hosts one of the country’s fastest-growing Jewish populations. We’re excited and eager to hear from you about how you’d bring this vision to life!
Seeking Founding Director
The Founding Director will be responsible for converting the Vision for this new enterprise into reality, by both (a) establishing the preconditions of community buy-in, co-creation, and support, and the operating model, and (b) piloting a programming proof of concept. Success at the end of Phase 1 will be the successful delivery of an operational, community, and financial track record for The Neighborhood. Phase 2 and Phase 3 will involve setting up a longer-term home for the Center and continuing to scale.
We are looking for an exceptional Founding Director to accomplish this by:
- Engaging a broad, diverse base of Jewish stakeholders in the Central/Northern Brooklyn Community,
- Creating a successful programmatic concept with diverse community input,
- Developing a financial plan for operations and capital needs,
- Partnering with a robust group of lay leaders to develop financial and other necessary support,
- Learning from Phase I, and
- Developing longer-term strategy for the Center.
- Develop the core strategy and business plan that includes programmatic, facilities, community engagement, operating, governance, financial operating model, and capital raising strategy for both the first phase of The Neighborhood and longer-term planning for subsequent next phases involving a more permanent home for the Center.
- Apply learnings and best practices from relevant varied models around New York City, country, and world.
- Refine the Concept, and develop and communicate a compelling and coherent Vision that resonates with stakeholders.
- Manage stakeholder engagement and relationship management as a way to identify various needs of the Jewish communities in Central/Northern Brooklyn and inspire stakeholder buy-in, both to the concept and to partnerships.
- Source, vet, and manage vendors and other external experts cost effectively.
- Translate programmatic concepts into space needs with emphasis on flexible, multi-use space.
- Develop the economics (both capital and operating projections) for the facility and its operations, including staffing from start-up to ongoing management.
- Evaluate operating strategies for the Center including potential partnerships.
- Develop a fundraising strategy for operating and capital needs and begin fundraising efforts.
- Implement the Phase I of The Neighborhood by starting programs across Central/Northern Brooklyn in conjunction with the wider Central/Northern Brooklyn Jewish community and UJA; manage every aspect of this initial rollout. Learn from this experience to apply to subsequent phases.
- Cultivate the larger Advisory Board and the relationship with UJA. Develop and manage a small but mighty staff.
The Founding Director will work closely with the Executive Board of The Neighborhood as well as UJA as our partner, and manage a larger Advisory Board of supporters, subject matter experts (SMEs), and community stakeholders. The Founding Director will either work remotely or in a shared space but be expected to live in and love Brooklyn. The Executive Board and the UJA have funding for the first two years already committed. The position will start in early 2021. Ideally strategy development and community outreach will begin in spring 2021 and initial programs are projected for summer 2021. The position is full time, though could potentially start as a part-time position for the first 6 to 12 months if desired by the candidate with shared confidence in being able to drive to the timeline.
The Neighborhood needs an energetic, self starter capable of starting an organization from the ground up. The Founding Director will be responsible for every aspect of The Neighborhood so they will need to be able to handle a wide range of project management responsibilities including financial management, operations, communications, and marketing. The successful candidate will need to have a deep understanding of the Jewish world with knowledge of different programs, approaches, and stakeholders to develop the right mix of programs and effectively liaise within the wider Jewish community. The Founding Director must have a vision of how to implement a new innovative model and be able to refine the concept based on community feedback, learnings, and economic projections.
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.
- Entrepreneurial experience.
- Proven ability to build strong and lasting relationships and collaborations with Jewish, corporate, government and other institutions, 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.
- Strong analytical skills and ability to work with financial data.
- Knowledge and understanding of the Jewish community, Jewish culture, practices, and tradition.
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
A competitive compensation package is available for the successful candidate.