Executive Director

Executive Director

Executive Director 150 150 EosTransitions
January 16, 2023
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Lela Philbrook


Tzedek Social Justice Fund Seeks an Executive Director

The Tzedek Social Justice Fund (Tzedek) seeks an experienced and inspiring leader with a passion for collective liberation and social justice philanthropy. Tzedek is poised to deepen its work focused on LGBTQ justice, racial justice, and dismantling antisemitism and to strengthen its work advocating for social justice in philanthropy. Tzedek is looking for an Executive Director with proven competence in relationship-building, communications, community healing, and applying a systems analysis.

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About Tzedek

The Tzedek Social Justice Fund redistributes money, resources, and power to support systems change and community healing in Asheville, North Carolina. Through adaptive, trust-based philanthropy, we resist oppressive systems and work to transform our collective home into a place where everyone flourishes. Tzedek’s vision is rooted in Jewish social justice values, including equitable giving (Tzedakah), repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), and leadership (Hanhagah). We have been supporting and promoting the social justice work of leading progressive organizations since the late 1980s. For more information, go to https://tzedeksocialjusticefund.org.

Vision: We dream of a thriving Asheville, where everyone’s needs are abundantly met and where everyone is safe, respected, and celebrated. We believe that a community rooted in joy and love is possible.

Grantmaking: Tzedek is a small foundation that invests in movement organizations, grassroots projects, nonprofit organizations, and leaders working in the following areas: LGBTQ Justice, Racial Justice, and Dismantling Anti-Jewish Oppression. We also fund individuals who have engaged in systems change or community healing work in the Asheville region using the wisdom gained by directly navigating systems of oppression. Tzedek’s trust-based philanthropy prioritizes a process that centers its grantees’ expertise and self-determination, the provision of multi-year unrestricted funding, and an annual Community-Led Grantmaking program. Tzedek advocates in philanthropy and in other communities for systems and processes that serve our grantees and redistribute power. Our funding is focused within a 35-mile radius of Asheville, North Carolina. In 2021, Tzedek redistributed $1,566,000 in grants to 55 organizations and fiscally sponsored projects and to 44 individuals for past achievements.

Organization: Tzedek has an active five-year strategic plan through 2025 with four core strategies, which include: 1) Systems Change; 2) Community Healing; 3) Evaluation, Impact, Transparency, and Accountability; and 4) Internal Practices, Culture, and Organizational Development.  An additional strategy focused on Reparations was added in 2022, and as part of this strategy, Tzedek recently became the fiscal sponsor and incubator for the Reparations Stakeholder Authority of Asheville. Tzedek has values-aligned grantmaking strategies and internal policies, a Staff of five people, and an eight-member community-based Board of Trustees. Tzedek’s annual grantmaking budget is approximately $2 million and its annual operating budget is between $700,000 and $900,000 depending on additional programs.  Tzedek renews a contract with The Barbara and Morton Mandel Family Foundation annually, which provides its funding.

What we believe about how change happens:

  • We believe that those who are directly impacted by the oppressions we hope to end are the voices and leaders best equipped to determine which societal levers to push to enact change.
  • We know that systems change and collective community healing depend on multi-racial, multi-class, multi-ethnic, multi-faith, and gender and sexuality diverse movements.
  • We know that white nationalism and the rise of authoritarianism harm many, including Jewish, Black, people of color, LGBTQ, and nonbinary people.
  • We see the ways economic injustice is both a consequence of oppression and a tactic for undermining the freedom and wellbeing of oppressed people.
  • We know that white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and gender and sexuality-based oppression are interlocking systems of injustice.

Organizational Values and Practices:

  • Wide Reaching Community Engagement
  • Ongoing Learning
  • Humility
  • Bridge Building
  • Relationship Building
  • Systems Thinking and Out-of-the-Box Strategy
  • Prioritizing Impacted Leadership and Grassroots Organizations

The Opportunity

The next Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead a mission-driven, relationship-centered, and community healing-focused organization. High priorities for the Executive Director include:

Strategic Plan & Deepening the Work

Tzedek has a clear, thoughtful, and ambitious strategic plan through 2025. Because the organization has undergone several change processes over the past few years, it is now a time for Tzedek’s work to deepen, solidify and “grow its roots.”  The next leader will build on the solid foundation that has been set, focus on implementing the strategic plan, and ensure the organizational capacity to engage in the work.

Philanthropic Organizing

Tzedek strives to be co-conspirators for justice and liberation, and philanthropic organizing is one way of doing this. The new leader will continue and strengthen Tzedek’s work of organizing and advocating in philanthropy for social justice practices, transparency, and trust-based philanthropy – all while centering the work and wisdom of grantees.


Tzedek believes that reparations are a critical first step in correcting the historical inequities created by white supremacist systems specifically designed to codify anti-Black racism into the fabric of American society. As Tzedek becomes the fiscal sponsor and incubator of the Reparations Stakeholder Authority of Asheville, the new leader will be Tzedek’s point person to support the initiative.

Dismantling Antisemitism

Tzedek is committed to the growth of its work against antisemitism, internally as it further identifies its goals, values, and framework related to antisemitism work, and externally in relationship with community and grantees. This work is an opportunity for development and growth in the organization and a key component of our work for collective liberation.


