The Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
Principal Gifts Officer

New York, New York


The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is a preeminent institution of Jewish higher education, training thoughtful, innovative leadersrabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and scholarswho strengthen communities with a vision of Judaism that is deeply grounded in the Jewish past and thoroughly engaged with contemporary society.

JTS also provides high-caliber lifelong learning and professional development to their alumni, adult learners, and Jewish communities throughout North America. Through its Library, JTS preserves and makes accessible to students and scholars throughout the world the greatest collection of Judaica in the Western Hemisphere.

The leadership of The Jewish Theological Seminary views the appointment of its next Principal Gifts Officer as a compelling opportunity for an entrepreneurial and energetic development professional to advance this geographic area.

JTS is building a 21st Century Campus to meet the needs of current and future generations; a campus that will create a dynamic hub for Jewish learning and living, for building community, and for exchanging ideas with the world around it.

This is an excellent opportunity for a strong fundraiser to build a major gift portfolio and to inspire major donors to make an investment in strengthening Jewish life for the future.

For over 130 years, JTS has served as the intellectual and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center. Through their training of outstanding leaders and their engagement with Jewish communities, they strengthen Jewish life in North America and remain a key voice in the ongoing conversation about American Judaism.

The Jewish Theological Seminary was founded in 1886 through the efforts of two distinguished rabbis, Dr. Sabato Morais and Dr. H. Pereira Mendes, along with a group of prominent lay leaders from Sephardic congregations in Philadelphia and New York. Its mission was to preserve the knowledge and practice of historical Judaism. In 1887, JTS held its first class of ten students in the vestry of the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue, New York City's oldest congregation.
Since then, JTS has greatly expanded its mission, creating a beautiful campus and evolving into the prestigious center of Jewish learning it is today. A Jewish university with a world-class faculty and a diverse student body, JTS grants undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through its five schools and offers enriching programs for the Jewish community in the United States, Israel, and around the world.

Additional information about JTS can be found at:


The Jewish Theological Seminary seeks an experienced major gifts professional with a strong track record in cultivating, stewarding and securing major gifts. The Principal Gifts Officer (PGO) will be part of a team of 7 front-line fundraisers who collectively, along with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors, raise a total of $25M each year to support the work of JTS.

The successful candidate must have demonstrated success as an engaging fundraiser and be a highly articulate communicator skilled at making a compelling case for mission support. S/he must be a focused, strategic professional, possessing exceptional relationship building and stewardship skills. Candidates must be able to demonstrate integrity, diplomacy and sound judgment. S/he will be responsible for planning and implementing an annual strategy to meet projected goals; identifying, cultivating and soliciting prospects for major gifts; and developing plans that will maximize the results of key regional events.

Reporting to the Vice Chancellor/Chief Development Officer, the PGO will work in a warm, committed and collaborative environment with other top level professionals. The Major Gifts team is supported by the larger development team  research, writing, donor records, grants, stewardship, administration etc. as well as the larger JTS team communications, community engagement, recruitment, etc. Therefore, the candidate must be able to collaborate across departments to achieve the goals of the institution. This position is based at the JTS campus in Manhattan.

As part of an overall moves management program, the Principal Gifts Officer is expected to manage approximately 150 donor and prospect relationships per year, and is expected to participate in at least 5 meaningful relationship building encounters with donors or prospects per week. Fundraising goals will be set in consultation with the Vice Chancellor/CDO based on the pipeline, and performance will be measured by a series of metrics throughout the year.



Working collaboratively with the Vice Chancellor/CDO and other development and seminary leadership, the Major Gifts Officer will secure major and principal gifts from individuals/families and foundations by:

- Designing and implementing a comprehensive major gifts strategy to achieve engagement, stewardship, cultivation and solicitation goals for assigned area

- Developing and managing an ambitious portfolio of donors and prospects in NYC and surrounding communities to identify, engage, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects, new donors, current donors, high net-worth individuals and their families, and community leaders

- Building and enhancing donor and prospect relationships while working creatively to discover and cultivate new donors in addition to current donors

- Conducting independent researchwith the support of prospect research staffto qualify major gifts prospects.

- Maintaining on-going contacts with donors and prospects through a variety of programs, forums, visits, written communications and face-to-face meetings; the expectation is that this position will make a minimum of 5 such meetings a week with donors, prospects, and leadership.

- Working across academic and administrative departments and with volunteer, lay leadership, rabbinic leadership as well as faculty, staff and students at JTS to understand priorities, and engage them as needed to build strong donor relationships.

- Serving as an enthusiastic and well-informed spokesperson for JTS programs, accomplishments and message/mission of educating Jewish leaders; sharing new developments with selected donors and prospects

- Working closely with the Community Engagement department to plan programs for public outreach in the community to introduce and engage potential donors to JTS

- Cultivating and soliciting donors for all special events, dinners and parlor meetings; managing stewardship activities following signature events.

- Monitoring and tracking prospect and donor contact, status and next steps in moves management with extensive use of donor relationship management database (Millennium)

- Increasing donor participation in addition to meeting mutually agreed upon financial goals.

- Designing experiences for prospects (visits to campus, attending alumni events, exposure to academic and other JTS staff) that will strengthen their interest in JTS.

- Ensuring proper recognition and stewardship of donors, including reporting on their gifts, thank you letters, etc.


The ideal candidate will be an experienced development professional capable of clearly articulating a case for giving, raising both private and institutional funds, and demonstrating an authentic commitment to the mission and goals of the institution.

- At least 5-7 years of experience in financial resource development; including proven success in cultivating and closing major gifts ($25k+), and in building and maintaining long-term relationships with major individual donors and foundations.

- Success in increasing the effectiveness of development efforts through established objectives, performance standards and quantifiable benchmarks.

- Outstanding stewardship and relationship management skills

- Creative, innovative, and strategic inclinations; entrepreneurial, motivated self-starter with a high energy level,

- Capacity to plan and prioritize responsibilities, work autonomously and multi-task, yet with flexibility to work in an ever changing work environment.

- High standard for quality and productivity, focusing on results.

- A diplomatic problem solver who is able to build consensus and engender cooperation between lay leaders and professionals from the breadth of interests and perspectives in the community.

- Solid presentation skills, with the ability to share an authentic passion for the mission and to inspire individuals and audiences.

- Strong interpersonal skills with the intellectual and emotional depth, maturity and collaborative skills to work effectively across the entire organization and all levels.

- A good listener and effective and persuasive communicator with demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication.

- Ability and desire to work as part of a warm, compassionate and empathetic team.

- A strong work ethic, ability to maintain and model high personal, ethical and professional standards, as well as an outgoing and positive personality; a sense of humor and perspective are considered assets.

- A demonstrated understanding of the networks of the Jewish philanthropic community in the New York City area; a demonstrated ability to engage various groups within this community.

- Skills and discipline to use donor and contact management systems and other technologies necessary in a national fundraising structure.

- Experience with capital campaign fundraising and solicitations would be beneficial.

- Experience with office software and data management systems is required;

- A Bachelors degree is required.


Steven J. Goldberg, Consultant
Tani Weissman, Jr. Associate

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

This search began in November 2017 and is currently active. This position description is based upon material provided by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, an equal opportunity employer.