Executive Director

Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy Published: September 13, 2021
Remote, United States of America
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director / Outreach / Advocacy / Program Management
(Number of Job Posting Views: 2)

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Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy was founded in 2012 by social justice activist and scholar Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, actor Mayim Biyalik, and recording artist Matisyahu, stemming from their shared commitments to advancing Judaism's emphasis on the compassionate treatment of all animals. 

Since its inception, Shamayim has been putting the Jewish mandate to prevent the unnecessary suffering of animals on the Jewish Agenda. Shamayim serves as an educational resource and community builder, training leaders and creating spaces for Jews to explore and strengthen their understanding of animal welfare issues and veganism. Additionally, Shamayim collaborates and partners with other Jewish and animal advocacy organizations that share the goal of reducing the suffering of all animals.

Today, Shamayim distinguishes itself in the field with a unique focus on Jewish ethics and scholarship, nuanced strategies for change, and inspiring the Jewish world to think more deeply about its relationship to animals.

Among Shamayim's core programs have been: The Synagogue Vegan Challenge that provides funding for Jewish communities who commit to offering vegan programming for a full year, a Campus Fellowship Program that trains Jewish college students to speak compellingly about the relationship between Judaism and veganism and animal welfare, and its signature event, an annual Jewish Vegan Retreat, which provides an inspiring weekend led by leaders from different corners of the Jewish and animal advocacy worlds.

  • Click here for more information about Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy.  

Position Overview

Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy seeks a visionary Executive Director who is passionate about its mission and excited to lead the organization through its next stage of development, growth, and impact. Reporting to and working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead efforts to define strategic priorities and set a course for the future.

As Shamayim’s sole full-time employee, the Executive Director will serve as the public face of and spokesperson for Shamayim and will be a critical voice in refining, setting the tone for, and advancing the organization’s public messaging. The Executive Director will lead all operations, including oversight of the organization’s programs, finances, the development of policies and procedures, and fundraising. 

This is a unique opportunity for an entrepreneurial non-profit leader and enthusiastic fundraiser to put their stamp on a growing organization and make a lasting impact.

The successful candidate will be committed to, or on the journey towards, compassionate eating and living, and has a desire to lead and/or promote deep thinking around animal welfare, justice-based activism, Jewish veganism, and Jewish spirituality.

Location & Schedule: The role allows for a flexible work schedule and is fully remote. While some travel will be required, the Executive Director can be based anywhere in the United States. 


Among other priorities, the Executive Director will be charged with diversifying the fundraising base, raising the public visibility of the organization among constituents, in the media, and in academic circles, and ensuring all organizational offerings align with Shamayim’s focus on the intellectual aspects of the ethical treatment of animals from a Jewish perspective.

In addition, the successful Executive Director will:

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide strategic vision for Shamayim in service of its mission; engage in a strategic planning process aimed at building Shamayim’s capacity to develop programs and campaigns that engage more stakeholders and promote positive, systemic change in the wider Jewish community
  • Ensure that the programs, budget, and priorities are aligned with Shamayim’s core mission and values
  • Serve as an ambassador and spokesperson for Shamayim, raising the public visibility of the organization and its mission, attracting potential donors and talent, and deepening Shamayim’s impact
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the CEO/Founder and Board; promote board engagement in strategic planning and resource development; keep the board informed of all organizational matters 

Development & Communications

  • Act as the primary driver of fundraising efforts, including grant applications and donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Serve as a “face” of Shamayim with donors
  • Develop and maintain partner and donor relationships, including developing and attracting new funding and deepening connections with current donors 
  • Develop and coordinate public relations and media efforts that include coalition building and collaboration with other community organizations, businesses, and partners
  • Keep apprised of developments and trends in vegan, Jewish, and animal welfare fields


  • Design and manage the day-to-day operations, including organizing/overseeing all events and programs, grant reporting and compliance, and the hiring and/or development of any staff
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization, monitor the budget, and ensure sound financial planning and controls are in place 
  • Create systems and processes that facilitate donor tracking, data collection, and promote consistency throughout the organization


This position requires a leader who can work collaboratively with individuals across various ideological spectrums, successfully communicate with many distinct audiences, navigate unexpected challenges, and embrace the mission-driven focus of an organization committed to having the Jewish community think about and, in some ways, reconsider its relationship with animals.

The successful Executive Director will also possess the following:

  • Commitment to the ethical treatment of animals; desire and ability to cultivate spaces for deep thinking around animals and the Jewish approach to their welfare
  • Experience with and a demonstrated understanding of nonprofit management, operations, and growth; ability to build an internal infrastructure to support a mission
  • Fundraising skills: experience with grant applications and management, and the cultivation, stewardship, and securing of gifts from individual donors and/or foundations; understanding of how to employ expeditiously Shamayim’s founders and board members in the process
  • Experience operationalizing a vision; ability to map, operationalize and implement short and long-term organizational plans
  • Equity mindset that welcomes and encourages a diversity of opinions and viewpoints; ability to interact and engage comfortably with a wide variety of constituents, board members, donors, and community partners
  • Excellent public speaking, written and verbal communication skills; extrovert who enjoys getting out in the community and generating excitement; ability to create on-mission messaging that strikes a positive, persuasive tone 
  • Financial acumen: able to design and prepare budgets and set financial priorities
  • Open and collaborative management and leadership style. Comfort with soliciting input from others while still being decisive and independent in the decision-making process
  • Comfort utilizing technology to track and collect data, work and meet remotely, and promote the organization on a variety of online platforms

This position description is based upon material provided by Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy, an equal opportunity employer.

Debbie Katz, Search Specialist

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