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Executive Director, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

Executive Director Position Description

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City Region)
Background & Setting
Mission Statement
The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.

Whom We Serve
We serve people of all faiths and cultures in Kansas, western Missouri, and elsewhere in the Midwest. Our programs reach teachers, students (primarily grades seven through college), and civic and community groups.

Our History and What We Do
The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) was founded in 1993 by Holocaust survivors Isak Federman and Jack Mandelbaum.  Located at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park, MCHE reaches thousands of youths and adults each year through school and community outreach programs, often offered in cooperation with other not-for-profits.
MCHE currently has more than 400 individual members.  An operating endowment totaling over $2 million is prudently invested to ensure the future operations of the organization.  Other sources of revenue include annual memberships, grants, tribute donations, and program fees, as well as sales of books and documentary films based on local testimony of eyewitnesses to the Holocaust.  MCHE is a not-for-profit corporation and a tax-exempt charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).  At the invitation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, MCHE joined the Federation’s list of partner agencies in June 1996.  Within the family of Federation agencies, MCHE is unique in the bridges it builds to the non-Jewish community.  This priority is reflected in our Board of Directors, more than one-third of which is not Jewish.

MCHE is an active member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO). 

Through a study of the Holocaust and the stories of the people who experienced it, MCHE seeks to increase compassion and understanding. We teach what can happen within a democratic society when hatred and bigotry go unchallenged.  We encourage individual responsibility by showing how the actions of one person can make a difference.  We relate the events of the past to contemporary issues of intolerance.

MCHE serves a diverse population in terms of age, religion, race, economic status, ethnicity, and gender. Programs reach both the Jewish and general community, including students and teachers in public, private, and parochial settings, primarily grades seven and up. We focus on the Kansas City metropolitan area, serving as a resource for other communities on a case-by-case basis.
Multiple community partnerships reflect the scope of our mission.  MCHE’s programs include presentations by children of survivors, an annual White Rose Student Essay Contest, teacher education, including a cadre of professional educators who serve as teacher-trainers and mentors, an academic roundtable of college and university faculty, adult learning opportunities, an annual film series, commemorative programs, as well as special lectures and exhibits.  Our library houses a witness archive and more than 3,000 titles available for free loan.  Traveling resource collections are loaned to secondary school classrooms.  MCHE also has developed resources to preserve local connections to the Holocaust.

Position Overview
MCHE’s Executive Director (ED) must be a compassionate, energetic, collaborative leader and a highly skilled individual, with the breadth and depth of diverse skills and experiences needed to guide a small nonprofit organization with a critical mission and a highly talented staff of three individuals, a corps of dedicated volunteers, an annual budget of over $400,000, and total assets of over $2.6 million, including a permanent endowment valued at over $2 million.

Experience in the field of education and the Holocaust is critical to success in this position.  This individual will fulfill the organization’s mission by proactively and effectively advancing program development and promotion, as well as communicating with stakeholders to advance name and purpose recognition.  Fundraising responsibilities include grant writing, donor cultivation and solicitation, and the supervision of annual membership campaigns.  

The ED will be the public face of MCHE, building strong relationships with donors, volunteers, partners, and educators.  The ED is expected to expand the network of support for programs and fundraising, as well as the future direction of the organization.  Building on established partnerships, the ED will convey a resonant narrative about MCHE and its programs that have a profound impact by teaching what can happen when hatred and bigotry go unchallenged.  The position carries with it the expectation of the ED’s presence at most evening and weekend programs offered by MCHE.

The ED reports directly to the Board of Directors and will work closely with the Board to develop and implement a strategic plan focused on growth in programming, revenues and operations.  The ED will foster strong relationships with local and regional educators and administrators, community leaders, media partners, donors, and other local nonprofit service providers who can collectively help advance MCHE’s mission.

