Jewish Child and Family Services,
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Chicago, IL


Jewish Child and Family Services of Chicago (JCFS) has been strengthening the lives of children, couples, adults, and families for close to 160 years. JCFS has grown into an organization that provides support and care for those in need across many of the city’s diverse communities and distinctive neighborhoods. JCFS provides a comprehensive network of behavioral health care and social services that promotes well-being and self-sufficiency for individuals and families at every stage of life. With services based upon Jewish values and compassion, JCFS works to strengthen lives throughout the community. JCFS is one of the many beneficiary agencies of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

The mission of Jewish Child and Family Services is to provide hope, healing and caring services infused with Jewish values to strengthen lives in our community.

The organization’s intended impact focuses in two primary areas:
• Enhancing social and emotional well-being for children, adults and their families
• Maximizing quality of life for children and adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families through self-determined services

The Core Values of JCFS are:
• Providing services informed by Jewish values.
• Tikkun olam—"repairing the world" or "perfecting the world." Creating a model society among Jews but also responsible for the welfare of the society at large. Contributing to social justice, being the champion of the underdog. Helping, healing, and caring.
• Ensuring that the Jewish community’s mental health and social service needs are met.
• Seeking the absolute best care for our clients, whatever it takes.
• Striving for excellence in everything that we do.
• Supporting, nurturing, and protecting families.
• Understanding that community is essential to living.
• Ensuring our staff receives high quality training, knowledge, and resources to succeed.

With a total budget of $38 million, a staff of 450 employees and a large cadre of dedicated volunteers, JCFS serves tens of thousands of people each year. JCFS offers more than 30 programs at 10 locations and throughout communities across Chicagoland, including:

Programs and Services
Children and Adolescents – JCFS experts provide a continuum of therapeutic interventions for children from birth through adolescence. They evaluate and treat social, emotional and developmental delays using a variety of therapies, including developmental therapy, speech and language therapy, social work and social skills development.

Foster Care and Family Support – JCFS provides healing homes for children and teens traumatized by abuse and neglect, many of whom exhibit behavioral, emotional and/or medically complex issues. JCFS’s comprehensive specialized foster care program educates and supports foster parents, and provides individual, family and group therapy, life skills classes, respite care and case management services. In addition, we recruit and license foster parents and provide the ongoing monitoring for the foster parent license. JCFS is currently participating in a pilot therapeutic foster care program designed to avoid institutional placement of wards of the state due to emotional/behavioral issues.

Counseling and Psychological Services – JCFS offers service through professionally trained and licensed clinical social workers, counselors and psychologists. JCFS provides psychological testing to understand learning differences, cognitive, emotional and other mental health disorders. JCFS’s expert therapists offer compassionate support to help children, teens and adults find solutions to the challenges they face, including parenting and co-parenting, anxiety and depression, divorce, grief and loss, and much more.

People with Disabilities and Their Families –
JCFS services for people with disabilities primarily focus on individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Services include adult group homes, individual and group respite for children and adults, home based case management services for children and adults, specialized recreational camps, social and recreational activities for Jewish adults with disabilities, legal advocacy and educational and support groups covering a variety of topics of interest to people with disabilities, family members and professionals. Core to our service approach are partnering with families, individual choice and self-determination.

Special Education – JCFS operates a therapeutic nursery, K-12 therapeutic day school and therapeutic yeshiva program, all designed to support kids with emotional and/or behavioral challenges who are striving for academic success. Students benefit from a high staff-to-student ratio, as well as individual and group therapy and individualized and small group special education services.

Jewish Community Programs – JCFS offers a wide range of education, support and advocacy programs that address issues impacting Jewish homes, families and the community across the lifespan. These programs and services include professional training, community awareness, support groups, pastoral counseling, professional consultations, information and referral, cultural sensitivity trainings and consultative support for institutions including schools, synagogues, camps and youth groups.

Career and Employment Services – Through JVS Chicago, services include career counseling, training, entrepreneurship support, and customized job placement assistance. Services are available to anyone in the general population as well as specialized programs geared toward supporting youth, older adults, and people with disabilities.

Professional and Community Training – JCFS understands that strengthening the community goes beyond providing direct services, and offers conferences, workshops and training for professionals, staff and the general community. JCFS also hosts a highly regarded and active internship program crossing several disciplines including social work, psychology, occupational and speech therapies.


Jewish Child and Family Services has been growing steadily and is seeking to enhance its management structure for further growth and sustainability through its search for a Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. The organization is looking for a strong, mission-focused, seasoned, strategic and process minded leader with experience serving in a broad organizational capacity for a human services organization. The VP/COO must be a leader who is able to develop and empower mid-level and senior managers. The VP/COO will be able to see the “big picture” and streamline processes to create a stronger infrastructure on which to grow. While it is essential that the VP/COO implements efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, it is equally critical that the team retains the client focused culture that drives the success of the organization.



• Provide direct oversight of the Senior Directors and their service areas. Empowers a strong program middle management team with the authority, responsibility, accountability and skill sets to own and run their program/service lines.
• A team player and a key member of the senior team, and understands how to create and sustain high-performing teams.
• Able to guide the team to deepen their knowledge, skills, and decision-making ability.

• Provide strong day to day leadership; support an open-door policy among all staff; cultivate the values of a client-centered culture throughout the organization.
• Able to move the organization toward a more diverse revenue model

• Create, edit, review, and keep current a range of operational policies and internal controls. Determine areas of focus; identify success metrics and support evaluation of program outcomes.
• Work with the leaders of the Agency’s shared support services to strengthen current and future operational systems. Use deep knowledge of process improvement, quality and change management to provide services more efficiently and effectively.

Board Liaison
• Works regularly with Board to ensure they are informed on key issues enabling them to engage and support the Agency mission effectively.
• Submit reports to the Board of Directors and acts as staff liaison to the relevant board committees.

Community and Donor Relations
• Serve as a key external leader in working with local nonprofits, elected officials, funders, managed care organizations and community leaders.
• Supports agency resource development efforts by building relationships with key donors and foundational funders.


• A Master’s degree (health administration, public administration, social work administration or fields related to the work of JCFS) is preferred.
• Exhibit managerial courage—tactfully dispenses direct and actionable feedback; is open and direct with others without being intimidating; deals head-on with people problems and tough situations; challenges the status quo and takes risks.
• Has a deep understanding and experience in creating vision and leading change management. Able to articulate a vision of the future within the organization, and lead the change necessary to create new revenue streams, services and processes.
• A proven track record of success as a strong, collaborative internal manager and external representative of an organization. Able to work and think strategically to build strong relationships with both agency staff and stakeholders including business leaders, philanthropists, service providers, public officials, volunteers and consumers.
• Strong communicator, both oral and written, with strong interpersonal relationship skills. Equally skilled and comfortable working with everyone from line staff to board leadership.
• Goal-oriented with a business-like approach to setting and monitoring progress towards strategic objectives. Able to build consensus while balancing clinical/program/business interests. Comfortable recommending strategic direction and leading implementation of that direction independently.
• A creative person with a welcoming and energetic personality.
• Able to develop, manage and assess programmatic budgets and financial reports in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
• Has knowledge and experience in guiding team members and peers in creating an environment where innovation and innovative ideas are embraced and celebrated.


David Edell, President
Dara Klarfeld, Managing Director
Sarah Raful Whinston, Consultant

Please submit a resume and cover letter
Fax: 212-983-1687

This search began in June 2017 and is currently active. This position description is based upon material provided by the Jewish Child and Family Services of Chicago, an equal opportunity employer.