Forward Thinking

How Much Do They Make?

By Jane Eisner

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The third annual Forward survey of the leadership and compensation of the top national Jewish not-for-profits will be published tomorrow. In it, you’ll find answers to questions such as:

Are more women running these organizations this year?

Why is it so financially advantageous to be a Republican?

Which top executive also has his wife and son on his payroll?

This survey began in 2009, when I asked the staff to answer two simple questions: Who runs the largest federations, religious and educational institutions, and advocacy and service groups? And how much do they earn?

We put together a list of 75 top organizations, and went about searching public databases for the answers, trying to verify as much information as possible. Since these organizations are not-for-profit, they are obligated to disclose basic information to the Internal Revenue Service, so we were only asking for data that we had every right to see. You, the reader, could do the same thing, but believe me — it’s confusing and time-consuming. You’d rather have professional journalists do the tedious work.

The first story reported that only 11 women were in charge — three of them in temporary roles — and that they were paid only 61 cents for every dollar earned by men. The second story reported that the number of women decreased to 9, though the wage gap narrowed slightly. This inequality is especially concerning since about three-quarters of the people who work in the Jewish communal world are women. They just don’t get the top jobs, or the top salaries.

And what will this year’s numbers show? Check back tomorrow.


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