General Responsibilities

1.    Leadership - Organization Mission, Strategy and Program Development & Advancement
a.         Ensures that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning, and community outreach.
b.         Responsible for oversight and support of development, marketing, and implementation of MCHE’s programs that carry out the organization’s mission.  Advises and participates in programming.  Works with program director to design projects that require grant funding.  Encourages and reviews program evaluation to share with Board of Directors.  Ensures strategic plan alignment in program development and implementation.
c.          Ability to oversee implementation of technology platforms to support online program delivery and project management to set up and launch.
d.         Ability to seek partnerships/collaborations with other organizations to develop new opportunities for program marketing and delivery.
e.         Ensures support from existing clients (schools and public programs) and cultivates  stronger and deeper relationships with them.  Enhances growth and expansion into new client settings, including expanding MCHE’s footprint into schools outside the Kansas City metropolitan area.
f.          Responsible, in collaboration with the Board, for strategic planning to ensure that MCHE can successfully fulfill and sustain its mission into the future.
g.         Serves as the primary spokesperson to MCHE’s constituents, the media, and the general public.
h.         Promotes MCHE by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.
2.    Fundraising, Financial Performance and Viability
a.         Develops resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.  Manages fundraising and business development including oversight and support of all such efforts.  Manages and supports all grant writing and fundraising events.  Supervises and plans for membership retention and expansion.  Develops relationships with foundation funders and major donors.  Oversees annual membership campaign.
b.         Responsible for the fiscal integrity of MCHE, including submission to the Board of the annual budget and accurate monthly financial statements.
c.          Responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintains the organization in a positive financial position.  Manages the annual external audit process.
3.    Organization Operations
a.         Manages staff and volunteers to deliver the mission in an efficient and effective manner.
b.         Oversees and implements appropriate resource management to ensure that the operations of the organization are appropriate.
c.          Responsible for effective administration of MCHE’s operations.
d.         Responsible for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff.
e.         Responsible for signing agreements and other instruments on behalf of the organization, consistent with Board authorization.
4.    Board Governance and Support
The ED carries out the strategic guidance and other directives of the Board of Directors.  The ED directs the day-to-day business of the corporation including the supervision of MCHE’s employees.  The ED supports all committees of the Board of Directors and is an ex-officio member of each such committee.  The ED is responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing in a timely and accurate manner all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.


The Executive Director is directly responsible to the Board of Directors and performs other duties as the Board may designate from time to time in keeping with the nature of the position of ED.
 Professional Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in a related field required. Related Graduate degree preferred.
  2. At least 5 years of senior management team experience in a collaborative work environment with demonstrated successes in both operations and fundraising.  Leadership experience in a nonprofit setting strongly preferred.
  3. Knowledge of the Holocaust and its implications for today - required.
  4. Experience in education and understanding of school administration – required.
  5. Familiarity with the Kansas City Community (Jewish and non-Jewish) is a plus.  Must be able to support and develop fundraising/community outreach, as well as continue and enhance adult and student learning programs, and other educational opportunities with the nonprofit community.
  6. Appreciation for the value of strategic planning and implementation.
  7. Excellent writing and speaking skills.  Ability to communicate with both professional and public audiences and with the media.
  8. Solid, hands-on personnel and budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting.
  9. Knowledge of fundraising and marketing strategies, and of donor relations unique to nonprofit sector.
  10. Ability to interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups.
  11. Commitment to significant evening/weekend program attendance with occasional out-of-town travel to attend conferences.

Salary and Benefits
Salary and benefits are negotiable, commensurate with leadership experience and professional successes, competitive with similar agencies as well as geographic norms.  Must be willing to relocate to the Kansas City region if you are an out-of-state candidate.  Limited relocation expenses are negotiable.


MCHE does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or military status.

Application Process

To apply for this position, submit resume and cover letter to:
Stacy Van Der Tuuk Benson, Secretary and Member, Board of Directors: stacyvdtb@gmail.com
Copy to Karl Zobrist, President, Board of Directors: karl.zobrist@dentons.com with a paper copy addressed to him at: 4520 Main Street, Suite 1100, Kansas City MO 64111. 
In your cover letter please provide details regarding your experience developing, leading, and implementing strategic planning initiatives, budget processes, and personnel management.  Please also highlight relevant advanced degrees or certifications regarding your expertise in the primary duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director position.  Please include detailed professional biography.

Job Type: Full Time