(page 2 of 2)

Non-Jewish Charities Typically Pay Their Leaders Less Than Jewish Organizations

A First Ever Comparison Reveals Interesting Gaps


A Different Gap: Addison Barry Rand leads the AARP, John Jenkins leads the University of Notre Dame. CEOs of Jewish charities in the salary survey are better paid than their non-Jewish counterparts.
Kurt Hoffman
A Different Gap: Addison Barry Rand leads the AARP, John Jenkins leads the University of Notre Dame. CEOs of Jewish charities in the salary survey are better paid than their non-Jewish counterparts.

Maia Efrem, the Forward’s research editor, selected a set of 16 non-Jewish charities to compare with the Jewish groups. “We didn’t just want to shoot in the dark, we wanted to get organizations that were as analogous in size and in their mission as we could to the Jewish organizations,” Efrem said.

Efrem included local chapters of United Way, which function similarly to local Jewish federations. She also included advocacy groups like the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Council of La Raza, plus religiously oriented universities like the Catholic University of America, to match similar Jewish organizations on the Forward list.

Wyner found that CEO salaries at both the Jewish and the non-Jewish groups were 2% higher for every 10% more the group reported in annual expenses. The differences in compensation came not from the size of the groups, but from some other factor — perhaps from a different base estimate of how much CEOs should be paid.

According to Linda Lampkin, research director of ERI Economic Research Institute, which provides comparative salary information often used in setting executive salaries, the Internal Revenue Service expects boards to look at comparable salary data when determining compensation. “It’s an art, not a scientific science,” Lampkin said of compensation decisions.

Jewish groups may be structured in a way that impels them to pay more.

According to Mark I. Rosen, an associate professor at the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, boards of directors at Jewish not-for-profits are generally thought to have more direct control over their organizations than the boards at other not-for-profits.

“Anyone I’ve spoken with in the past who has been involved extensively with both Jewish and non-Jewish nonprofits invariably tells me the biggest difference between the two is the board, and the influence of board members on organizational decisions,” Rosen said.

The Forward analysis was described to Rosen, though he did not review the methodology or the data. Rosen said that if the Forward’s findings are correct, they could be due to the combined effects of Jewish groups’ more powerful boards and to the concentration of businesspeople on those boards.

“There’s just going to be a different mindset in terms of what an appropriate compensation package is for an executive if the board is primarily composed of people from the business sector,” Rosen said.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis


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!
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • 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.