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.
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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.


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