Executive Brief

Executive Director
Harvard Hillel

The Organization - Harvard Hillel

Harvard Hillel is the spiritual, social, and intellectual center of Jewish life at Harvard, providing a home for Jewish observance and learning on campus alongside a variety of programs designed to engage and inspire every Jewish (and Jewish-curious) student.

Programming is student-led, with vibrant Orthodox and Conservative minyanim and Reform community that offer religious services and a social core for many students. Harvard Hillel is a deeply pluralistic community that joyfully comes together at Shabbat dinner, holiday celebrations, Sunday bagel brunches, and themed study breaks – while taking time to learn from one another and reflect on Jewish identity and meaning.

Jewish life extends to the undergraduate Houses through student-sponsored menorah lightings and Passover seders, to the extended Harvard community through faculty dinners and intercultural initiatives, and beyond campus through social action programs and Hillel’s own outing club and a cappella group. Harvard Hillel also works closely with Jewish graduate student associations and leaders to cultivate the young adult community within and across campuses.

For non-Jewish Harvard College student leaders, Harvard Hillel offers its signature Israel Trek program, designed to share the many complexities of Israel’s land and people. The peer-led trip engages with Israeli and Palestinian politicians, activists, and civic leaders to build deep understanding of the issues from many perspectives. Jewish students can participate in a similar “Trek” extension to the traditional Birthright Israel program.

For the broader community, Harvard Hillel’s popular speaker series hosts world-renowned thinkers, writers, and leaders engaging on topics of interest, as well as a weekly Torah podcast and other topical programs.

Harvard Hillel's Mission:

Harvard Hillel is a Jewish home on campus that seeks to:

  • Welcome students to experience the variety of Jewish identity, tradition, practice, values, culture, and community.
  • Inspire and enable Jewish connection, celebration, and action.
  • Prepare students to join, create, shape, and lead Jewish communities; strengthen the Jewish people, and live proud Jewish lives.
  • Share Jewish sources, traditions, ideas, and innovations, and their relevance in our world.
  • Forge connection and engagement with the State of Israel.
  • Foster friendship in a nurturing and refreshing sanctuary amid the stresses of student life.
  • Engage the unique opportunities of Harvard and make Jewish thought and culture integral in the life of the University.

Being at college and away from family during the High Holidays isn't easy, but having a community as warm as Hillel's to celebrate with has been so special. Hillel has truly been a pillar of my Harvard experience, and I couldn't imagine navigating college life without having a place where I feel as comfortable and accepted as Harvard Hillel.

- Talia Levitt '25

The Opportunity - Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Harvard Hillel is pleased to announce the search for the Executive Director of Harvard Hillel. The Executive Director will be a people centered, inspiring leader and an experienced and strategic manager who is passionate and knowledgeable about Judaism and Israel. They are motivated to engage young adults on their Jewish journey and will play a key role building a strong community among students with a range of observance and backgrounds.

This is a career-defining opportunity for a seasoned leader who is personally driven by Jewish values and committed to building a pluralistic community that serves as an oasis for students and models civil discussion and debate. The Executive Director will have a strong connection to Israel and a deep commitment to advancing the development of the next generation of American Jewish leaders. The Director will have a strong connection to their own Judaism and to Israel, with a desire to seek new ways of engaging with and learning from one another.

The Executive Director will develop a skilled, collaborative, and creative professional team to engage, animate and support a remarkable community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, administrators and alumni. The Director will develop and manage a budget of $2M+ while cultivating and stewarding relationships to grow sustainable financial resources. Under the Executive Director’s leadership, Harvard Hillel will provide an exceptional experience to students of all backgrounds and interests, re-imagine its landmark building in the heart of Cambridge, and shape a vision for Hillel’s future role on campus and beyond.


