Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
 
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam


 
Editor's Report: Jewish Federation of Winnipeg Once Again Looks for Chief Executive Officer

by Rhonda J Spivak, June 16, 2015

 

 

 

The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg will once again be conducting a search for a Chief Executive Officer.

 

I am going to take the time to outline what in my view ought to be the ideal qualifications for a CEO of the Jewish Federation for our community.  I believe it is an appropriate time for the Federation leadership to take the time to reflect on the ideal traits for a future CEO:


 1. Honesty and Integrity: A CEO of the Jewish Federation in my view ought to be always above board, honourable, fair and trustworthy in his or her dealings. He or she must be a "mensch." He or she must understand what the role of a CEO is and must respect the limits of the power placed on a CEO. Ultimately a CEO is accountable to his or her executive and board, and to Federation's donors, who entrust the organization with charitable dollars. A CEO is not a King or Queen and the Jewish Federation is not his or her personal fiefdom.


2. Strong Interpersonal Skills: A Federation CEO must have strong interpersonal skills and judgement, and must be able to build one on one relationships with people, and cultivate donors.  A Federation CEO must be a "people person." (People give to people, and nice causes, too.)


3. Strong Fundraising Skills: In my respectful opinion, a Federation CEO must have polished and professional fundraising skills. There is no question that a key and core component of this job is as a fundraiser. It is a competitive market out there-with many Jewish and non-Jewish charities competing for dollars. The Federation ought not in my opinion to ever hire anyone who is not a "thorough bred" fundraiser, hoping that he or she can learn how to fundraise on the job. The importance of this cannot be underestimated in a community where the Jewish Foundation is not an arm of the Federation. In many if not most Canadian communities, a Jewish Foundation is an arm of a Jewish Federation-they are not separate entities.  Therefore, in Toronto or Vancouver for example, the Foundation and Federation work hand in hand to fund the community's priorities.

 

In these cities, a Jewish Foundation is not granting money to non-Jewish causes, or serving as a vehicle for Jewish donors to give to non-Jewish causes in any way. Jewish donors certainly do give to non-Jewish general causes in these communities, but never through a Jewish Foundation.

 

The sole and only purpose of a Jewish Foundation in these cities is to lengthen the life of a Jewish community, and the principles on which money is granted only have to do with Jewish continuity. In our community, because the Federation and Foundation are separate entities, the CEO's of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation could at times potentially be competing against each other for the same donors.  That means if a Foundation CEO is a better fundraiser than a Federation CEO, the result may be that as a community  we put more away in endowment funds, including non-Jewish causes, for the future when current Jewish community needs are not being met. This could turn out to be a mistaken approach from the point of overall Jewish continuity. 

 

There ought not be a disparity between the fundraising abilities of the CEO of the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation. 

 

[Note: This year due to the fact that the CJA campaign came in with over a $110,000 less than it was last year, every beneficiary agency across the Board was cut by about  3 %]

 

4. MEMBER OF SYNAGOGUE

 

Should a CEO of a Jewish Federation be a member of a synagogue?

Does the Federation which defines itself as providing leadership in the issue of Jewish continuity think that its CEO ought to be a member of a synagogue (i.e. a permanent structure with a congregation that regularly meets, as opposed to a place where people meet once a year for high holidays)? In my view, a CEO of a Jewish Federation ought to want to be a role model and to thereby join a synagogue with his or her family, thus contributing to the maintenance and well-being of synagogue life in this community. If a CEO of a Jewish Federation does not join a synagogue, what kind of message is a Federation sending? i.e. If everyone followed this message and did not join a synagogue, then we would not have any ordained Rabbis in this community, or kosher kitchens or congregations who meet regularly for prayer and life cycle events. I do not believe it is a good sign if a CEO of a Jewish Federation is not a synagogue member, or planning to become one. It's a sign that the potential candidate is not a strong candidate when it comes to issues of Jewish continuity.

 

5. JEWISH EDUCATION  

Should the children of a Federation CEO be attending the Gray Academy or ought they have sent their children to a Jewish day school? I think that this is the best model. If not, then the Federation ought to be wondering how they are going to answer the question of why a CEO it hires is not a proponent of a school system which is the largest beneficiary of a Federation.

 

6. WALK THE WALK

A CEO's behavior and characteristics ought to be consistent with the overall tenets of Judaism--since he or she is tasked with encouraging and preserving Jewish continuity. It's not enough to talk the talk, one needs to walk the walk.

 

7. NO CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:

The candidate must not have an actual or apparent conflict of interest. 

A CEO's duty is to the organization and he or she must not involve themselves in any activities which could give rise to a conflict of interest. A CEO must go out of his or her way to ensure he or she is not involved in any conflicts of interest that would compromise the integrity of the organization.

 

 8. MEDIA SKILLS
In my view, a CEO ought to respect and understand the media. If he or she doesn't not know an answer to a question posed by the media, then he or she ought not to make something up on the spot. A CEO ought to say "I'll get back to you," take time to consider the issue in its complexity and then respond. If a Federation CEO does not have proper media skills, it's not a good sign. Should a Federation

 
<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • GTP
  • Jim Muir
  • Bruce Shefrin
  • Fair Service
  • Eddie's Gravel Supply Ltd.
  • Sveinson Construction
  • The Home Store
  • John Bucklaschuk
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • John Wishnowski
  • Stringer Rentals & Power Products
  • JLS Construction
  • Roseman
  • Dakota Chiropractic Office
  • Holiday Inn
  • Maric Homes
  • Artista Homes
  • Southwynn Homes
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Imperial Soap
  • Winnipeg Drapery
  • Ingrid Bennett
  • Chochy's
  • Interlake Service
  • Hugh's Electric
  • Lakeside Roofing
  • KC Enterprises
  • Bulrushes Gallery
  • Gulay Plumbing
  • Trevor Arnason Plumbing
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Dr. Gary Levine
  • Fetching Style
  • Winnipeg Prophecy Conference
  • Thorvaldson Care
  • Country Boy Restaurant
  • Total Lighting Sales
  • Shenanigan's On The Beach
  • Nikos
  • Sean Fisher
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Whytewold Emporium
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.