Full Time

Executive Director - Beth El Synagogue

Beth El Congregation Durham NC

Beth El Synagogue
Position Description: Executive Director

Applications will be considered as received and will be accepted until the position is filled

The Opportunity
Beth El is a thriving Conservative Jewish congregation located in Durham, North Carolina, an
exciting, fast-growing Southern city that hosts a thriving performing arts center, enticing small
music venues and a lively restaurant scene. Founded in 1887, Beth El has long served the
vibrant Jewish communities of the Research Triangle including Durham, Chapel Hill, and
Raleigh. This thriving region is home to highly ranked national universities, medical centers,
and cultural institutions and many successful businesses. Recently ranked by US News and
World Report as the most desirable place to live in the American South (and 2nd nationally), the
area attracts an increasingly diverse, skilled, and cosmopolitan population of all ages and is
home to an active, visible, and growing Jewish population. As the community has grown, so has
the Beth El congregation, which now numbers over 400 member families. A member of the
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Beth El also includes an Orthodox Kehillah
affiliated with the Orthodox Union.

Beth El is now seeking a new Executive Director to succeed Jodi Salomon, who served the
congregation successfully before departing for personal reasons. The Executive Director is the
chief executive officer of the congregation and works in close collaboration with the Rabbi and
lay leadership to ensure that Beth El effectively provides for the collective needs of the
congregation. The Executive Director reports to the Beth El President and is responsible for the
synagogue’s administrative, financial, and business operations, in addition to supporting the
congregation’s religious and membership services.

As we have navigated the impacts of the pandemic, our staff and community have found
creative and meaningful ways to stay engaged and to strengthen their connections to Beth El,
while yearning to take advantage of our newly renovated facility. We are now seeking an
executive leader who thinks proactively, can run a healthy and growing organization, will
continue to build a vibrant Jewish community, and help lead us into the future. The new
Executive Director will help position Beth El at the cutting edge of what it means to be part of
a synagogue in the 21st century.

Beth El has many notable strengths on which to build, including:
• An engaged, growing, and diverse multi-generational membership – including growing Talmud Torah participation and young adult membership.
• A strong and stable financial foundation supporting an annual operating budget of approximately $1.1 million.
• A recently completed synagogue renovation financed by a successful $6.5 million fundraising campaign.
• A strong tradition of talented lay leadership represented by an active Board led by the congregation’s President.
• A dynamic, caring, and creative Rabbi committed to Beth El and the active participation of its congregants.
• An inclusive culture that welcomes diversity and builds community within Beth El and actively seeks connections to the wider Jewish and interfaith communities.
• An experienced staff of nine full- and part-time members and a legacy of effective management on the part of the departing Executive Director.

Beth El intends to build on these foundations in its next phase of development, realizing the
promise of its newly renovated facilities to provide inviting spaces for even deeper ties and
active engagement across our community. A new strategic planning process, led by the
incoming Executive Director, in collaboration with the Rabbi and Board, will engage the
congregation in defining what this next level of programmatic effectiveness will look like. As a
part of this process, the Executive Director will have the opportunity to define and fill a vacant
position whose role will be determined through a needs assessment by the ED with the support
of the board. Developing additional revenue sources though facilities rentals and fundraising,
for example, will be essential to support the continuing growth and vitality of the community.
Beth El’s foundations are strong, and the ambitions for the future are exciting.

The Person
Beth El seeks a dynamic and experienced organizational leader who is committed to supporting
our vibrant, welcoming, and growing Conservative Jewish Congregation. Beyond a high level of
proven competence in the functional domains of the job (see below), we are seeking:
• A holistic thinker, who can help develop a comprehensive vision for the future that is
both inspiring and achievable, thinking big while keeping the details constantly in view.
• A people person, who is outgoing, confident, optimistic, empathetic, engaging, and
service oriented.
• A community builder, who is resourceful in adapting to changing needs and finds a
way forward in an inclusive way that respects differences and builds bridges.
• An innovator, who can develop fresh approaches to needs both old and new.
• A team builder, who empowers and brings out the best in others.
• An unflappable problem solver, who leads with confidence, patience, calm, and
positivity, in addition to doing what it takes with his/her team to get things done, to meet
deadlines, complete tasks, bring closure, and earn trust.
• An avid participant in the life of the Beth El community, committed to Jewish identity,
ritual, and programming.

The Role
The Executive Director position requires high-level leadership and management acumen and
day-to-day hands-on skill in key functional areas, particularly finance. The Executive Director
supervises eight full- or part-time staff positions, including one vacant position. Primary
responsibilities include:

Organizational Leadership:
• In conjunction with Beth El’s Rabbi and Board, lead a robust, consultative strategic planning process to establish and periodically update long-term strategic priorities aligned with the congregation’s mission and core values.
• In conjunction with the Rabbi and Board, develop annual operating plans and resource allocations consistent with mission, core values, and established priorities.
• Develop and maintain a constructive co-leadership relationship with the Rabbi.
• Foster a warm and caring environment so that congregants, potential members, lay leaders, volunteers, and staff feel welcomed, respected, nurtured, and appreciated.
• Support the work of the Board with sound advice, timely and accurate reports and information, and participation in deliberations.
• Attend Board committee meetings as needed to maintain awareness and provide leadership and alignment of congregational activities.
• Develop effective and efficient management systems across the organization to track progress on key initiatives, priorities, goals, schedules, open issues, and performance metrics.
• Oversee the implementation of Beth El’s policies and practices and ensure systems are in place to keep Beth El’s policies, operating procedures, and institutional knowledge accessible and current.

