"Camp Judaea's mission is to provide a safe, fun, nurturing community where children, teens, and young adults grow as individuals, build lifelong friendships, develop leadership skills, and establish enduring connections with Judaism, Israel, and the natural environment."
Opportunity for Impact
Over the past five years, Camp Judaea (CJ) has achieved unprecedented operational strength and increased success in its enrollment (already 90% enrolled for summer 2017!), program quality and customer satisfaction. A Board-approved 5-year strategic plan includes moderate capacity growth while investing significantly in expanded facilities and program innovation.
The leadership of Camp Judaea views the appointment of its next Executive Director as a compelling opportunity for a visionary leader to advance the camp at a turning point in its organizational development; an opportunity to leverage its operational stability and capital campaign success and innovate and contribute to crafting a vision and narrative for the central role of camping in Jewish life, and "take the camp to the next level".
Throughout its history, CJ has instilled a strong Jewish identity and love for Israel in generations of children and young adults. Camp Judaea embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every child, regardless of ability, to participate as full members of our community. Our program, and our commitment to serving children with a range of needs, continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.
CJ seeks a creative and energetic ED who can continue to position the camp to play a significant role in modeling new and engaging innovations in Jewish camping and experiential education for years to come.
Camp Judaea's smaller scale encourages campers to explore, learn and grow as individuals while being surrounded by unconditional love and acceptance. We know and understand each child individually and embrace them in a caring summer family where life-long friendships are nurtured. Total camp enrollment averages around only 300 campers per session. Camp Judaea is proud of its close-knit summer community where exceptional emphasis is placed on the individual needs of every camper and highly effective parent communications.
Background and Mission
Established in 1961, Camp Judaea (CJ) is a medium size, Jewish, Israel-centered summer camp for girls and boys, ages 7-15, located in Hendersonville, NC, on 123 acres in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Camp Judaea offers traditional summer camp activities that are deeply infused with Israel cultural programs and pluralist Jewish education. Committed to Jewish and Zionist values and traditions, CJ is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization affiliated with Young Judaea Global, the world's premier Zionist youth movement.
Camp Judaea primarily serves the Jewish population of the southeastern United States, although each summer campers hail from 16 states, Israel, Europe, and South America. Over 620 campers and 140 staff participate in two twenty-five day sessions and four embedded 10-day "Taste" sessions each summer season.
The off-season office is located in Atlanta, GA, and currently consists of 7 year-round staff. Camp Judaea is accredited by the American Camp Association and is affiliated with Young Judaea Global, The Foundation for Jewish Camp, JCamp180 (a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation), North Carolina Outward Bound and the North Carolina Youth Camp Association.
At Camp Judaea, they offer a wide variety of exceptionally fun activities in a loving family atmosphere. The activities include horseback riding, farming, basketball, softball, volleyball, flag football, ultimate frisbee, archery, visual arts, cooking, pottery, metalwork, singing, dancing, drama, campouts, field trips, swimming, boating, tennis, special teen trips to New York & Washington, DC, backpacking and so much more. Their philosophy centers around five developmental "pillars": Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, and Individual Growth.
CJ offers a pluralistic Jewish community that celebrates the diversity of Jewish life around the world. They bring together campers and staff from every denomination, from "Just Jewish" to modern Orthodox. The campers are immersed in a vibrant Jewish, Israel-centered environment where they learn to respect one another, celebrate each other's strengths, offer encouragement, lend support and work as a team.
They foster strong connections with the land of Israel through extraordinarily fun programs featuring music, dance, arts, scout-craft and other cultural activities under the dynamic leadership of a large contingent of talented Israeli staff.
Creative peer-led daily services and delicious kosher food are hallmarks of our trans-denominational community. A fun and relaxing Shabbat amidst the natural splendor of our camp is one of the highlights of each camper's summer experience. We offer a rich combination of traditional summer camp electives, sports, aquatics, and Israel cultural activities for all campers to enjoy.
Additional information on Camp Judaea can be found on the web at www.campjudaea.org
The Board seeks a leader with a passion for Jewish life and whose intelligence, style, communication, and executive leadership skills will stimulate creativity in programs and services, as well as maintaining excellence in how they are implemented and funded. The supportive lay leadership considers the current operational and managerial strength a "gift" to the new Executive Director, allowing her/him to balance the business needs with a focus on the advancement of the mission and vision.
The new ED will be a camper-centric professional with demonstrated experience and success in executive leadership, management, and organizational positioning. S/he must be conversant with a broad range of Jewish communal and educational issues, as well as knowledge of Israel.
