The Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA) commits to creating Jewish Connections for Life, ensuring that all Jews can participate in Jewish life in any way that fits their interests and passions, at every stage of life. Supporting and enriching the lives of Jews locally, nationally, in Israel and worldwide, the JCBA supports multiple local, national, and global Jewish organizations and initiatives. Additionally, JCBA oversees the operation of The Schultz Campus for Jewish Life, a 55-acre campus that houses the JCBA, the Shaw JCC of Akron, The Lippman School, Beth El Congregation, Schultz Towers, and Jewish Family Services of Akron.
The Greater Akron community is growing and there is a need to enhance and build upon the rich tradition of our Jewish community’s advocacy, connection to Israel, and connection to the global Jewish community. We seek an experienced professional, with the ability to successfully implement an Israel advocacy and community relations strategy.
The Director of External Affairs will assume responsibility for the JCBA’s local and national community relations, Israel advocacy, and advocacy for issues pertaining to the global Jewish community. The Director will work in cooperation with the External Affairs, Jewish Community Relations, and Israel and Overseas Committee Chairpersons to determine the priorities for the local Jewish community, which includes issues related to:
- Israel advocacy
- Anti-Semitism, both locally and globally
- Government relations
- Social and economic justice
- Interfaith relations
The Director reports to the Chief Executive Officer of JCBA. In addition, the Director of External Affairs will serve as a resource to government officials and Jewish and non-Jewish community leaders on matters relating to Israel and the Jewish community in conjunction with the Federation’s CEO, External Affairs, JCRC, and Israel and Overseas Chairs.
Primary Responsibilities include:
Management of JCRC
- Ensure a representational and well-functioning JCRC is maintained, meets regularly, sets goals and achieves them.
- Meet with JCRC lay leadership to set goals and meeting agendas.
- Develop and maintain strong relationships with other JCRC’s both inside and outside of the region, the JCPA, and national or regional Jewish community organizations.
- Assist in the organization of public acknowledgments of major Jewish observances, such as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, etc.
Educate and build consensus among the Jewish community
- Invite speakers to the community who can bring new perspectives on current issues related to Israel, anti-Semitism, legislation relating to Jewish issues, etc.
- Convene the "common table" around which member agencies meet to identify issues and articulate positions and approaches to advance the public affairs goals of the organized Jewish community
- Develop innovative programming in conjunction with synagogues/agencies that address community issues.
- Represent the Jewish community to public entities
- Assist the CEO in representing the interests of the mainstream Jewish community to public entities, including city, county, state and federal government, public and private schools.
- Coordinate opportunities to coach parents, speak to teachers and principals, school boards, etc. in addressing issues of Jewish holidays, religion in the public school, representation of Jews and Israel in curriculum and materials, balance and fairness in high school discussions on Middle East conflict.
- Support Hillel in issues on local campuses.
- Monitor local newspapers, write letters to the editor, coordinate lay responses and solicit Op-eds from noteworthy mainstream representatives.
- Respond to incidents of anti-Semitism, bigotry, hatred, and violence
Proactively engage in building bridges in inter-faith and inter-group settings
- Program/participate in planning programs that bring together faith communities and other ethnic communities.
- Convene public meetings and organize campaigns of public education to focus community attention on issues and causes, including but not limited to promoting equal opportunity and social justice and Israel advocacy
Israel and Overseas
- Ensure a representational and well-functioning Israel and Overseas committee that is maintained, that meets regularly, and sets goals and achieves them.
- Interpret Israel’s needs and positions to the general public and government.
- Develop and implement an Israel, and non-Israel, mission strategy for the community
- Revitalize the relationship between Kiryat Ekron and Akron
- Build a connection with Israel based on arts and culture, business, and other aspects
- Facilitate the development of a comprehensive Israel education strategy for the Greater Akron community in conjunction with the agencies of the Schultz Campus for Jewish Life and the area synagogues.
- Demonstrated written and oral communication skills, the ability to deal with confidential topics, and the ability to articulate the mission of the JCBA’s External Affairs program to the community are required.
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, and public policy, government relations, and/or advocacy skills are essential.
- Ability to articulate issues surrounding Israel and be able to advocate on a strong relationship between Israel, the global Jewish community, and the Greater Akron community.
- Knowledge of Jewish culture and the organized Jewish community are required, as is the ability to present a strong and recognizable commitment to the enrichment of the Jewish community.
- Ability to organize, prioritize, delegate and follow through with multiple projects simultaneously, focusing carefully on detail and timelines is essential.
- Desire to be part of an aggressive, cooperative, and collaborative professional staff team is required.
- Working knowledge of computers, Microsoft Office software (especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), is required.
For more information or to apply, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.