Director of Leadership Engagement @ Encounter Programs

Director of Leadership Engagement


Encounter is a non-partisan educational organization cultivating nuanced, informed and constructive Jewish leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an eye towards more generative, resilient Jewish communities in the United States and in Israel that are in pursuit of a durable peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Encounter’s work is grounded in a commitment to ideological pluralism and leadership that navigates the challenges and opportunities this presents in a polarized time with intention, courage and humility. Encounter is at an exciting organizational inflection moment of growth and expansion. To learn more, visit:


This is an exciting opportunity for an outstanding, veteran educational leader who is entrepreneurial in spirit, and both results and relationship-driven. The Director of Leadership Engagement will be responsible for shaping and implementing Encounter’s engagement strategy, serving as the organization’s lead ambassador and liaison with a rapidly growing national network of about 500 Jewish leaders. Working in close collaboration with the senior leadership team, the Director will lead organization-wide efforts to support micro-cohorts of lay and professional leaders with the tools, resources and relationships they need to effectuate more constructive engagement with Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with their constituencies and relevant spheres of influence.

The Director will model a nuanced, thoughtful and courageous public presence that is reflective of Encounter’s core values, and will be comfortable navigating controversial topics with a calm demeanor. Encounter is in a period of rapid growth and this position demands an entrepreneurial spirit. The ideal candidate is comfortable running experiments and pushing projects through at multiple levels in the absence of certainty, while working collaboratively and professionally across silos. The Director of Leadership Engagement is a strategic thinker and executor possessing a deep knowledge of the American Jewish community, complexities related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the interplay between the two.


  • Launch and lead engagement strategy, supporting network community utilizing both grassroots and grasstops organizing tactics.

  • Develop evaluative guidelines and lead effort to measure effectiveness of leadership engagement strategy.

  • Direct day-to-day operations of strategy, ensuring programmatic excellence at each stage – planning, roll-out and ongoing assessment.

  • Oversee development and implementation of strategic communications to leadership network and ensure seamless coordination internally with other departments.

  • Partner with staff across departments to ensure effective coordination and integration between leadership engagement and recruitment, program and development.

  • Lead professional development of staff in community organizing approaches, tactics and engagement strategies.

  • In close coordination with Chief Education and Program Officer, shape, curate and lead ongoing learning and networking opportunities, including online and in person engagement for the network at large, as well as micro-cohorts and affinity groups. This will include leading workshops and trainings for the network, as well as assisting network members in self-organizing niche circles of engagement.

  • Publicly represent Encounter at conferences and convenings.

  • Travel on Encounter Intensive Seminars several times a year, serving as a member of the educational team.


  • Minimum 10 years of experience in Jewish communal leadership, strong preference for education and organizing background.

  • Knowledge of and experience with strategic planning, community organizing and program development and evaluation.

  • Demonstrated track record as an effective educational leader.

  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication and conflict-management skills.

  • Self-starter, who enjoys launching new initiatives and charting new waters, sometimes with uncertainty.

  • Strategic thinker who understands complex issues, thrives outside of binary thinking and is effective at getting things done in a detail-oriented manner.

  • Ability to maintain composure and effectiveness under pressure.

  • Quick, creative, entrepreneurial and adaptive.

  • Comfortable working both independently and as part of a high-performing team.

  • Strong professional demeanor, and an ability to both listen deeply and lead with authority.

  • Excellent judgement and problem-solving skills.

  • Humility, a sense of humor, and an appreciation for nuance.

  • The position is based in New York City and requires regular travel (approximately 20-30% of time) throughout the year, both domestically and to Israel and the West Bank.

This position description is based upon material provided by Encounter, an equal opportunity employer.

Dara Klarfeld, CEO, DRG Search
Tani Weissman, Search Consultant, DRG Search

Application Instructions

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Job Summary

  • Duration: full-time
  • Benefits: paid vacation, sick leave, parental leave, medical, vision, dental, transportation, retirement plans, leave early for Shabbat, Life Insurance
  • Preferred Experience: Senior Professional (10+ years)
  • Preferred Degree: Masters
  • Job Posted: 2020-03-12
  • Times this job has been viewed: 661 times
  • Job is posted for: 60 days
  • Job Categories: Community Outreach, Education - Other, Director of Community Engagement
  • Organization Type: Education & Schools, Other
  • Grade Level:
Job Location
Encounter Programs
25 Broadway
New York , New York 10004


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