Open Position Announcement
Sh’ma Institute: Market Development Director
Sh’ma exposes readers and users to multiple perspectives (eilu v’eilu) on a wide-range of topics through a Jewish lens, thereby promoting Jewish sensibilities.
Since Sh’ma’s founding in 1970 by Rabbi Eugene Borowitz, the primary product has been a monthly theme-based print journal averaging between 20 and 24 pages; Sh’ma has also periodically hosted educational salons. Over the past 5 years, Sh’ma has added a digital edition and daily blog. The journal has accrued a small but influential readership and has a well-regarded brand.
Sh’ma’s Editor-in-Chief has a long and successful tenure of recruiting, curating and editing both well-known and new Jewish voices across a broad spectrum of opinion and belief. The Online Editor brings new networks, technology, and energy to the organization, and has developed new content to broaden Sh’ma’s product line and audience. The current Publisher has been a part-time volunteer since 2009 when Sh’ma was divested from its prior organizational home. At that time, Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation (LKFF) established the Sh’ma Institute as an independent 501(c)3 and pledged to provide primary financing for Sh’ma to develop its next-generation strategy. (Modest other income comes from subscription revenue and donations from foundations and individuals.)
The starting premise of LKFF is that it is critically valuable to expose people to Jewish sensibilities. LKFF views Sh’ma as possessing the potential to exponentially increase its reach and impact, exposing dramatically more readers/users to Jewish sensibilities.
Sh’ma now needs an entrepreneurial market developer to experiment and prototype new products in order to generate optimal products for target audiences in a financially sound manner. This assignment is a one-year contract position, which may evolve into a full time position based upon the results of the experiments and organizational needs.
Discover opportunities and create products/partnerships that will dramatically increase the reach and impact of Sh’ma.
- Prioritize target reader/user segments in collaboration with the Sh’ma and LKFF teams; identify their relevant unmet needs.
- Prioritize various potential distribution channels – both transactional and partnerships – in collaboration with Sh’ma and LKFF teams; identify their unmet needs relevant to serving target readers/users.
- Develop new product prototypes in collaboration with Sh’ma editorial team members and distribution channels that meet the needs of target readers/users.
- Manage all aspects of in-field experiments to learn and refine the Sh’ma products and market approaches that attract and retain readers/users. Isolate roadblocks and be creative in finding paths forward.
- Generate and test revenue models that validate the value of Sh’ma to readers/users and distribution channels. (This does not need to be a self-sustaining earned income model given that philanthropic subsidies will be provided for successful products and market approaches.)
- Share learnings with the Sh’ma Institute board on regular basis for enrichment and guidance and, by the end of the contract, generate recommendations for wider launch.
Success requires a hands-on, “fail fast, fail cheap” approach, prototyping in the field and getting real-time feedback from readers/users and distribution channels.
- Bachelors of Arts in entrepreneurship, journalism, communications, or related field desired. MBA nice-to-have.
- Start-up experience on market side.
- Experience in product development, market development, and/or channel development.
- Experience working (and networking) in Jewish organizational world. (Volunteering in Jewish community an acceptable proxy.)
- Non-profit experience a plus.
- Experience generating, measuring, and validating strategies.
Deadline-driven environment; multiple projects and responsibilities; parallel projects; must be responsive to market and unexpected situations. Skillful at conceptual and hands-on learning, project management, and delivery of services.
Travel to spend time on-site with “customers” required. Strong preference will be given to candidates in Greater NYC and San Francisco Bay Area. Compelling candidates elsewhere will be considered.
Apply by sending your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to:
Recruiters, search agencies, or others referring candidates without written authorization from Sh’ma will not be compensated in any way for their referral even if Sh’ma hires the candidate.