Financial Management:
• Under the guidance of the Finance Committee of the Board, manage the financial
operations of the congregation, including financial planning, budgeting, forecasting,
accounting, and reporting.
• Maintain efficient and effective financial systems and controls to safeguard the assets
of the congregation.
• Support Board committees with timely, informative reporting and forecasting.
• Maintain compliance with internal policies and pertinent local, state, and federal

Human Resource Management:
• Lead, supervise, and inspire Beth El’s administrative, programming, education and
facilities staff with effective teambuilding and training, clear priorities, and
performance and professional development goals. When necessary, provide guidance
to correct staff performance issues.
• Maintain a collaborative work environment built on trust, clear expectations, and
accountability that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality
• In conjunction with the Board, implement and periodically review employee benefits
programs and compensation policies and maintain appropriate records.
• Maintain employee job descriptions and confidential personnelrecords.
• Oversee recruitment, salary setting, and orientation of newemployees.

• Participate in planning and executing fundraising initiatives to support annual
operations and programming and ensure long-term sustainability.
• Implement best practices for tracking and reporting on memberships and fundraising
efforts, including timely acknowledgment of dues paid and gifts made.
• Ensure that donor intentions and legal requirements are met and ensure effective
stewardship of all gifts.

Programming and Membership:
• Work with the Rabbi, Board, and lay leadership to establish a holistic vision for a membership experience that is engaging and enriching for Beth El’s diverse, multi- generational membership.

• Plan and oversee the logistics of the congregation’s religious services and observance and celebration of High Holidays, in conjunction with the Rabbi and lay leadership, in a way that reflects the values and traditions of the community.
• Support bar/bat mitzvah families and other members in planning their simchas and other life cycle events.
• Support the Education and Youth Director in developing and delivering both structured educational opportunities and informal programming activities.
• Provide leadership to Board committees and volunteer groups to establish and implement integrated and robust educational, service, and social programming, assisting in its implementation as needed and providing training when necessary.
• Work with and support committees of the congregation to facilitate engagement and impact.

Communications and Community Relations:
• Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan that provides timely,
engaging, and accessible information to the congregation and relevant external
• Publicize Beth El through its website and other printed, electronic, and social media.
• Build on existing and establish new cooperative relationships with local Jewish,
interfaith, and civic organizations.
• Develop and maintain a current understanding of social, economic, and political
trends in the Triangle area with an eye towards anticipating opportunities and
challenges for the Beth El community.

Information Technology:
• Support the information technology needs of the Beth El community, including
hardware, software, websites, and similar communications forms.
• Oversee security standards to safeguard confidential information and protect Beth El
community devices from malware.
• Maintain databases of pertinent member and donor information in ways that are
secure but easy to query for those with authorized access.

Facilities Management:
• With the support of the Head of Building Maintenance, manage use, maintenance,
and operation of the facilities.
• Manage vendors and contractors who perform building maintenance and repairs.
• Oversee maintenance and use of kosher kitchens.
• Proactively establish and manage relationships with entities renting Beth El facilities.

The Search
Beth El’s Board will appoint the congregation’s next Executive Director following a national
search. The Board has appointed a six-member Search Committee drawn from the congregation
to conduct the search. The Committee is chaired by Kevin Ginsberg who is First Vice President
of the congregation and will serve a two-year term as President from 2024 to 2023.
The selection process for qualified candidates will include preliminary interviews, a formal
interview with the Search Committee, and an on-site interview in Durham for finalist candidates.

Applications will be reviewed as submitted, and the search will continue until the position is

The successful candidate must have the personal characteristics and professional competencies
described above to earn the trust of, and work effectively with, the Rabbi, Board, congregation,
and staff. The Executive Director must be willing to work evening and weekend hours when
meetings and congregational events require. The Search Committee has outlined the following
additional criteria:

Education and Experience:
• An earned degree from an accredited institution of higher education(required); Relevant Master’s degree or certificate in non-profit management(preferred);
• At least five years of demonstrated leadership at a senior level in performing the
range of duties required at Beth El (required);
• Familiarity with Jewish ritual, holiday, and life-cycle traditions, and experience
working for or volunteering with Jewish service organization (preferred);
• Significant financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and management
skills; and
• Experience evaluating and utilizing financial, communications, and database software
and web-based technology.

Compensation and Benefits:
• Salary range: $100,000-$110,000 depending on experience and qualifications.
• Benefits: Health care, professional development allowance, professional dues, retirement
plan with employer contribution, synagogue dues, religious school tuition discount, paid
vacation/sick leave/family leave, paid holidays.

Please direct nominations and any questions about this opportunity to:
Kevin Ginsberg
Chair, Search Committee
Beth El Congregation

To Apply: Please apply by email with a single attachment (Word or pdf) including your resume
and a cover letter discussing your qualifications and interest in the position, along with where
you heard about the position, to:
Kevin Ginsberg
Chair, Search Committee
Beth El Congregation
Applications will be considered as received and will be accepted until the position is filled.