Europe-based Position Open: Yesod Director


YesodEurope-logo-e1443309464281Position Description

Applicants should send their resume and a 500-word essay on “My vision of Jewish life in Europe in 2025” to: by Monday 26th October 2015, 10.00am GMT

Introduction and context

Yesod is a collaborative framework focused on strengthening the future of Jewish life in Europe by investing in key individuals and supporting their communities. Founding members are the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Together they share the vision of a vibrant, meaningful, Jewish life comprised of strong communities and inspired and engaged individuals.

The Yesod collaboration seeks to strengthen the future of Jewish life in Europe through three primary strategies:

  • Gatherings Stategy: Through a number of ‘gatherings’, Yesod will offer opportunities for young Jewish adults to gather, network, share and act to create Jewish life.
  • Professional Development Strategy: Through the Yesod Institute for Professional Development, Yesod will offer existing and emerging professional and lay leadership the opportunity to learn new skills relevant to the ongoing development of Jewish life and gain additional Jewish knowledge for use within their community efforts.
  • Shared Resources Strategy: As a collective, the Yesod framework will engage in research, will develop and provide access to resources, and will share information to strengthen the knowledge, opportunities and the network of Jewish life throughout the region.

To date, Yesod’s start-up phase has been effectively launched and managed by a co-ordinator. As this initial phase comes to a close, Yesod intends to hire a full-time permanent director.

Overview of the role

The Director of Yesod will have primary responsibility for coordination between the founding partners with respect to their joint activities in Europe and between the three strategies outlined above. In particular, s/he will have specific programmatic responsibility for the Yesod Institute for Professional Development and developing the shared resources strategy. This could include tools such as a European community job bank, a database of professionals, upcoming funding opportunities, research about Jewish life in Europe etc. The Director will also strengthen Yesod as a collaborative platform to enable other potential funders and partners to join this collective effort.

In particular, the Director of Yesod will develop and oversee a comprehensive programme of activities for the Yesod Institute for Professional Development to address the professional needs of Jewish communal workers in Europe; specifically Jewish educators in informal settings, and community professionals based within Jewish Community Centres, youth movements or other community focused institutions. Initial foci will be the skills and knowledge these professionals need in their work and for their professional development, with specific emphasis on Jewish literacy, community development, and hard and soft skills for example group facilitation and program planning.

Primary Resxponsinbilities

  • Annual and Long Term Planning: Lead the founding organisations in an annual Yesod planning process and refine longer-term goals for the Yesod initiative.
  • Create a Strong Backbone Organisation for the Field: Identify areas of research, services and other assets that can strengthen the infrastructure of Jewish life in Europe, in order to build and implement the shared resources strategy.
  • Professional Development Institute Planning: Identify training needs and develop an annual calendar of appropriate programmes focusing on Jewish learning and professional community skills for various and targeted populations in Europe.
  • Training institute Programs: Manage oversight of all program aspects including recruitment, partner organisations, preparation, logistics etc.
  • Relationship and Resource Development: Expand awareness of the Yesod initiative among communities, potential partners and other potential funders in order to advance the mission and programmes of the initiative.
  • Evaluation: Work with the initiative’s evaluators to implement and learn from evaluation, share findings with the key stakeholders and participate in strategic planning based on those findings.
  • Budget Management, Publicity, Recruitment: Manage all operating functions of the Yesod initiative including financial and communications responsibilities.

Person Specification

The ideal candidate will show a general understanding of contemporary Jewish community life and more specifically, of Jewish life in Europe. In addition, the individual will bring an understanding of the value of collective efforts.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the following skills and qualifications:

General Qualifications:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent leadership and managerial skills, including the ability to design and implement strategy; manage teams; work independently and pro-actively, while being responsive to guidance
  • Proven ability to build consensus, create partnerships and coalitions, foster cooperations, navigate amongst individuals, organisations and communities
  • Experience managing budgets and coordinating complex projects
  • High degree of flexibility
  • Respect the relevant policies and procedures of the founding members, reflected in excellent judgment, an ability to exercise discretion and tact in difficult or confidential situations and an ability to project a positive, professional image to the public
  • Basic computer skills and an ability to acquire skills in basic database management, as well as a thorough knowledge of: (a) modern office practices and procedures; (b) the use of office machines and equipment; and (c) modern social media tools.

Specific Qualifications:

  • Significant work experience within Jewish communities including Europe
  • Experience working in the field of Jewish education or training, with proven success of developing Jewish programs and courses
  • Understanding of the key resources and relevant personnel in the fields of Jewish education and community organising
  • Proven ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-national environment
  • English at mother tongue level, working knowledge of additional languages an advantage
  • University educated, (advanced degree preferred).

Reports to: Yesod Executive Committee (representatives of each of the founding members of the Yesod initiative constituted as a governance committee). Legal employer to be determined by location of the incumbent.
Salary: Commensurate with experience and location
Hours: Full-time. The role will involve working outside regular office hours and regular travel overseas
Locastion: The position will be based in Europe. Exact or preferred location is subject to discussion.

To Apply: Please send your resume and a 500-word essay on “My vision of Jewish life in Europe in 2025” to:

Final date for submission of applications: Monday 26th October 2015 10.00am GMT Appropriate applicants will be invited for a first round interview.