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Executive Director Search

April, 2020 Update

We are currently searching for an Executive Director, to replace Betsy Herman, who is retiring. The job description for the position is included below.

If you know of someone who would be qualified to apply for this position, or have people in your network who might know people, please have them reach out to the search committee at


JOB POSTING – Executive Director, Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA

Temple Isaiah, a thriving Reform synagogue in Lexington, Massachusetts, seeks an experienced, collaborative, and mission-driven leader to serve as its Executive Director. With almost 900 member households from Lexington, Arlington, Bedford, and other nearby suburban communities, Temple Isaiah is an innovative, relationship-centered congregation. We offer a broad range of spiritual, educational, social, and social justice experiences to engage congregants of every age, life stage, and background. We are a community of intellectually curious, justice-driven, and open-hearted seekers from diverse backgrounds. We come together to grow, learn, connect, and make our world a better place. We have always been passionate about asking big questions. We are excited to be at the end of a successful $1.8m endowment campaign and at the start of a strategic planning process that will guide our transformation over the coming years.

Our Executive Director (ED) will help us live our congregational vision: Deepening Lives, Inspiring Purpose, Together. Our ED will serve as a sacred partner with our clergy, educators, and lay leadership. We expect that the ED will be a thoughtful and full participant in building and executing our long-term strategy while holding overall responsibility for running the synagogue. We are looking for leadership and oversight of staff in philanthropy, facilities, finance, engagement, communications, and administration. The ED will report to the President with a matrix relationship to the Senior Rabbi.

Specifically, the ED will be a leader in helping Temple Isaiah continue to advance Jewish values in our community in the following ways:

Champion, grow, and sustain a highly engaged and committed Temple membership and community

  • Build and sustain a transparent and collaborative relationship with the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, work with board members on overall strategy, operational and financial goals, philanthropy, programming, and member relations. Regularly brief the board on the status of work and initiatives.
  • Serve as initial point of contact for prospective members and collaborate with the Director of Congregational Engagement and the Membership Committee in member recruitment, integration, and retention.
  • Act as the initial point of contact with members in situations of bereavement and other life-cycle events.
  • Oversee maintenance of the Temple’s membership database. Ensure that membership records are up to date and accurate. Use knowledge of databases to ensure that staff fully utilize system capabilities.
  • Oversee all temple communications in all media through the Communications Associate.

Establish and maintain the smooth, safe, secure, and efficient operation of the synagogue on a daily basis

  • Build a high-performing collaborative team. Supervise the 15 member administrative staff that includes office staff, Director of Congregational Engagement, Director of Philanthropy, Accountant, Facilities Manager, Communications Associate.
  • Evaluate staffing needs and ensure optimal staffing structure. Drive the development and consistent implementation of personnel policies and standards, benefits, annual performance review process, on-boarding and training, professional development, and succession planning.
  • Oversee all purchasing/contracting for equipment, goods and services required for the synagogue, including computer hardware and software, web and other cloud services, congregant management, and accounting systems.
  • Develop and maintain the congregational master calendar and coordinate logistical support for worship services, educational programs, meetings, and other events with the clergy, religious school teachers and staff, lay leaders, and the broader community.
  • Supervise the Facilities Manager to ensure appropriate care and repair of the facility and property, proper functioning of all building systems including heating/air conditioning, sound system, security, streaming. Ensure custodial staffing schedules match synagogue demands.
  • Coordinate and manage facility space requests and rentals and create processes for communication with event leaders.
  • Partner with the Security and Safety Committee. Maintain relationships and coordinate with security vendors, consultants, law enforcement, and other third-party security partners. Communicate policies for security and safety to the congregation.
  • Oversee and support all aspects of religious holiday planning, with an emphasis on annual High Holiday planning.

Ensure financial health and long-term sustainability of the temple’s resources

  • Oversee the creation of annual operating and capital budgets in partnership with the Finance Committee and Accountant. Manage the synagogue’s administrative and facilities budgets.
  • Supervise Accountant and any outside service providers to ensure accurate and timely membership billing, accurate and discrete handling of special financial arrangements with members, timely handling of accounts payable and receivable, management of expenses to conform to the annual budget, and cost-effective selection and management of insurance, payroll, and benefit processes.
  • Oversee and/or execute a fundraising strategy, continuing to build a culture of philanthropy at Temple Isaiah. Hire and supervise the Director of Philanthropy to achieve the goals for annual philanthropy, planned giving, endowment, and capital campaigns.
  • Identify grant opportunities that are relevant to the synagogue. Provide the administrative support required for grant submissions.

Well-qualified candidates will bring:

  • Passion and commitment to Reform Jewish values, rituals, customs, and holiday practices and a caring community.
  • At least 5+ years of senior management experience in a synagogue, membership organization, nonprofit, or similar setting.
  • Strong people management skills, with the ability to build cohesive teams, delegate effectively, and “manage up.” Strong human resources/personnel experience.
  • Grace and professionalism in working with and facilitating collaboration across a wide range of stakeholders including Board of Trustees, volunteers, clergy, staff and congregants.
  • Comfort and skill in thinking strategically while leading at the ground level, with the ability to set, pursue, and meet priorities; strong business operations know-how.
  • Effective communications skills with the ability to convey information clearly and inspire trust.
  • Creativity in solving problems and seizing opportunities.
  • Knowledge of donor and congregational database programs and/or customer relationship management systems. Prior experience with ShulCloud is a plus.
  • Unquestioned ethics and integrity.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in public administration, Jewish leadership, or similar degree is desired.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time exempt position providing competitive salary (range of $120,000 to $130,000), health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, congregational membership if desired, reduced tuition in congregational school, professional membership association dues, convention expense reimbursement, pension and other benefits.

Salary is commensurate with experience and education level. Send cover letter and resume to: No calls please.

Mon, August 10 2020 20 Av 5780