If you are committed to advancing Jewish life in New York City and helping others embrace their heritage, consider joining our staff.
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, a 501(c)(3) religious organization, employs full-time and part-time staff who support the values and principles of the synagogue. If you are committed to advancing Jewish life in New York City and helping others to embrace their heritage, consider joining our staff. Career opportunities for Jewish educators, nursery school teachers, administrative, facilities, and marketing staff are listed as they become available.
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (SWFS), a large, dynamic, and socially active synagogue seeks a Director of Membership Engagement. Located in the heart of the Upper West Side, SWFS has a highly diverse congregation of approximately 700 family units (about 1900 people). Stephen Wise has been at the forefront of American Reform Judaism for over 100 years and has been a leading voice for social change and justice during this period. The synagogue is on the cutting edge of new trends in worship, education, and outreach, drawing people from the neighborhood and hundreds of “virtual” participants who worship and participate online.
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is a visionary leader with a unique combination of deep religious commitment, keen global awareness and influence, and sophisticated strategic insights. Since joining SWFS in 2004, Rabbi Hirsch has led a dramatic revival in Jewish life. He has served on numerous boards of national and international bodies and is currently an officer of the New York Board of Rabbis and a member of the Partnership of Faith, an interfaith body of New York religious leaders. Rabbi Hirsch is a prolific writer and world class speaker.
Stephen Wise is one of New York’s pre-eminent Jewish religious, educational, cultural, and social institutions. Its mission is to create a community of congregants whose spiritual, educational and personal needs are nurtured from cradle to grave. Beyond this commitment to members’ needs, the synagogue’s mission is to influence society, attract attention to relevant issues, and fulfill its mandate to “repair the world.”
The Director of Membership Engagement will report to Executive Director, Sandra Divack Moss, and will work closely with Ryan Greiss, Director of Marketing Communications.
Sandy started her career by establishing DOROT, a model intergenerational community service organization. She worked for 23 years as a consultant, helping organizations develop and implement strategies for growth and building fundraising capacity. She consulted with various organizations including the Eldridge Street Project and UJA Federations of North America. Sandy has been instrumental in the synagogue’s success since becoming Executive Director in 2009.
Ryan Greiss is a marketing and PR specialist with experience in media relations, advertising, digital marketing, event and video production, and social media management. Before joining Stephen Wise, he was vice president of a PR firm representing Jewish nonprofits and Israeli companies. Ryan is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces’ Golani Brigade, where he served as a designated marksman before being honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
The Director of Membership Engagement is responsible for representing and marketing Stephen Wise Free Synagogue to prospective members in order to bring new members and new students to our synagogue, retaining current synagogue members who span a wide range of demographic characteristics, and increasing individuals’ personal and financial engagement with the synagogue.
This Director will work collaboratively and strategically with clergy and directors of our schools to develop and coordinate the synagogue’s membership engagement process.
The position entails developing a thorough understanding of Stephen Wise’s people, programs and approach in order to represent the synagogue’s core values and position the synagogue for success in the competitive Manhattan market.
The Director will provide leadership and craft the synagogue’s recruitment and engagement strategies and goals, conducting research and outreach, and staying abreast of best practices within the synagogue membership and engagement field.
The ideal candidate will be a data-driven, creative and warm person who will lead a collaborative effort to implement short-term and long-term recruitment strategies to ensure that Stephen Wise meets its membership, school enrollment and financial objectives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for community more profound than ever and has dramatically increased online participation in all SWFS activities. The Director will work with the Communications Director to build an out of town ‘distant’ member program.
Some key performance metrics of the job, among others, are:
• membership acquisition and retention rates
• satisfaction levels among SWFS members
• development of a new membership engagement ambassador program
• conversion of members from ‘dues only’ into ‘dues plus donation giving’ members
• Grow and engage membership of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue:
• Staff membership-related committees
• Plan and attend member recruitment events
• Personally engage with people who inquire about membership and schools
• Welcome, integrate, and track new members as they engage with various departments of the synagogue
• Support member retention as they progress through various stages of their own lives / member life cycle – from new to mid-term to long-term member
• Assist members with dues adjustment when needed
• Analyze aging reports and communicate with members in arrears to stem drop off by creating payment plans / conducting exit interviews
• Support implementation and ongoing management of a new CRM
• Prepare and maintain member profiles
• Coordinate aspects of planning and implementation for High Holy Days
• Act as liaison between ED and the Board of Trustees including meeting and agenda preparation
• Assist in developing synagogue financial resources including:
• Analyzing prior giving and identifying prospective supporters
• Working with the clergy assistant to secure member gifts for the annual memorial book and memorial plaques
• Coordinating the production of planned giving newsletters with our planned giving consultant
• Planning recognition events for major donors
• Engaging members in the annual synagogue spring benefit
• Preparing background reports as needed prior to in person solicitation meetings with congregants
The position entails attending communal events in order to engage with synagogue members. Attendance is expected during High Holy Days and once a month at Shabbat services, and is rewarded by compensatory time-off.
The right applicant must have a commitment to advancing Jewish life, strong written and oral skills, facility with CRM and database technology, agility with Microsoft Office suite, a congenial personality, excellent judgment, and commitment to maintaining a high level of confidentiality. The right applicant must be interested in helping the synagogue to build progressively engaged synagogue membership and in generating financial resources. The candidate should possess 21st century skills necessary for building membership office management practices that will sustain and grow Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.
The ideal candidate will have:
• A track record of successfully growing an organization’s membership, enrollment or financial base over a multi-year period.
• Familiarity with major issues facing the Jewish people and Reform synagogue experience preferred.
• An ability to listen empathically and to speak compellingly about the synagogue.
• An entrepreneurial spirit, a proven record of implementing best practices, fresh thinking, and an eye for innovation and creativity.
• Personal qualities of integrity, resilience, approachability, kindness, warmth, humor, positive energy, self-motivation and the ability to interact comfortably with a variety of people.
• Outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal; experience using social networks to build community and advance an organization is a plus.
• Ability to build, motivate, and manage a base of volunteer ambassadors.
• Aptitude with information database / CRM systems.
Full-time salary commensurate with experience. Generous benefit package.
To apply, email your resume with a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Stephen Wise is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws. Additionally, we prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose such discrimination and harassment or who participate in an equal opportunity investigation.