Strategy & Vision:
  • Develop a dynamic, inclusive and high-energy student engagement strategy that reaches students on intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels – and creates a vision for how Hillel can contribute to their growth as Jewish adults and future leaders.
  • Shape the future vision for Harvard Hillel on campus and beyond, in partnership with the Board of Directors and student leaders
  • Work in collaboration with board leadership and staff to conceptualize the future use of our to-be-renovated building while leveraging the opportunity to experiment in new spaces during construction
  • Partner across the University chaplaincy, faculty and administration to find distinctive opportunities for collaboration that meaningfully advance our shared goals
  • Help to develop and lead a thoughtful, well-informed, and effective strategy to understand and influence the campus climate on Israel and anti-Semitism
Student Engagement:
  • Strengthen Hillel’s spiritual communities and create a broader portfolio of programming and a best-in- class outreach, engagement and development portfolio for students of all backgrounds and interests
  • Develop an expanded strategy for engaging graduate students, their partners, and other young adults
  • Amplify the work of student-facing staff by teaching, participating in campus programs, attending Shabbat and holiday celebrations, and staffing student events and trips
Organizational Management:
  • Hire, inspire, develop, supervise, and mentor a professional staff of 10+ that delivers on a vision of engagement, pluralism, inclusivity, and student leadership development
  • Ensure robust financial planning and management linked to programmatic goals and development plans
  • Ensure the smooth and efficient operation of Hillel facilities and functions
  • Cultivate a culture of excellence and accountability and build systems and supports for operational management, data collection and tracking, and professional development  including the creation of KPIs, goal setting and evaluation
Fundraising and Marketing:
  • Lead the fundraising and communications team to bring the annual fundraising strategy to the next level with compelling messaging and narratives and audience-specific outreach
  • Cultivate, solicit and steward major donors, local and national philanthropy and other sources of funding
  • Conceptualize and build a national alumni outreach and cultivation program, in conjunction with Hillel’s Development team
  • Spearhead a major building campaign in partnership with the Board and key donors over the next several years
Stakeholder Relations:
  • Serve as a mentor and advisor for undergraduate and graduate student leaders; engage with all students as a caring and valued presence
  • Build connections with Jewish faculty and relevant academic centers; identify mutually beneficial ways to collaborate
  • Steward key University relationships, including the University President, Provost, Deans of the College and graduate schools, University chaplains and other faith communities, Dining Services, and Admissions
  • Deepen channels of communication with alumni and parents
  • Establish a presence in the broader Cambridge and Boston-area Jewish community
  • Serve as a primary spokesperson for the organization, in coordination and collaboration with the student leadership and board, in promoting the organization's impact, addressing controversial issues across multiple constituencies, and providing inspirational messaging
  • Partner with the Board leadership to guide and enhance board member recruitment, engagement and development


Experience, Expertise, and Personal Qualities:
  • Organizational visioning and strategic planning, working closely with internal and external stakeholders
  • Operational and financial management, with demonstrated success developing and delivering on goals and KPIs
  • Fundraising experience including cultivating, soliciting and stewarding individual donors, as well as institutional philanthropy and other grantmakers
  • Charismatic leadership and enthusiasm for the work of community and culture building, with demonstrated communication and listening skills
  • Experience working with college students and young adults with demonstrated success fostering engagement and personal development
  • Knowledge of and comfort with a wide range of Jewish perspectives and practices, personal engagement with Jewish values, and a strong connection to Israel, along with deep belief in nuance on complex and controversial issues and an ability to navigate them with core values of mutual respect and caring
  • Intellectual curiosity and the ability to engage substantively with students, faculty, and administrators
  • Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred
Compensation and Benefits:
  • Competitive salary in the non-profit marketplace. The salary range for this role is $170,000-$210,000 depending upon skills, qualifications, and experience
  • Health insurance, retirement plan, life insurance, long term disability (LTD), vacation/sick time, and parental leave
  • Paid opportunities for professional development and peer engagement, mentoring, and skill-building
  • Opportunities for travel throughout the U.S. and to Israel
  • A supportive and committed board of lay leaders and faculty

Applications & Nominations:

Don’t check off all the boxes or meet every single requirement? We have learned that potential candidates hesitate when applying for a job unless they meet every single requirement. Boyden Boston is dedicated to inclusivity and valuing diversity and equity in the workplace. If this opportunity excites you, but your background may not be a perfect match, we still encourage you to apply.

Contact Information:

To explore this opportunity further, please send your resume in confidence to:

Wendy Wilsker
Managing Partner, Boston

Wendy Wilsker has dedicated her entire career to the non-profit sector, serving in leadership roles within charitable organizations and working alongside them as an executive recruiter and consultant. She excels at identifying the unique challenges and opportunities non-profits face, and partners with senior leadership to build successful organizational structures, teams and advancement programs.

Jill Coran
Executive Search Consultant, Boston

Jill Coran started her career as a recruiter. After many successful years, she naturally moved into Human Resources Management. Jill worked early in the dot com, biotechnology, and media fields. After taking time off to raise her daughter and twin boys, she went back to work for a multimedia company as their Human Resource Manager. In addition to recruiting, Jill negotiated and administered benefit programs, as well as managing employee relation issues. Jill’s passion has always remained connecting top talent with local and national organizations. Her goal is to build strong, long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with candidates and clients alike.

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