Full Time

Executive Director - Upper Fairfield County

Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County Bridgeport CT

The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, CT (FJP) is seeking a dynamic visionary who will continue to strengthen and grow our diverse community. The Executive Director should be an enthusiastic advocate for the FJP’s mission, building and maintaining trusted relationships with all sectors of the community. The Executive Director must be a strategic thinker who can build community culture and develop lay leadership through strong listening skills and a spirit of collaboration. S/he must be willing to get involved hands-on to ensure success and must have proven fundraising experience.

The Executive Director will consistently demonstrate a passion for and commitment to Jewish life, Jewish values, Israel and the work of Federation and will be a respected and articulate spokesperson for the Jewish community. The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the Board and is accountable to the Executive Committee and the Board. S/he will manage and empower a staff that currently consists of two full-time (development professional, executive assistant) and three part-time (bookkeeper, programming, publicity) employees. S/he will be responsible for managing and growing the FJP annual campaign, which currently is roughly $1 million.

The Executive Director of the FJP is also the President of the local Jewish Community Foundation, which holds assets of approximately $4 million, including a combination of institutional and donor advised charitable funds. The President oversees a small Board of Directors with financial expertise and is responsible for working with this Board and the investment management company to ensure appropriate management of funds and investor communication.

The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy was created on March 1, 2015 as a result of the merger of the  UJA/Federation of Westport-Weston-Wilton-Norwalk (WWWN) and the Jewish Center for Community Services (JCCS) of Eastern Fairfield County (both in existence for decades prior to the merger). At the time, this merger included 12 towns and 18 religious institutions representing a broad range of denominations. Since then, several additional towns have been integrated into our catchment area.

The Federation funds more than 30 organizations supporting Jewish causes at home and around the world, including the Partnership Together Program that supports the Afula Gilboa region in Israel. Within the Upper Fairfield community, the Federation supports social services (e.g., JFS and Jewish Senior Services), education (e.g., Jewish day schools, higher education programs and PJ Library) and many other segments of the community.

The FJP community is home to a wide variety of religious institutions, including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Humanistic Judaism and Chabad congregations. Clergy and lay leadership work well together with a shared interest in advancing Jewish life in the area. Importantly, the large number of unaffiliated Jews in our community presents great opportunities for engagement. With a deeply committed donor and volunteer base, Upper Fairfield County offers a strong Jewish infrastructure with immense opportunity for growth.

Upper Fairfield County, Connecticut includes 15 towns ranging from Ridgefield to Trumbull in the north and Norwalk to Stratford along the coast. These communities offer a wide variety of living options, from quaint towns along Connecticut's famed "Gold Coast," to quiet havens in the surrounding New England countryside. Our location along the Amtrak and I-95 corridor offers easy access to New York City and New England. There are endless options for world class dining, shopping, theater and arts, academic pursuits, and sports. The area also provides extensive athletic opportunities, from beautiful beaches to hiking trails to tennis and golf.

Renowned for the high caliber of its public schools, the area also offers a variety of outstanding private and Jewish day schools. With the breadth of residential and educational choices available, we expect that the Executive Director will reside within our catchment area.

Below are factors that Federation leaders have identified as critical to the success of the Executive Director and our community. Note that they are not in any particular order as they are collectively seen as essential to achieving our FJP mission.

Inspires and builds commitment and leadership:  The Executive Director provides a Federation vision and messaging that inspires and fosters engagement, participation and commitment across the breadth of our stakeholders. S/he can positively and effectively communicate in large gatherings and individually with community members. S/he identifies volunteers and ensures they are provided meaningful avenues for participation and engagement. S/he cultivates volunteers’ skills and knowledge to develop them as future lay leaders.

Builds and maintains collaborative relationships:  The Executive Director must be a highly accomplished relationship builder who is open, accessible and comfortable with diverse groups. S/he is a warm and engaging leader who listens to all viewpoints and will successfully position and represent the Federation. S/he builds coalitions and partnerships with agencies, synagogues, organizations and leaders to identify and promote opportunities for collaboration in service of shared interests.

Effectively manages business and staff: The Executive Director builds and requires a culture of respect, empowerment, and accountability. S/he supports individual and collaborative efforts to achieve objectives and is responsible for staff development. Candidates must have demonstrated ability to manage an organization’s financial and operational needs.

Proven ability as a fundraiser:  Executive Director provides leadership and strategic direction for financial resource development including building relationships, stewarding donors and soliciting/closing gifts across the community. Entrepreneurial and attuned to donor interests and concerns, s/he will focus on engaging and re-engaging donors, tapping the significant potential of the Upper Fairfield County community. The successful candidate will have a proven record of developing appropriate fundraising strategies for donors of all giving levels (including unaffiliated and former donors).

Demonstrates a passion for, and knowledge of the Jewish world and Israel, and acts in accord with Jewish values:  The Executive Director demonstrates a passion for and a commitment to Jewish life, Jewish values and the work of the Federation and the Federation movement. S/he is an articulate spokesperson for the Jewish community, speaking effectively and easily about Jewish culture and issues. The Executive Director is a role model, an active participant in the Jewish community, and is comfortable with all religious streams.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with strategic leadership and management experience in Federation, business, government, academic and/or non-profit sectors
  • Proven fundraising ability
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated understanding of financial management.
  • A proven record of building trusted relationships with a variety of constituencies and stakeholders, including working with a board and sensitivity to the volunteer-professional partnership
  • Experience in successfully managing professional staff and other personnel
  • Enthusiasm about the Federation’s mission and the ability to inspire others to create a  community dedicated to that mission

A competitive compensation package (salary and benefits) is available for the successful candidate.

This position officially begins as of January 1, 2022 and will also allow for some transition time at the end of this calendar year.

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume to our search consultant, Rea Kurzweil, at search@jewishphilathropyct.org. The cover letter should include a statement addressing why the candidate is interested in and believes s/he is qualified for this position.