Executive Director

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American Jewish Historical Society Executive Director Job Description Background: The American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) was founded in 1892 to foster awareness and appreciation of the American Jewish heritage and to serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation and dissemination of materials relating to American Jewish history. The AJHS lens toward the social, political, economic and cultural contributions of Jewish people in America has helped to counter rising anti-Semitism, to support scholars, and to inform and engage the public. The collection is viewed as the most valuable single resource for American Jewish family history research, and has also served educators, students, researchers, geneologists, writers, filmakers, curators and general audiences by illuminating the rich tapestry that defines the Amerian Jewish experience. AJHS publishes the online journals American Jewish History and Jews in Sports Online, a bi-yearly newsletter titled Heritage, and books, monographs and reference works. Additionally, AJHS offers a geneology program, conducts museum tours, organizes regional and national events and celebrations, and provides academic assistance and other related educational activities. AJHS also serves as home for the former Jewish-American Hall of Fame. AJHS holds a collection of more than 25 million documents and books, photographs, art, and artifacts. Among the treasures of this heritage are records of the nation’s leading Jewish communal organizations and important collections in the fields of education, philanthropy, science, sports, business and the arts. AJHS ensures public access to the collection through an online catalog that integrates collections from the five partner institutions at the Center for Jewish History. AJHS is a fully independent organization that is housed at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. It also has a branch in Boston. As the oldest national ethnic historical organization, AJHS is also viewed as a pioneer in preservation and education, and is modelled by groups hoping to document their own progress. The Position: The American Jewish Historical Society is looking for an extraordinary individual to serve as its Executive Director to foster new partnerships with social and academic organizations, as well as donors and contributors, and to illuminate the secular and religious accomplishments of the American Jewish people. This highly intelligent and dedicated self-starter shares the Board’s vision for outreach and expansion into new communities. He or she promotes and attends events and serves as a spokeperson for AJHS, bringing light to the significant role that Jews have played in the cultural, intellectual and political life of our nation. The Executive Director is an implicit spokesperson for AJHS with a compelling background and substantial experience in a nonprofit of a related field. He or she will lead a strategy to widen and deepen the impact of AJHS in even the most remote and improbable locations. This will be done through the development of new organizational partnerships, and innovative outreach solutions including the further development of the online AJHS digital archives. The Executive Director is a strong fundraiser, hands-on manager, strategic thinker and planner. He or she understands the import of protecting the history of the Jewish community and gracefully ties the work of AJHS to the needs and welfare of Jews locally, in Israel and around the world. The Executive Director works in a supportive and direct manner with AJHS’s Board, staff, and collaborators within the Center for Jewish History, and is diplomatic, of the highest integrity, possesses sound judgement, and has a sense of humor. Specific responsibilities include: • Lead AJHS in effective implementation of the organization’s mission and values • Act as an enthusiastic and inspiring fundraiser for AJHS • Serve as an effective and dynamic spokesperson for the organization to the public, funders, media and other audiences • Guide and support the expansion of online services and programs • Support and collaborate with members of the Center for Jewish History • Implement and oversee the growth and strategic management of the organization • Widen AJHS impact by developing organizational partnerships Qualifications: • Master’s degree or the equivalent from a major college or university, preferably with a strong background and/or interest in American Jewish History • A minimum of 10 years of increasingly responsible experience in a similar setting • Excellent written and oral communication skills • Commitment to protecting the history of religious and/or secular groups • Solid track record of fundraising • Power and presence to advocate successfully on behalf of the organization in the public and private sectors • Self-starter with a bright and diplomatic attitude, strong issue resolution skills and advanced interpersonal and negotiation skills • Able to work independently with a minimum of supervision • Diplomatic, of the highest integrity and possesses sound judgment as well as a sense of humor • Understanding and appreciation of the importance of primary documents and artworks. For more information about the American Jewish Historical Society, visit www.ajhs.org. To Apply: AJHS has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to: Jack Lusk, Managing Partner or Debbie Farrell Nelson, Practice Leader Harris Rand Lusk 261 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor New York, NY 10016 AJHS-ED@harrisrand.com

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