Executive Director

The Tree of Life* Or L’Simcha Congregation


Website The Tree of Life* Or L’Simcha Congregation


The Tree of Life Congregation was founded more than 150 years ago in 1864, Or L’Simcha in 2005. In 2010, the two Pittsburgh congregations merged to form Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha. As a conservative Jewish congregation, Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha remains true to traditional teachings, yet is also progressive and relevant to the way we live today.

With a warm, inviting and intellectually stimulating atmosphere to our fun adult, children and family programs, it is an environment to grow a strong faith rooted in tradition.

With broken hearts, we are mourning the victims of the attack on our community on October 27, 2018. Members of our congregation were lost, as were members of the Dor Hadash and New Light congregations that share in our space. We grieve for our loved ones, for those who were injured and for all those among us whose pain is beyond measure. In the face of this cruel act, Jewish Pittsburgh and those that support us in our faith have come together to comfort people in need of healing and in pledging to be stronger than hate.  The support shown across the nation and globe proves that together, we will heal and be ever more persistent in our fight against oppression and hate.

As Tree of Life begins the process of healing and rebuilding, we seek an Executive Director that will uplift our efforts to reestablish a home for our congregation and provide administrative expertise in what is a very complex and challenging environment.

Nonprofit Talent has partnered with the Board of Tree of Life in their search for an Executive Director to elevate the Congregation by providing financial, facility, programmatic and community leadership. 

Position Overview

Before the crime committed at Tree of Life, the Executive Director had retired from the Congregation.  Because of the position vacancy and the urgent need for organizational leadership, the Tree of Life Board of Trustees seeks to hire its next Executive Director. The Executive Director, as lay leadership of the congregation, is responsible for the daily operations of the Synagogue and works in partnership with the Rabbi to carry out the functions of the Congregation. He/she is responsible to the President and the Board of Trustees to execute the mission of the Congregation through the utilization of the appropriate staff and in conjunction with Board committees.

The Executive Director is primarily responsible for the following:

Financial Management

  • Operations
    • Direct and maintain accounting functions for the various funds within the Congregation.
  • Reporting
    • Oversee the production of financial and related statements including cash flow, budget analysis, fund balances, etc.
    • Report monthly to various indicated committees, and the Board of Trustees, the status of various funds.
    • Prepare preliminary financial budget for the Budget Committee.
    • Maintain and upgrade financial information systems.
  • Auditing
    • Internally, implement procedures and controls to assure the integrity of the accounting system.
  • Externally, work with auditors to facilitate their recommendations.


  • Track, acknowledge and respond to all gifts received.
  • Develop and annual Development Plan of activity and timelines.
  • Work cooperatively with the Board to establish a capital-funding plan for the reconstruction of the Synagogue. 

Strategic Planning

  • Work cooperatively with the Board to execute Strategic Planning.
  • Develop long-range financial plans and budgets with the Treasurer and the Board of Trustees.

Membership and Communications

  • Membership Recruitment
    • Develop strategy and materials. Act as dues arbiter.
  • Internal and External Communications
    • Implement guidelines of the Public Relations Committee.
    • Develop a comprehensive strategy to attract new members and to inform general community of congregational activities.
    • Maintain and upgrade the congregational web site and other electronic means of external communication.

Facilities Usage, Buildings and Grounds Maintenance

  • Lead the efforts of the Board in planning for the rebuilding of the Temple.
  • Facilities usage including space allocation for congregants and non-congregants
  • Housekeeping
  • Oversee maintenance and repair staff
  • Cemetery Management

Board Relations

  • Provide support for all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees.
  • Provide historical, programmatic and leadership support to congregational Committees and Task Forces.
  • Attend meetings of the constituent groups and support their activities.

Communal Functions of the Congregation

  • Represent the Congregation at various communal agencies.
  • Participate in the planning of congregational activities, including worship, education (youth and adult), social and social action.
  • Participate in the National Association of Temple Administrators. 

Performance Objectives

In the near term, the Executive Director is expected to assist the Board and Rabbi in managing the current crisis environment and successfully address the following:

  • Develop a trust-based partnership with the Rabbi and the Board.
  • Work cooperatively with the Board to establish fundraising protocols.
  • Communicate with donors and members to demonstrate the appreciation of TOLOLS for the outpouring of support.
  • Evaluate and make recommendations on the staffing structure of the organization.
  • Assess the technological needs of the Congregation and develop a technology plan.
  • Participate with the TOLOLS Committee in developing options and implementing for building reconstruction.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The ED will lead with an appreciation for the history, the current status and the future of Tree of Life.  All candidates should have exceptional and proven management, leadership, and relationship management experience and possess a combination of the following attributes:

  • A dedication and appreciation for the Conservative Jewish community.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred.
  • Previous nonprofit leadership experience.
  • Comfortable in professional environments that are fluid and evolving.
  • Creative and innovative approaches to planning and management.
  • A natural leader that establishes trust quickly.
  • Knowledge of membership organizations and their unique needs.
  • Strong financial acumen, management ability and an ethical servant leader approach to work.
  • Integrity and trust beyond reproach. Composure in all situations, even when under stress.
  • Personal values that include generosity, compassion, honesty, enthusiasm, energy, stamina, and humility.
  • Advanced experience and comfort with various technology platforms.
  • Excellent communication skills, including verbal, written and public speaking.
  • Prior demonstrated successful experience with identifying and securing private and public funding through fundraising and government/community relations.
  • Generous with time and willingness to do all that it takes to stay engaged with the many faceted parts of the congregation.


While donations have been abundantly generous, they are primarily directed to the victims and families.  Operational funds of Tree of Life are limited; however, we acknowledge the critical need for lay leadership of our congregation.  The salary for the position is $100,000.

How to Apply

Nonprofit Talent is managing the search for Tree of Life as a community partner.  Interested individuals wishing to confidentially discuss this opportunity may contact Michelle Pagano Heck, Principal at Michelle@NonprofitTalent.com. Applications are not accepted at this email address. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact Tree of Life.

Resume, position specific cover letter, and salary expectation may be uploaded here: 


APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY 5 pm on January 31, 2019


Tree of Life is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this job please visit nonprofittalent.applytojob.com.