Director, Jewish Community Relations Council

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Are you a seasoned community relations professional who is passionate about building consensus and working collaboratively to represent the interests of a diverse Jewish community? We are seeking a leader who sees today’s social division as an opportunity to lead with nuance, keen analysis, equanimity, and long-term vision. Read more and consider becoming our next JCRC Director.

About the Organization

Through the development of community-wide financial support, planning and allocations, the mission of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation (MJF) is to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people, to enhance the quality of Jewish life and to build a strong unified Jewish community in Milwaukee, in Israel and throughout the world. Learn more about the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

A department of the MJF, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) protects and defends the Jewish community through relationship building, coalition work, government affairs, public affairs, and advocacy. The local Jewish community’s central body to address and prevent antisemitism, the JCRC is engaged in alliances and coalitions and represents the Jewish community in the community-at-large.

Summary/Objective

The Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council leads MJF’s community relations and public affairs activities, focusing on issues related to antisemitism, government relations, domestic policy issues, social and economic justice, interfaith/intergroup relations, and Israel advocacy and education. The Director works closely with the JCRC Board Chair and volunteer leaders to set priorities, build consensus, and represent the community in a variety of settings. The JCRC Director serves as a resource to media, elected officials, and leaders throughout the community.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Public Affairs

  • Speak on behalf of the Jewish community in public spheres related to antisemitism, Israel, and other areas of Jewish community concern.
  • In close collaboration with MJF’s Chief Impact Officer, communicate with the media and the community-at-large on issues of Jewish communal concern.

Legislative Affairs

  • Develop relationships with elected officials at the local, state, and federal level.
  • With the Wisconsin Jewish Conference, work with elected officials and other government officials on legislative issues to protect and secure the Jewish community.
  • Collaborate with faith and ethnic communities on legislative issues.

Community Relations

  • Represent the interest of the Jewish community within the community-at-large, through coalition building; cooperative efforts with religious, civil, academic and political leadership.
  • Create and maintain robust alliances with faith, ethnic, and other groups.
  • Serve as resource, contact, and source with local media.
  • Engage Jewish organizations and community members through educational programming, civic advocacy, and social justice projects.

Antisemitism

  • Respond to antisemitic incidents by developing a and implementing a crisis response and intervention plan; reaching out, as appropriate, to community leaders, affected communities, and media.
  • Coordinate with MJF security staff on issues of antisemitism and security.
  • Liase with ADL Midwest.
  • Oversee JCRC’s anti-hate work, Hours Against Hate.

Volunteer Leadership

  • Work with the JCRC Board and Community Council to develop and implement a Jewish community relations and public affairs agenda.
  • Build and reflect community consensus through the work of the JCRC Community Council.
  • Nurture current JCRC Board leadership skills and cultivate a strong pipeline of future volunteer leaders.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Prepare and oversee annual JCRC department budget.
  • Manage and supervise JCRC staff.
  • Serve as an advisor to MJF’s senior leadership team
  • Collaborate with MJF departments, including Marketing, Israel Center, Jewish Museum Milwaukee and Holocaust Education and Resource Center on education and outreach programming.
  • Oversee the work of the Wisconsin Jewish Conference.
  • Work with national and international bodies (Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Federations of North America) on local, national and international issues of relevance to Jewish community.

Qualifications

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Required Skills/Characteristics

  • Knowledge of, and passion for, Judaism, Jewish community and related issues
  • Commitment to representing the needs of a broad, diverse Jewish community
  • Ability to navigate complicated or stressful situations with diplomacy, tact, and equanimity
  • Ability to thrive in an environment with tight deadlines, changing priorities, high-pressure, and irregular hours
  • Exceptional skills in public relations, public affairs and communication
  • Commitment to Israel and ability to communicate with sophistication and nuance on related issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of government affairs, legislative processes and advocacy
  • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Willingness to advocate for the JCRC within the organization, in the Jewish community, and the community-at-large

Required Experience

  • Senior leadership experience in community relations/public affairs
  • In-depth knowledge of Jewish values, history, heritage, culture and ideals
  • Experience working with volunteer leaders and diverse constituencies to develop consensus
  • Management and supervisory experience
  • Experience working with coalitions of organizations
  • Advanced degree preferred in fields such as Jewish communal studies, social sciences, law or public administration

Supervisory Responsibility

  • JCRC Associate Director, JCRC Project Manager
  • Serve as main contact to government affairs contractor

Hours and Benefits

The Milwaukee Jewish Federation has a hybrid work environment: we are in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays, and work remotely on Mondays and Fridays. Typical office hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 am-5 pm, and Friday, 8 am-3 pm.  This role will require occasional evening and weekend hours.

This position is eligible for 15 vacation days and 7 personal days annually. In addition, MJF observes 7 federal holidays as well as Jewish holidays that prohibit work, typically adding between 11 -17 additional paid days off annually depending on the Hebrew calendar. Other benefits include medical, dental and vision insurance, paid parental leave, health savings and flexible spending accounts, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, and 401K plan.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

For in-person days, this job operates in a professional office environment with most work is done in a general office environment with pleasant working conditions, good lighting and ventilation without being exposed to weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

This role frequently uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers and filing cabinets. There will be frequent computer usage which will require arm and hand dexterity as well as all vision abilities to be successful.  This is largely a sedentary role; however occasional filing is required. This would require the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand as necessary. On rare occasions it may be necessary to lift and/or move up to 15-20 pounds, usually waist high.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required to perform the job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Please email your cover letter and resume to: HR@milwaukeejewish.org

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