Executive Director

Walder Operations D/B/A Walder Institute Chicago, IL

Position Overview

The Executive Director is a pivotal member of the Walder Operations d/b/a Walder Institute (“WI”) Leadership Team. The Executive Director is chiefly responsible for overseeing and representing WI and three dynamic programs advancing education for Chicago’s burgeoning Orthodox Jewish community: Walder Jewish Education, Walder STEAM Education, and Kehillah Fund (the “Programs”). 

The Executive Director demonstrates superior leadership, a collaborative spirit, and an ability to provide strategic direction and management, and will lead WI through a transformative phase of change and growth, expanding the organization’s local impact and global reach. This role requires the exercise of discretion and independent judgment, as well as specialized knowledge and training related to secular and religious education and fundraising. 


  • Work closely with the Board Chair to evaluate the success and impact of current Programs, design and develop new offerings, and maintain strong relationships with the community members served by the organization. 
  • Oversee all aspects of WI’s operations, including but not limited to strategic planning, fundraising, program development, community engagement, and staff leadership. 
  • Supervise, direct, and oversee all activities of the Programs, with overall strategic and operational responsibility for staff, operations, expansion, and execution of mission and vision.
  • Work closely with the Vice President of Programs to promote effective implementation of the organization’s vision and strategy.
  • Develop, maintain, and be accountable for a deep knowledge of WI’s core educational offerings and general day-to-day operations, including Kehillah Fund fundraising activities, and direct oversight of the Program leaders.
  • Represent WI externally in the community, at events, with external contacts, stakeholders, and donors, and as a spokesperson to promote WI’s mission, events, Programs, and initiatives, as needed.
  • Consult with the Board of Directors (the “Board”) as requested, report overall operational and financial status to the Board Chair on a regular basis, and recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals of the Programs.
  • Regularly interface with CFO and Human Resources of Walder Group regarding administration, budgeting, planning, public awareness, and fundraising.
  • Ensure ongoing secular and religious education programmatic excellence, which includes regular rigorous evaluation of educational programing components in light of the needs of the Chicago Jewish community. 
  • Demonstrate excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain the Programs’ high-performing senior management teams.
  • Foster positive team culture, drive team development and ongoing education, and inspire and develop excellence within each of the Programs’ teams.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations, in coordination and collaboration with the Walder communications teams, with the goal of creating a stronger brand for all Programs.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner trust, recognition, and new opportunities in the Orthodox Jewish community.
  • Participate in ongoing strategic planning for the Programs as appropriate, in consultation with the Board.
  • Maintain full understanding and commitment of the mission, vision, and values of each of the Programs, their relationships to one another and the broader community, and the Programs’ respective charitable goals.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board Chair.


  • A visionary thought leader with demonstrated experience in leading change and community building.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Strong grasp of secular and religious education program requirements and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Strong familiarity with the Orthodox Jewish community.
  • Proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience of large and diverse teams.
  • Strong public relations experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Ability to quickly process information and make decisions. 
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Proactive approach in identifying potential and actual problems, and resolving them.

Minimum Education and Experience

  • Relevant Masters or advanced degree, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 8+ years of related senior management experience, including significant nonprofit experience within the Jewish Day School educational environment and/or operating foundation experience preferred.

Compensation & Benefits

WI offers competitive compensation, comprehensive benefits, and an opportunity to work with a talented and driven team in a fast-paced, dynamic industry. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

WI encourages applicants from all backgrounds to apply, including those with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

WI is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to create an equitable environment for all members of its community.  WI is committed to building a team and a work environment that is welcoming and inclusive of a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills, and is committed to providing employees, interns, grantees and partners with an environment free of discrimination and harassment.  WI employs individuals based on individual qualifications and job requirements without regard to that individual’s race, sex, age, religion or belief, color, national origin, ethnic origin, physical, mental or sensory disability, medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, past or present military status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, HIV status, housing status, or any other non-merit factor. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training.

To Apply

If you are interested in learning more about the position, please reach out to: search@scottgoldbergconsulting.com.