Chief Development Officer – Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York

Temple Emanu-El Chief Development Officer Position

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for the Chief Development Officer for Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York (also known as Temple Emanu-El).


Temple Emanu-El offers a warm and majestic environment to congregants while also acting as a bold leader in the greater New York Jewish community. Founded in 1845 by German Jews who invited “all who come in peace” to partake, Temple Emanu-El is the biggest Jewish prayer space in the world with one of the largest and most remarkable memberships in the country. Led by Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, it provides spiritual, religious, educational, and cultural programming to community members of all ages. The synagogue features a top-rated nursery school, an award-winning religious school, the Stettenheim Library, the Herbert & Eileen Bernard Judaica Museum, the Downtown Campus at The General Theological Seminary in Chelsea and the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Cultural and Outreach Centers with unrivaled Judaic, cultural, and socio-political educational programming.

Temple Emanu-El is the oldest Reform synagogue in New York City, grounded in a rich history of Jewish communal leadership in the city and beyond. The congregation is dynamic and forward-looking, and as its current membership of 2,200 families grows, it remains committed to ensuring that new and current members alike, of varied ages, backgrounds, and interests, continue to have the highest quality experience in all aspects of synagogue life.

Over the years, the worship that congregants experience at Temple Emanu-El was labeled “Classical Reform.” Today, we prefer to say simply “Reform Judaism.” It evokes our spirit of peace, justice, inclusion, relevance and sensitivity to the needs and desires of our diverse membership. As the congregation embraces the changes of the 21st century, it will continue to boldly innovate.

“In keeping with our founding in 1845 as the first Reform Jewish Congregation in New York City, Temple Emanu-El continues to build upon its legacy of leadership and the timeless values of Jewish tradition as we strive toward a more just, ethical, and compassionate world. We commit our spiritual, intellectual, physical, and financial resources to strengthening our community today for a vital tomorrow.” 

Chief Development Officer Position Description

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will have primary responsibility for developing and implementing strategies to increase fundraising substantially and ensure overall goals are set and achieved. He/she will provide leadership, expertise, strategic direction, and day-to-day management in building an effective and organized fundraising program and department. Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the CDO will be a key member of the Senior Executive Team and will lead the development department, execute change, and organize all the development activities to increase revenue. The CDO will direct an effort that includes the Capital Campaign and Annual Campaign, major gift solicitation, planned giving programs, donor prospecting and research, stewardship, special events, and corporate and foundation support. He/she will also personally manage, cultivate, and solicit a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects.  The compensation is $275,000 – $300,000.

In consultation with the COO, the Senior Rabbi, and the Board, the CDO will design and implement a multi-year strategic plan to increase fundraising revenues. The CDO will

  • provide leadership and management direction for the development department and supervise all development activities and operations
  • develop and execute an overall fundraising campaign strategy designed to increase fundraising revenue, the donor base, and setting, monitoring, and evaluating goals, benchmarks, and performance
  • engage in and direct personal solicitation of major and planned gifts prospects.
  • direct a focused effort to conduct donor research and to identify, cultivate and steward potential new major and planned gift donors
  • work with other departments to make a compelling case for presentation to prospective donors and craft specific giving opportunities
  • staff the Development Committee and increase board involvement in development activities
  • provide training for staff, Board members and volunteer leadership in fundraising, including donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • create the organizational case for support
  • develop a tactical fundraising plan utilizing a variety of approaches including digital means
  • supervise the preparation of proposals for individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • prepare and monitor budgets for all development activities
  • provide periodic reports to the Senior Rabbi, COO, and the Board
  • administer stewardship activities by supervising the maintenance of the database of contributors and gifts, track current and potential donors, and acknowledge, record, and report all gifts with appreciation to donors
  • develop trackable metrics and reports to measure impact and success, as well as lead processes to create systemic data tracking efforts

The successful Chief Development Officer will

  • possess a track record of increasing responsibility and achievement in fundraising, especially in the areas of creation and execution of an overall development strategy for Capital and Annual Campaigns, individual major gifts, special events, planned giving, and corporate and foundation support
  • have experience and knowledge of donor prospecting, donor research, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • work to help support leadership development efforts across temple programs

He/she will also be

  • an experienced professional in major gift solicitation and working with high level volunteers and philanthropists
  • a strong manager who is a self-starter who listens, and is able to build a motivated team of volunteers and professionals
  • a hands-on manager with superior verbal and written communication skills
  • a creative, energetic individual, passionate about the mission of Temple Emanu-El; committed to realizing the potential of its bold, innovative, and dynamic vision.

Temple Emanu-El has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. The Temple intends that new hires receive COVID-19 vaccinations by their start date (first shot). As most vaccinations will require two dosages, we realize it will take time for all employees to be fully vaccinated, including booster vaccination under the CDC and Department of Health guidelines. The Temple expects covered employees to work diligently to ensure they obtain the vaccinations as promptly as possible.

Temple Emanu-El is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. The Congregation does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is proud of its association with Temple Emanu-El and to be conducting the search for its Chief Development Officer.  If you, or someone you know, might be a suitable candidate for this position, please forward, in confidence, the person’s name, cover letter, resume, salary requirements and contact information to Lori Fodale at