Executive Director


The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture (“the Vilna”), is the historic and present home for Jewish life in downtown Boston, a vital center for community, arts and culture, as well as the only remaining immigrant-era synagogue building in downtown Boston.

We have recently completed a $4M, Phase I restoration of our historic building. The one-hundred-year-old Vilna is at a pivotal moment in its history, poised to engage new audiences by offering creative programming that explores pressing issues of the day, alongside its popular cultural, arts, and Jewish educational programming.

We are seeking a bold, innovative, experienced leader with a successful history in network building and partnership development, as we continue to define our aspirations and update our strategic plan. This is a unique opportunity to have an enormous impact within the organization and with our constituents, as we expand our reach and deepen our relationships with not only other Jewish organizations in greater Boston, but also non-Jewish community organizations.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the overall successful operation and performance of the organization, providing leadership toward the achievement of its mission, vision, annual goals, objectives and growth. Supported by a small staff, a committed Board of Directors, volunteers and community stakeholders, the ED must harness these resources, develop and maintain relationships to effectively implement the VILNA’s strategic goals and objectives, and work with partner organizations and various funding sources. The ED at the VILNA is engaged in strategic and granular work, often concurrently, as is the normal situation in a small agency with an operating budget of under $1 Million annually.

Our next Executive Director needs to have:

Executive leadership experience working closely with a committed Board of Directors
Successful philanthropic fundraising track record
A successful history in network building and partnership development
Understanding of financial systems, data analysis and financial reporting, in order to build the financial health of the entire agency
Experience in making significant strategic organizational decisions
Genuine and compelling passion for the Vilna’s mission and type of work
Additional key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Serve as the primary spokesperson and advocate for the VILNA to promote its mission by clearly articulating its programs and impact on the community.

Provide oversight or direct management of all operational functions of the organization, including financial management, program development, management and administration, community relations, fund development, human resource management, marketing, volunteer leadership, facilities management, and infrastructure growth.

Play a major role in fundraising, pursuing an agenda of donor outreach and exceptional donor stewardship to increase the organization’s financial resources. Develop effective partnerships, collaborations, and strategic alliances with foundations, corporations and individuals, government, other funding sources and service partners. Ensure alignment with key stakeholders, including Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Lead the staff team to strengthen and support the programmatic, financial and operational goals of the VILNA, including attracting, retaining, developing and motivating qualified staff. Ensure opportunities for ongoing staff development and mentorship. Instill a culture of performance management and improvement achieved through an ongoing process of defining goals, developing strategies, implementing systems and measuring performance results.

Ensure the organization is operated on a sound fiscal basis and directed towards long-range organizational sustainability. Oversee the development of the VILNA’s budget, manage within the budget, and manage the audit processes.

Encourage an engaged Board of Directors in the work of the organization, by developing structures that enable productive contributions by the Board members to achieve agency goals. Provide timely and accurate information to the Board so it can effectively execute its oversight role. Contribute to the selection and recruitment of new Board members.

Plan and lead the organization through the next phase of the historic building renovation and a Phase II Capital Campaign.

The successful candidate will be a dynamic, high energy individual with exceptional relational and engagement skills and a genuine and compelling passion for the VILNA. This person will be able to speak articulately and persuasively about the Vilna’s mission. The Executive Director should be able to relate and connect with individuals and organizations across the greater Boston community of varying degrees of involvement with the VILNA and its work.

Strategic thinking and a strong financial and business orientation must be combined with vision and ambition. The Executive Director must confidently manage and respond to threats and pressures and navigate the organization through the challenges caused by Covid-19.

The Executive Director demonstrates the power of partnerships and networks to achieve outcomes and larger impacts. He/She/They should be a team builder who attracts and develops talent, delegates effectively, and works collaboratively and respectfully with the staff, the Board and volunteers. The ideal candidate will be a transparent, confident, kind and open-minded individual.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience. He/She/They will have at least five years in progressively responsible senior leadership/executive roles in community focused nonprofit organizations.

A blend of macro and micro skills required. Successful history in network building and partnership development are essential. Exceptional financial, organizational, administrative, and verbal and data management skills are essential and expected. Successful experience with, or strong potential for, major gift fundraising is essential. Knowledge of diverse revenue streams is strongly preferred. Candidates should have an awareness of Jewish community traditions and be committed to working in and fostering a multicultural environment. The successful candidate may come from the culture and arts field, but may also certainly come from another nonprofit arena.

A Bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree with equivalent experience are required.

A competitive salary and benefits will be provided. Salary commensurate with experience.

Please send cover letter, curriculum vitae and s******************ector in the subject line.

The Vilna Shul provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. The Vilna Shul expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.

Application Instructions

Job Summary

Job Location
Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture
18 Phillips Street
Boston , Massachusetts 02114


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