ZOA's Mort Klein Gets 38% Pay Hike

Leader's Salary Increased Despite Losing Tax Status

Rubbing Elbows: Zionist Organization of America President Mort Klein got healthy pay increases even as the group failed to file required tax documents.
naomi zeveloff
Rubbing Elbows: Zionist Organization of America President Mort Klein got healthy pay increases even as the group failed to file required tax documents.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published September 28, 2012, issue of October 05, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The Zionist Organization of America’s president received a 38% raise in the years that the group failed to disclose its finances to the Internal Revenue Service, according to documents obtained by the Forward.

The IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of the hawkish Israel advocacy group in February after the organization missed three consecutive years of tax filings, the Forward revealed.

ZOA National President Morton Klein earned $315,385 in 2007, the last year for which filings are publicly available. His base compensation in 2011 was $435,050.

Meanwhile, the group’s total revenue was $1.4 million less in 2011 than in 2007.

“Mort has raised a lot of money over the years for an organization that was bankrupt when he took it over,” ZOA National Executive Director David Drimer told the Forward. “He might even be in the upper tier of CEO compensation in organizations our size, but I would submit that Mort wields far more influence in the marketplace of ideas about Israel and the Middle East than organizations with far deeper pockets than ours.”

In documents prepared for the IRS, the ZOA claimed that it had $6.3 million in net assets at the end of 2011. Drimer also told the Forward that the group owns a building recently appraised at $18 million.

The ZOA lost its tax exemption after it didn’t file three consecutive years of Form 990s, the returns that charities are required to submit to the IRS and make available to the public.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.