From camp to campus: Ken Kramarz goes to Hillel

Canoeing, arts and crafts and archery will not be a part of Ken Kramarz’s new job. Especially the archery.

The former director of Camp Tawonga stepped down in late 2005 after 25 years on the job and will soon begin his new job with Hillel.

As director of campus advancement for Northern California, Kramarz is taking over the position Paul Cohen created and performed in so successfully that the national Hillel movement hopes to adopt his model for the rest of the country.

In the last decade Cohen, working with the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, broke the top-down, stratified Hillel model. Instead, Cohen’s model gave each Northern California Hillel its own autonomy, with Cohen serving as a consultant and “executive coach” to Hillel boards and directors.

“He created a system of support that really was about enabling each Hillel, its executive board and its staff to deliver the best possible service to the community at the lowest possible cost,” explained Kramarz.

The requirements for Kramarz’s new job look as if they were culled from his own resume.

“They were looking for someone who was an executive with 15 to 20 years of experience who had good relations with the federation and all of our important foundations and who supported the idea of executive coaching,” he said, adding that he’s still executive-coaching for Tawonga and other organizations, and will continue to do so.

His new post will have him meeting with major federation donors on one day and 19-year-olds the next. And that’s how he likes it. Any given day may see him striding across the campus at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State, U.C. Davis, Sacramento State, Chico State, San Jose State or Sonoma State. He’ll deal with the unique challenges of each campus and more uniform puzzles such as board development, maximizing personnel budgets and capital development.

“I’m happy to inherit this,” he said of his job.

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.