Major Gifts Officer

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for a Major Gifts Officer at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.

Temple Emanu-El Chief Development Officer Position


Congregation Emanu-El offers a warm and majestic environment to congregants while also acting as a bold leader in the greater New York Jewish community. Founded in 1845 by German Jews who invited “all who come in peace” to partake, Emanu-El is the largest Jewish prayer space in the world with one of the most remarkable memberships in the country. Led by Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, it provides spiritual, religious, educational, and cultural programming to community members of all ages. The synagogue features a top-rated nursery school, an award-winning religious school, the Stettenheim Library, the Herbert & Eileen Bernard Judaica Museum, the Streicker Outreach Center, Emanu-El Downtown, and the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center with Judaic, cultural, and socio-political adult educational programming.

Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York is the oldest Reform synagogue in New York City, grounded in a rich history of Jewish communal leadership in the city and beyond. Our congregation is dynamic and forward-looking, and as our current membership of 2,200 families grows, we remain committed to ensuring that new and current members alike, of varied ages, backgrounds and interests, continue to have the highest quality experience in all aspects of synagogue life.

Over the years, the worship that congregants experience at Congregation Emanu-El was labeled “Classical Reform.” Today, we prefer to say simply “Reform Judaism.” It evokes our spirit of peace, justice, inclusion, relevance and sensitivity to the needs and desires of our diverse membership. As the congregation embraces the changes of the 21st century, it will continue to boldly innovate.

“In keeping with our founding in 1845 as the first Reform Jewish Congregation in New York City, Congregation Emanu-El continues to build upon its legacy of leadership and the timeless values of Jewish tradition as we strive toward a more just, ethical, and compassionate world. We commit our spiritual, intellectual, physical, and financial resources to strengthening our community today for a vital tomorrow.” 

Position Overview

Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York seeks a bright, experienced, passionate, and ideas-driven Major Gifts Officer. This full-time position, reporting to the Chief Development Officer and working closely with both the staff and leadership of the congregation, the Major Gifts Officer is responsible for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts across the institution.  As one of the most distinguished congregations in the world, and as part of its ambitious 180th Anniversary Campaign for $100 + million, the candidate will focus on major gifts for the campaign, as well as the annual fund and Streicker Center, Nursery School and Emanu-El Downtown sponsorships.

Working collaboratively with departmental senior staff as well as senior colleagues in the institution, the Major Gifts Officer will devise and implement strategies to acquire, renew and upgrade major donors, developing appropriate projects based on the campaign plan.

This is a full-time, hybrid position (4 days in office). The salary range is $125,000 – $150,000, based on experience, and with a comprehensive benefits package (listed below):

Retirement Plan Contribution ♦ Medical Insurance ♦ FSA ♦ Dental Insurance ♦ Vision Long/Short-Term Disability ♦ Paid Holidays ♦ Paid Vacation, Sick & Personal Days ♦ Parental Leave ♦ Free Temple Membership and Religious School ♦ Employee Assistance Program ♦ Tuition Reimbursement ♦ Commuter Benefits ♦ Discounts to Temple and Streicker Center Programs


Essential Functions

  • Work closely with the Chief Development Officer in Philanthropy in implementing a comprehensive fundraising strategy to expand involvement of assigned portfolio of current and prospective donors for the congregation’s Annual Fund.
  • Assist in cultivating, implementing and soliciting in the congregation-wide special Capital/Endowment campaign.
  • Broaden and build planned giving prospects.
  • Manage a portfolio of 150 plus major donors and prospects.
  • Conduct face to face meetings with donors and prospects.
  • Build a pipeline of donors.
  • Work closely with lay leadership and Board to increase number of donors, deepen donor engagement and increase revenue growth.
  • Develop and help plan fundraising events and programs.
  • Strategize portfolio assignments and fundraising goals to maximize the success of the congregation’s overall goals.
  • Work in partnership with the development team, the board, volunteer committees as necessary, and colleagues across the institution, including Membership, Religious School, Nursery School, Downtown and the Streicker Center, both to engage potential donors and develop giving opportunities.
  • Cultivate and strengthen relationships with mid-range and higher-level donors, increasing their giving.
  • Identify and engage perspective donors and work with lay solicitors to expand the number of donors.
  • Collaborate with program staff to engage existing and new donors.

Candidate Characteristics

  • A strategic, goal oriented innovative development professional with outstanding interpersonal skills who can relate in a sincere manner to a diverse congregation.
  • 5 to 7 years of experience in a donor-centered development program with a track record of closing major gifts in both Annual Fund and Capital Campaigns.
  • Exceptional writing, editing and verbal skills, including the ability to actively listen and target messages to a variety of audiences.
  • An ability to set priorities, manage projects and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent communication skills with donors.
  • Knowledge of the New York Jewish Philanthropic community.
  • A thorough and specific knowledge of effective major gifts fundraising strategies and tactics as well as individual and family stewardship and solicitation strategies.
  • Possess a deep understanding of campaign analytics and experience using insights derived from data to enhance fundraising strategies.
  • Experience with multi-year pledges and planned giving strategies.
  • The wherewithal to think creatively, especially as applied to fundraising opportunities.
  • Self-starter who can work independently as well as collaborate with professional and volunteer leadership.

Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. The Congregation does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is proud of its association with Congregation Emanu-El and to be conducting the search for its Major Gifts Officer.  If you or someone you know might be a suitable candidate for this position, please forward in confidence, the person’s name, cover letter, resume, and contact information to Lori Fodale by writing to