Executive Director – American Society for Yad Vashem

Executive Director of the American Society – Yad VashemMersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for the next Executive Director of the American Society for Yad Vashem.

Background—About Yad Vashem and the American Society

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is the leading source for Shoah education, commemoration, documentation and research. As the Jewish people’s memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem works to safeguard and impart the memory of the victims; to pay tribute to the survivors; to honor the Righteous Among the Nations; to accurately document one of the most cataclysmic chapters in the history of humanity; and to contend with the challenges of keeping the Holocaust relevant today and for future generations.

The survivor generation is rapidly dwindling, and we will soon find ourselves in an era without survivors to tell their stories first hand. In an era of alternative facts, Yad Vashem works tirelessly to meet the inevitable challenges of how to pass the torch of Holocaust remembrance to a generation who will not have the opportunity to hear a survivor’s first-hand account of the horrors, and of how to impart the significance of Jewish identity and continuity to the fourth and fifth generations. Yad Vashem’s integrated approach incorporates meaningful educational initiatives, groundbreaking research and inspirational exhibits. Its use of innovative technological platforms maximizes accessibility to the vast information in the Yad Vashem collections for an expanding global audience.

The American Society for Yad Vashem (ASYV) was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors, spearheaded by Eli Zborowski, z”l, to support the crucial efforts of Yad Vashem. Since its establishment, ASYV has grown from a handful of dedicated members to more than 65,000 passionate individuals throughout the country.

ASYV advances the mission of Holocaust education and remembrance by hosting social and educational events in New York, California, Florida, and throughout the United States. By means of seminars and conferences, ASYV trains educators and professionals to employ the educational curriculum of Yad Vashem in the classroom.

ASYV initiatives include the Young Leadership Associates, a growing group of enthusiastic members of the third generation that has undertaken the task of developing programs to promote Holocaust education and awareness among their peers. With the support of our donors, ASYV strengthens the efforts of Yad Vashem to encourage remembrance of the past as we shape the future.

Position Description

The American Society for Yad Vashem seeks a visionary, Jewishly knowledgeable leader who will advance ASYV in representing Yad Vashem and serving the Jewish communities of the United States.  Reporting to the Chairman of the Board, the Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of ASYV and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, program goals, and financial objectives.

The Executive Director will be responsible for ASYV’s

  • overall strategic and operational activities and its interface with Yad Vashem
  • for managing short and long-term goals
  • strategic planning
  • fundraising and financial operations
  • staff recruitment and development
  • program management and board

The Executive Director will work to realize and increase the organization’s annual fundraising goal of $20 million and lead efforts in the U.S. to raise substantial support for the $50+ million capital campaign for the new Shoah Heritage Campus on the Mount of Remembrance.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

Development and Fundraising

  • Be responsible for the fundraising of the organization and the management of the Chief Development Officer, the Development Department and its eight staff who actively engage, energize and support volunteers, board members, event committees, partnering organizations and funders
  • Plan and implement vision, strategy, goals and priorities for the future of ASYV’s development efforts
  • Cultivate and establish strong relations with donors, lay leaders, volunteers, survivors and members of the second and third generations, young leaders, foundations, and corporate donors to build a robust donor base and raise the maximum amount of support
  • Oversee the events, programs and activities, including but not limited to, direct mailing, gala, and other dinner/luncheon events, missions, and meetings with foundations, to position ASYV and Yad Vashem as the global leader in Holocaust remembrance, research and education to enable ASYV to maximize its fundraising opportunities
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of Jewish philanthropy

Strategic Planning and Board Management

  • Develop and implement a long-term strategic plan including recommended timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals of ASYV
  • Provide leadership in developing annual program, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and ASYV national staff and Yad Vashem staff in Israel
  • Develop and implement plan overseeing expansion of ASYV’s activities in other regions of the S.
  • Support a strong Board of Directors by seeking and building board involvement with strategic direction for ongoing local and international operations
  • Provide regular progress and planning reports on all ASYV activities to the Chairman, Executive Committee and entire Board of Directors as required

Coordination with Yad Vashem in Israel

  • Maintain an ongoing working relationship with Yad Vashem (YV) in Israel based on established work procedures through regular sharing of progress to the YV Director General, Managing Director of International Relations and Director of the American Desk
  • Foster a collaborative, transparent and mutually supportive working relationship between the ASYV and YV professional teams to grow the financial resources needed to fully realize YV’s mission
  • Oversee contact with the fundraising staff and the YV International Relations Division to maximize fundraising success; and
  • Assist and represent YV with activities in the S. as required, including but not limited to educational and research activities as well as relations with other organizations and museums involved in Holocaust commemoration

Staff Management

  • Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and evaluation of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteer staff, that work on behalf of ASYV
  • Develop and ensure that job descriptions are current, regular performance evaluations are held, and consistent human resource practices are in place
  • Develop and manage staff in accordance with the tasks and goals as defined annually
  • Develop an ongoing training program for the ASYV team together with YV to enhance their knowledge of YV’s work, the challenges and needs of the organization
  • Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality people
  • See that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place

Office and Budget Management

  • Manage the organization in accordance with its by-laws and governing regulations
  • Implement the managerial policies and annual work plan and budget
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous evaluation, and consistent quality of financial administrative, fundraising and communications systems
  • Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices and ensure that ASYV operates within budget guidelines
  • Oversee ASYV office in Los Angeles and future establishment of additional regional offices in the S.

Marketing & Communications

  • Serve as primary spokesperson for ASYV;
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications and marketing, leveraging social media as well as traditional channels with the goal of enhancing both ASYV’s and YV’s brand
  • Oversee the growth of education and outreach programs, to engage diverse constituencies about the work of YV, build brand awareness and leverage programs to enhance fundraising

The successful candidate will have a:

  • Master’s Degree, preferably an MBA, or MPA or law degree
  • Strong knowledge of Jewish History, Contemporary Jewry and the Holocaust
  • visionary, strategic thinking to plan and execute in a team setting by building community and consensus among staff and volunteer leadership
  • the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and lay leadership
  • Proven success in fundraising with at least 10 years of experience engaging a wide range of stakeholders
  • A demonstrated proficiency in spearheading and leading fundraising campaigns and a commitment to maintaining current funders
  • A keenness for cultivating new donors, an ability to generate new revenue streams and a strong history of successfully taking organizations to the next level of sustained philanthropic support
  • 10 + years of proven nonprofit leadership, with experience in supervising others including a local and remote workforce of more than 20 people
  • Experience in building and managing a budget of more than $10 million
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities while leading in a manner that embodies respect, teamwork and collaboration in a passionate and dedicated staff;
  • Demonstrated capacity to build a participatory team and an inclusive management style who knows how to delegate when appropriate
  • Strong written, verbal and public speaking skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent multidisciplinary project skills
  • The highest standards of integrity as well as an outgoing, self-starting, well-organized, tactful, detail-oriented, innovative personality capable of working under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Proven diplomatic and conflict resolution skills
  • Experience developing marketing and communication channels and building public programs
  • A knowledge of office systems and technology, including, but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite, accounting systems, CRM and fundraising database management platforms
  • Thoroughly committed to the ASYV’s mission
  • Conversational Hebrew a plus


Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is proud of its association with the American Society for Yad Vashem and to be conducting the search for its next Executive Director. 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 Rachel Woda. The deadline for application is February 8, 2018.