Because Tzedek is currently not set up to exist in perpetuity and because community members are calling for Tzedek to continue its work and impact, the new leader will develop and implement plans to increase the organization’s sustainability.

The Ideal Candidate

While we recognize that candidates will not possess all of the following qualities, ideal applicants will exemplify a number of these attributes, skills, and experiences and will have the capability to lead a foundation of Tzedek’s size and scope. The expectation is that the Executive Director will work from Asheville, NC, where the office is located. Tzedek employees primarily work remotely and meet in person at the Tzedek office at least once a week.

A Visionary, Mission-Focused, and Strategic Leader

  • Knowledge of, passion for, and commitment to Tzedek’s mission, vision, and values
  • Brings an empathetic and mission-driven approach that engages community members, grantees, peer organizations, staff and board
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and execute a strategic organizational vision and plan
  • Proven track record of listening to community, assessing trends and aligning organizational values and work with community needs
  • Demonstrated ability to be an engaging public spokesperson and advocate in the nonprofit and philanthropic field focused on social justice and/or social justice philanthropy
  • An understanding of the needs and complexities of grassroots organizations, community organizing, and social change work in Asheville, NC

Compassionate and Transparent Leader

  • A joyful, empathetic, and emotionally intelligent leader who listens to, motivates, mentors, and appreciates staff
  • Ability to lead with wisdom, grace and humility
  • Demonstrated capacity for continuous learning and openness to discovery that supports the building of an adaptive, healing, and values-centered organizational culture that inspires trust and transparency
  • Ability to work with others to identify and solve problems with transparency and clarity
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively as a manager, including giving and receiving positive and constructive feedback, and proactively soliciting and integrating input from colleagues

A Seasoned Organizational Leader

  • Successful experience with nonprofit operations, management, and staff development, with effective demonstration of a joyful and learning-centered work culture that values equity, humor, interdependence, work-life balance, and open communication.
  • Understands budgeting, financial reporting, and analysis, with experience developing and monitoring an annual budget of at least $850,000+ in operations and $2.M in grants
  • Experience building strategic partnerships focused on fund development (for regranting and operations)
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with boards of directors and with board development
  • Ability to communicate with and serve as the liaison to the The Barbara and Morton Mandel Family Foundation and its financial advisors

An Authentic Communicator and Relationship Builder

  • Ability to engage, inspire, collaborate and partner with community, grantees, funders, and other stakeholders
  • Strong analytical skills, and the ability to synthesize and frame information to support dialogue on complex issues
  • Ability to raise awareness of Tzedek’s work across a range of communications channels, with strong oral, written, and storytelling skills
  • Proven ability to actively listen, speak constructively yet humbly, and be comfortable with public speaking and presentation to diverse audiences (grassroots community, philanthropic conferences, etc…)
  • Experience building cross-cultural relationships, and comfort moving between philanthropic spaces, conferences, grassroots events, and local organizations and communities

Systems Analysis and Commitment to Collective Liberation

  • Deep knowledge and understanding of the concepts, analysis, and terminology related to structural oppression and movement building
  • Experience working with grassroots and/or movement organizations
  • Familiarity and experience working with social justice concepts and frameworks such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ justice, dismantling antisemitism, gender analysis, economic justice, intersectionality, and collective liberation
  • Experience applying an intersectional lens to addressing complex problems
  • Understanding of systems of oppression, including knowledge of and a commitment to addressing toxic power dynamics inherent in philanthropic and non-profit sectors

Desired Credentials and/or Experience 

  • A minimum of 5 years of executive director (or senior leader) experience in a nonprofit organization or foundation
  • Expertise gained from directly navigating systems of injustice and systemic oppression in Jewish, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ communities
  • Experience in the philanthropic sector and/or grantmaking (volunteer or professional) is helpful
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish is a plus

How To Apply

Application Guidelines 

Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of Tzedek. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; the ideal start date is May 1, 2023.  The salary being offered is $100,000 at 32 hours per week (in alignment with Tzdek’s organizational culture and value of work/life balance, all full-time positions are 32 hours per week). More information about Tzedek’s benefits is below.

Send required documents to: https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/

People of color, LGBTQ individuals, those involved in dismantling antisemitism, and Asheville residents are strongly encouraged to apply. Tzedek Social Justice Fund is an equal opportunity employer. Tzedek Social Justice Fund considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.

Tzedek’s benefits package includes:

  • 31 days of paid time off including holiday, vacation, health leave, and personal days
  • Annual cost of living raise and annual longevity raise ($1,000 each)
  • Up to $5,850 annually through the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement for individuals and $11,800 for families to reimburse for health insurance premiums and medical expenses
  • An annual $500 contribution towards a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
  • 100% dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Employer contribution of 2% of salary to a SIMPLE IRA
  • Other benefits include: professional development opportunities, wellness stipend, phone plan, year-end bonus, and six week sabbatical after five years of employment

Regarding COVID-19:  Tzedek considers the health and safety of employees of the utmost importance. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and subject to state and local laws, our policy requires following the mandates and gathering capacity limits given by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Certain exemptions may be requested and will be considered.

This executive search is being conducted by Eos Transition Partners consultant Hez Norton. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions must be submitted to Hez Norton at: hnorton@eostransitions.com