Beth El is a thriving Conservative Jewish congregation located in Durham, North Carolina, an exciting, fast-growing Southern city that hosts a thriving performing arts center, enticing small music venues and a lively restaurant scene. Founded in 1887, Beth El has long served the vibrant Jewish communities of the Research Triangle including Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh. This thriving region is home to highly ranked national universities, medical centers, and cultural institutions and many successful businesses. Recently ranked by US News and World Report as the most desirable place to live in the American South (and 2nd nationally), the area attracts an increasingly diverse, skilled, and cosmopolitan population of all ages and is home to an active, visible, and growing Jewish population. As the community has grown, so has the Beth El congregation, which now numbers over 400 member families. A member of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Beth El also includes an Orthodox Kehillah affiliated with the Orthodox Union. Beth El is seeking a new Executive Director to succeed Alan Friedman, who recently stepped down for family reasons after a successful three-year tenure. The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the congregation and works in close collaboration with the Rabbi and lay leadership to ensure that Beth El effectively provides for the collective needs of the congregation. The Executive Director reports to the Beth El President and is responsible for the synagogue’s administrative, financial, and business operations, in addition to supporting the congregation’s religious and membership services. At Beth El, Mr. Friedman oversaw the completion of a successful capital campaign and extensive synagogue renovation, improved operating and financial practices, and supported the congregation through the first phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have navigated the impacts of the pandemic, our staff and community have found creative and meaningful ways to stay engaged and to strengthen their connections to Beth El, while yearning to take advantage of our newly renovated facility. We are now seeking an executive leader who thinks proactively, can run a healthy and growing organization, will continue to build a vibrant Jewish community, and help lead us into the future. The new Executive Director will help position Beth El at the cutting edge of what it means to be part of a synagogue in the 21st century. Beth El has many notable strengths on which to build, including: • An engaged, growing, and diverse multi-generational membership – including growing Talmud Torah participation and young adult membership. • A strong and stable financial foundation supporting an annual operating budget of approximately $1.1 million. • A recently completed synagogue renovation financed by a successful $6.5 million fundraising campaign. • A strong tradition of talented lay leadership represented by an active Board led by the congregation’s President. • A dynamic, caring, and creative Rabbi committed to Beth El and the active participation of its congregants. • An inclusive culture that welcomes diversity and builds community within Beth El and actively seeks connections to the wider Jewish and interfaith communities. • An experienced staff of nine full- and part-time members and a legacy of effective management on the part of the departing Executive Director. Beth El intends to build on these foundations in its next phase of development, realizing the promise of its newly renovated facilities to provide inviting spaces for even deeper ties and active engagement across our community. A new strategic planning process, led by the incoming Executive Director, in collaboration with the Rabbi and Board, will engage the congregation in defining what this next level of programmatic effectiveness will look like. As a part of this process, the Executive Director will have the opportunity to define and fill a vacant position as Director of Programming and Membership. Developing additional revenue sources though facilities rentals and fundraising, for example, will be essential to support the continuing growth and vitality of the community. Beth El’s foundations are strong, and the ambitions for the future are exciting.
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