While the Executive Director has overall responsibility for the operations of the camp, s/he is responsible for building on the vision and helping to shape the strategic direction of the camp, and so must be an entrepreneurial leader who can engender confidence and engage the resources necessary for long-term sustainability and growth.
The ED must also be able to engage the Board, staff, thought-leaders, parents, alumni and other stakeholders in envisioning new directions and programs which fulfill the camp’s mission. S/he must be conversant on new programs and developments in mission-based camping, Jewish particularly, as well as immersive and experiential education. S/he must also be responsive to the unique needs reflected in the campership, while encouraging strong engagement and collaboration.
The Executive Director will be Camp Judaea’s chief spokesperson and will build trust and collaboration throughout the community. It is expected that s/he will be visible and accessible to campers, camp staff, leadership, parents, and other stakeholders. S/he will be active in relationship-building with funders, donors, and partners, and is expected to play a significant role in further developing the fundraising activity of the camp.
Reporting to the Chair of the Board, the Executive Director of Camp Judaea is accountable to the Board of Directors. The new Executive Director is expected to reside on campus during the summer months (June-August) and is responsible for overseeing the camp operation.
Strategic Visioning, Executive Leadership & Organizational Management
- In partnership with the Board of Directors, articulate and implement a shared vision and programing that reflect the mission of the camp and its potential impact on camping, the Jewish community, and the community at-large.
- Serve as the chief professional officer accountable for the operation of Camp Judaea. S/he oversees the day-to-day activities of the organization, responsible for all strategic and operational components: enrollment, administration, planning, program development and evaluation, community relations, fundraising, finance and marketing. Oversees the implementation and enforcement of policies and procedures; ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
- Lead, motivate, supervise, and evaluate a high-performance senior management team. Position current staff to match their unique skill sets and interests to the strategic priorities of the camp. Provide ongoing supervision and guidance to staff members; recruit and retain qualified professionals for open positions as needed.
- Develop, execute, and oversee a comprehensive implementation plan for the existing strategic plan; balance current needs with strategic vision and investment to ensure long-term success and sustainability.
- Promote the identification and tracking of trends and thought-leadership in Jewish camping and the role of CJ as a model for excellence and its contribution to the sector.
- Set and advance a positive, success-oriented culture within the camp. Ensure that the camp's vision, values, and brand are evident and consistent in every aspect of the organization, including its staff and programs.
- Maintain a focus on proactive planning that will identify and take advantage of, or respond to, emerging trends and needs.
- Set, foster, and model a positive, trusting, transparent and collaborative environment within the camp that ensures the achievement of strategic objectives.
- In partnership with the Board, volunteers, and development professionals, play a strategic leadership role in developing a culture of philanthropy and executing financial resource development strategies and methodologies to meet established goals.
- Work closely with the Board leadership and development staff to leverage the capital campaign success ($2.6M grant to build a new dining room) to raise necessary funds (including additional capital) for enabling the camp to meet the current and anticipated future needs.
- Maintain a proactive approach in raising funds through relationship building, cultivation, and stewardship of current and prospective donors.
- Motivate, inspire, and mentor both lay leaders and professionals in their fundraising efforts.
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with foundations, partners and affiliated professional organizations, and other stakeholders.
- Work to develop new revenue and funding opportunities to support current and new initiatives, as well as additional expansion and program development.
Marketing and Community Relations
- Serve the "face" of Camp Judaea, a key visible spokesperson and representative in all matters including with private and public funders, with national and international Jewish organizations, and in the Hendersonville and Atlanta communities at large.
- Develop and nurture a culture of cooperation with Young Judaea Global, Foundation for Jewish Camp, JCamp180, American Camping Association, other camps (affiliated and unaffiliated) as well as other partners. Build the camp's role as a resource, convener and a facilitator of strategic partnerships, programs, and initiatives.
- Maintain and advance the camp brand; have primary responsibility for communications – both written and oral – regarding the camp's vision, values, programs, challenges, and achievements. Play an active role in the creation of effective and exciting marketing and other materials.
- Maintain open lines of communication with the Board, staff, campers, parents, community, and media; including effectively managing any crisis that might arise using superior decision-making skills, in consultation with Board leadership and senior staff.
- Provide professional guidance to the Chair, the Camp Judaea Board, and its committees to shape, focus and prioritize vision and planning, and act as the primary liaison between the Board and professional team.
- Work with the Board Chair to set objectives for the Board and its committees; plan Board and Executive Committee meetings and agendas that continue to promote appropriate governance processes.
