The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, has named Solly Hess its chief development officer for Southern NCSY.
In this role, Hess will be responsible for overseeing the regional fundraising team, the strategic growth of the region’s annual campaign and direct solicitation of major gifts. He will help to identify programs that meet donor interests and coordinate with Southern NCSY’s programming team to ensure that they can execute those programs in a most impactful way for teens across the region.
Hess was chosen for this position for his previous success in securing major gifts, his history of streamlining and managing fundraising teams, and his unique understanding of the impact that successful NCSY programming can have on a teen’s Jewish foundation.
Southern NCSY is the local branch of the Orthodox Union’s international youth movement serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. The group is dedicated to connecting, inspiring and empowering Jewish teens and encouraging passionate Judaism through Torah and tradition. The group provides innovative, informal Jewish education, leadership training, retreats and summer programs that foster positive Jewish identity and connection to Israel, preparing the next generation of committed Jewish communal leaders.
“Solly is a dynamic communal professional with extensive experience in development and community engagement,” said Southern NCSY Executive Director Todd Cohn. “In his new role, he will play a key role in ensuring the financial backing for programs which are integral to so many teens’ individual Jewish experiences, education and future.”
Hess comes to his new role after serving as director of institutional advancement for the OU West Coast region. He previously served as the western states’ regional director for the OU’s Karasick Department of Synagogue & Community Services where he worked closely with rabbis and shuls on the West Coast. He began his professional career in West Coast NCSY in 2007 serving as Los Angeles city director befor assuming the mantle of West Coast NCSY regional director in 2010.
“NCSY is an incredible program which plays a huge role in impacting the day-to-day lives of so many teens and their relationship with our heritage, values and faith,” said Hess. “I am excited to rejoin a movement that’s been the fabric of my own identity for so long and to lead the team responsible for supporting the programming and services NCSY offers.”
Between roles at the OU, Hess served as the major gifts director at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where, in addition to managing a portfolio of hospital supporters, he reignited the corporate giving division after years of dormancy.
Hess received his master’s of business administration from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College.
Hess is relocating to Boca Raton with his wife, Sasha, and their three children.
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.