At Central Synagogue

Chief Development Officer

Posted on April 23, 2018

Our Vision
Central Synagogue is a thriving reform congregation in midtown Manhattan, serving 2,300 families and the larger community.  We work tirelessly toward a world in which Judaism is central to the lives of Jews everywhere and is a profound and positive force for humanity.  We are relentless in our pursuit of that goal, constantly evolving to reach far beyond the walls of our synagogue to learn, worship, serve and continually redefine what it means to be Jewish today.  For more information about our organization visit

About the Opportunity
The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for leading all fundraising efforts.  The CDO will build on the success of current development programs, articulate an ongoing strategy, offer innovative thinking, process improvements and will execute impeccably.
The CDO reports to Marcia Caban, Executive Director, who joined Central in 2016, and works closely and collaboratively with her, clergy and with the impressive Board. In concert with the Board and clergy, Ms. Caban has set clear benchmarks and standards for the administrative side of the organization.
The CDO has a staff of 2 with the potential to add another.
He/she will be joining at a particularly exciting time in the life of the synagogue.

Essential Functions:

  • Contribute to the robust, engaged life of the enterprise:  identify ways to advance its mission and provide the financial resources for doing so.
  • Maintain the success of but modernize, as needed, such mainstays as the Yom Kippur Annual Appeal, gifts related to lifecycle occasions, special gifts, planned giving campaigns, endowment campaigns and capital campaigns.
  • Cultivate relationships with key lay leaders to support and encourage their leadership in our volunteer efforts, increase congregational engagement and identify new lay leaders.
  • Plan events and programming throughout the year including domestic and international trips to places of significant meaning in Jewish life, culture or history; Leadership Development Group sessions; dinners at the homes of clergy and congregants; donor receptions; symposia and panels; etc.
  • Ensure that technology is used to its fullest - along with high-touch efforts - to track, to appreciate and to acknowledge appropriately and promptly all giving and other activities by donors
  • Manage any vendors as well as the Development Department team, including Major Gifts Associate, Development Associate, Development Intern(s), and other team members as necessary.
  • Consult and communicate in a crisp, consistent and polished manner with Congregants and Board members, including Development Committee, Planned Giving Committee, Leadership Development Group task force, and others, as necessary.
  • Build internal relationships.
  • Be a trusted, valued and discreet resource to clergy, the Executive Director and Board.

Core Competencies

  • Purpose: You seek to enhance the joy and meaning congregants derive from Central, embrace the community and Central’s broader mission.
  • Leadership Skills: You can quickly establish yourself as a trusted resource and in-house development expert. You’re comfortable making decisions and creating a path for the institution.
  • People Skills: You’re an effective communicator who can work well and inspire those around you. Colleagues describe you as “well-liked” and “well-respected” and you’re able to get folks on board and steer ships.
  • Speaking & Writing Skills: You articulate messages well. Whether a “routine” email, a thoughtful thank you crafted for another person to sign, or a proposal your writing is memorable. Others quote it or copy it. Our goal: every thank you letter is framed.
  • Juggling Skills: You manage multiple projects, tasks, and deadlines (usually without breaking a sweat) and always have a few balls in the air (you rarely drop them).
  • Teaching Skills: You’re eager to share your competencies with the organization and skilled at helping others understand how to “do things better.” You inspire teams, including your direct reports, to do excellent work.
  • Digital Communications Skills: You’re up on current technologies and best practices. You know when digital fundraising works - and when it doesn’t. You can do your own PowerPoints.
  • Detail Orientation: An admitted “perfectionist” with an eye for detail and desire to always be better, yet your experience has taught you that failure is better than never trying, and you don’t get discouraged for long.
  • Customer Service: You’re a pro at customer service and understand how to make each interaction a positive one. And you know your colleagues are customers, too.

Qualifications and Success Factors

  • Familiarity with and intellectual curiosity about the Jewish community in New York City
  • Strong interpersonal and writing skills
  • Have experience and credibility in seeking and “closing” major and leadership gifts
  • Strong emotional intelligence
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely and comfortably with senior level management and stakeholders
  • Project management and personal organizational skills
  • Prior experience managing staff
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Significant experience (10+ years) in fundraising
  • Availability during the High Holy Days as well as the ability to be “present” during other occasions, events and celebrations the community observes. 

Other Duties
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job and may change at any time.

For Confidential Consideration
Kindly contact our search consultants:  Machlowitz Consultants, Inc. via email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Other Open Positions

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August 20, 2018

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Sets up and breaks down events at the facilities as directed, and performs related work as required. Maintains the buildings interiors/exteriors in a clean and orderly manner; performs a variety of custodial and building maintenance duties as directed. This position is responsible for the safe and daily operations of the facilities.

July 19, 2018

Marketing and Communications Manager

The Marketing and Communications Manager is responsible for increasing awareness of, driving traffic to, and adding value to Central Synagogue and its offerings by translating program goals into effective marketing communications. Using data, he/she will evaluate opportunities to improve our communications strategy to increase readership and participation in our synagogue. The position will oversee marketing of the following areas: Adult Education including: Core Groups, 20s & 30s, Social Action/Community Organizing, Center for Exploring Judaism, Israel; Membership; and High Holy Days.

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LCLJ (Religious School) Educator - Full-time

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February 13, 2018

Central Synagogue, a 503(c) religious organization, employs 80 full-time and 30+ part time staff positions in more than a dozen departments, including our Religious School; Nursery School and Early Childhood Center; clergy study; membership, finance, communications, technology, development, maintenance, events, and administrative support teams. Our staff, which we consider "a team," is committed to excellence in our work. Central offers generous benefits and paid time off to its employees. We invite you to review our current openings and apply here. Central Synagogue is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

X Central Synagogue will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, age, sexual orientation, sex, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, military status, marital status, physical and mental disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. It is the policy of the Congregation that certain positions must be filled by persons of the Jewish faith as a bona fide occupational qualification. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment. All employees, regardless of position, are expected to maintain and contribute to this policy.