Jehuda Reinharz's Generous Compensation Package Raises Eyebrows at Brandeis

Ex-President Makes $300K Annually for His 'Accomplishments'

Nice Work If You Can Get It: Last year, Brandeis University reduced Reinharz’s salary to $287,600.**
Brandeis
Nice Work If You Can Get It: Last year, Brandeis University reduced Reinharz’s salary to $287,600.**

By Nathan Guttman

Published December 13, 2013, issue of December 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Check back on Monday to find out who makes what in the Jewish community.

One of the highest-paid individuals in Jewish communal life in 2011 took a bit of a hit in 2012 — but in neither case was he listed on the Forward’s salary survey.

Jehuda Reinharz, the noted historian of modern Jewish history, left his post as president of Brandeis University at the end of 2010, and thereby moved beyond the scope of the Forward’s CEO salary survey. But in 2011, a year he spent on sabbatical, Reinharz received $500,000 in salary and another $100,000 in benefits from the university — just $88,000 less in salary than he received the previous year, as president. Last year, Brandeis reduced his salary to $287,500.

The cash and benefits are to compensate Reinharz for serving in his new formal positions as president emeritus, as a returning faculty member of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and as director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, according to Brandeis. But in those positions, Reinharz teaches no classes, advises no graduate students and keeps no office hours.

His main job, he told The Boston Globe, which broke the story about his compensation package in November, is to advise Frederick Lawrence, his successor as Brandeis’s president.

It may be good he does not have to spend much time at Brandeis. The Mandel Foundation, a major Brandeis benefactor, paid Reinharz $800,000 the same year, 2011, for what it described as a full-time position as its president. But Reinharz told the Globe that he is actually a consultant to the foundation, with no set schedule there, either. “I don’t punch a clock,” he said. “I work when my work is needed.”

The sweet deal has rankled students, alumni and some faculty members of the Jewish university, which is named for Louis D. Brandeis, a former U.S. Supreme Court justice whose historical claim to fame rests in part on his career of battling corporate privilege.

But when asked about the arrangement, Reinharz told the Globe, “I am compensated according to my accomplishments. It’s the way America usually works.” He cited his multiyear record of fundraising for the school, and what he said was his continuing role in helping connect his successor with potential donors.

Reinharz, 69, was born in Haifa, Israel, and moved to the United States with his family at age 17. He joined the faculty at Brandeis in 1982 and became president in 1994.


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!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • 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.