- Oversee the preparation and recommendation of an annual budget for the Board of Directors for approval; present financial performance information for review by the Board 3x/year.
- Advise the Board on significant trends, programs, changes in conditions and market directions; demonstrate appropriate responsiveness to parent and other constituent concerns.
- Partner effectively with the Board, its committees, and volunteers to maximize their efforts, to promote their participation and to maintain a focus on the mission and vision for the camp; including expanding their role in fundraising to meet the needs of the mission.
- Partner with the Chair and Board leadership to identify, cultivate, recruit and empower new board members by inspiring, influencing and creating dynamic results and supportive relationships.
- Serve as advisor and resource to the Executive Committee and the Board in all areas of finance, policy, programs, and governance.
- Similarly, work closely with the Property Board, a separate Board with specific duties and responsibilities.
Program and Service Development
- Lead staff in setting goals for programs that have vision and that strive for creativity and excellence; programs that are of a content and quality to engage both existing and new campers.
- Work with staff to monitor program costs and effectiveness. Institute consistent methods of program evaluation that are appropriate to the mission of each activity.
- Ensure that the camp's programs demonstrate vitality and innovation and are reflective of the camp's mission, plans, priorities, Jewish culture, tradition, and Zionism.
The ideal candidate is a high-energy, roll-up-the-sleeves leader, with a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, pluralist, Jewish, and Zionist residential camping and youth development. S/he must possess a proven ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with camp families, alumni, grant makers, donors, and Board members. The successful Executive Director will also possess the following:
- Minimum 7 years of demonstrated successful leadership experience (from the nonprofit and/or business sector), with a record of progressive achievement in organizational leadership, management, administration, and financial operations.
- Strong leadership and planning skills, including: the ability to articulate an inspiring organizational vision, see and manage the agency from a “big picture” perspective, ensure accountability, be decisive and inclusive in the decision-making process, be proactive and employ strategic and critical thinking skills is essential.
- Skills and experience to manage and lead a $3+ million enterprise with profit & loss responsibilities, a large facility and more than 140 employees; including a track record of effectively leading operational functions (Finance, Human Resources, and IT).
- Strong planning and organizational skills, with the ability to think strategically in the design and execution of programs, are also required.
- Keen understanding of running a mission-based organization; able to integrate the use of business models with a sensibility to the core values of a mission-based agency.
- Experience working with children and adolescents is preferable; a business background, innovative marketing experience, information technology/social media knowledge is helpful.
- Knowledge of, and a passion for, Jewish communal structures and issues and their relationship to Israel; commitment to enhancing Jewish life, culture and values through a pluralistic lens that embraces diverse perspectives.
- Creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, and strategic inclinations; intellectual curiosity and emotional intelligence.
- Open, flexible, and inspiring leadership and management style conducive to fostering collaboration, engagement, and a team approach.
- Significant successful experience with Board and volunteer development; a diplomatic problem solver able to build consensus and engender cooperation between lay and professional leaders and professionals from the breadth of interests and perspectives in the community.
- Demonstrated success in all areas of fundraising and financial resource development. A proven track record and the willingness and desire to be personally involved with these efforts; experience with the cultivation and solicitation of major donors is critical.
- Demonstrated success in developing, empowering and leading subordinates, resulting in high performing teams.
- Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills and the ability to present oneself and communicate in a manner that garners trust and will challenge and inspire volunteer leadership and professionals; ability to maintain and model high personal, ethical, and professional standards.
- Creative, innovative manager; comfortable leading and taking risks in a forward-thinking environment; experience working with organizations focused on continual improvement, growth, and excellence.
- Experience in the design, development, and execution of innovative programing, organizational and/or institutional growth and facilities management preferred.
- Ability to effectively and persuasively “sell” the camp to current and potential campers and their families, donors, and various stakeholders.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- A Bachelor's degree is required; an advanced degree in Management/Business or considerable experience in the field of nonprofit management is strongly preferred.
- Knowledge of Hebrew and Spanish are a plus.
An attractive and competitive package, commensurate with level of experience is available.
How to Apply
For More Information, Please Contact:
Steven J. Goldberg, Consultant
Marlene Mlawski, Associate
DRG – Executive Search Consultants
275 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Please submit a resume and cover letter.
This position description is based upon materials provided by Camp Judaea. Camp Judaea is an equal opportunity employer and recruits, hires, trains, promotes and compensates persons in all jobs without regard to race, color, religion, gender or nationality.