To the Editor,
Thank you for lifting the veil on how much some CEOs in the Jewish community are paid. Most if not all of the highly paid CEOs are outstanding professionals — and every day I am grateful that they bring their brilliance, passion and skills to the Jewish people and its institutions. But there is no reason for nonprofit CEOs who aren’t running major universities or hospitals to be paid north of $400K.
All US Senators and Members of Congress — who are expected to have homes both in Washington and their districts — are paid significantly less than many CEOs of these large Jewish nonprofits. Every day I work with social workers, teachers, drug counselors, personal care assistants and others who are doing amazing work, but are paid a tenth of what some of the CEOs in the Jewish community are making.
Many great national nonprofits have moved out of NYC so they could lower their overhead and attract and retain great talent. Why can’t we do the same?
The entry level staff and even mid-career staff are underpaid in most Jewish institutions. If we really want great talent in our field, we should do our best to keep their noses above the water line.
Also, there is a lot of pressure for CEOs of Jewish groups to send their children to Jewish day school. How about nonprofits offer free tuition (paid for by the nonprofits like the Israeli embassy does for their staff) for the children of these executives? The out of pocket costs of Jewish Day school are highly problematic for most families, Jewish professionals included.
I am very proud that the nonprofit where I am currently CEO has a PLATINUM level status with Guidestar for our efficiency, transparency, inclusion and effectiveness. I think all boards of Jewish organizations should seek the same for their organizations. We owe it to our donors, values and the missions we serve.
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi President, www.RespectAbiltiy.org