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April 11, 2019

Executive Compensation at the Jewish Federation of North America

by Anne Paddock

The Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) “represents and serves 148 Jewish Federations, 300 independent network Jewish communities across North America and 30 separately incorporated Jewish community foundations.” In more simplistic terms, JFNA raises funds, organizes assistance, training, and leadership to the Jewish Federations and communities in North America.

Of the $261 million raised in 2017, JFNA awarded $214 million (82% of revenue) in grants,  most of which went to domestic organizations (primarily to two organizations:  $155 million to United Israel Appeal, a subsidiary of JFNA who awarded all the funds to foreign organizations, foreign governments, and foreign individuals,  and $50 million to Joint Distribution Committee, a Jewish Humanitarian 501 (c) (3).

JFNA is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) based in New York City with 178 employees who were compensated nearly $24 million, which equates to an average compensation of $135,000. However, only 47 individuals received more than $100,000 in compensation.  The 13 most highly compensated individuals were reported to be:

  • $692,771:  Gerrald B Silverman, President and CEO
  • $400,408:  Mark Gurvis, EVP
  • $353,253:  Becky Caspi, Director General Israel Office
  • $323,896:  William Daroff, SVP
  • $295,059:  Renee Rothstein, SVP
  • $236,281:  Pamela A Zaltsman, Chief Financial Officer ($59,070 was from United Israel Appeal, a related org)
  • $235,374:  Elissa Maier, VP
  • $220,767:  Beth Mann, VP
  • $217,329:  David Kessel, Associate VP
  • $211,204:  Kimberlee Fish, Associate VP
  • $205,956:  Joshua Karlin, SVP
  • $204,005:  David Mallach V-UIA/EVP-IEF ($122,403 was from United Israel Appeal, a related org)
  • $186,936:  Becky Porath, General Counsel

Of the 13 most highly compensated individuals, 7 are female and 6 are male.

It is important to point out that in order to understand the finances of JFNA, two other related organizations – United Israel Appeal and Joint Distribution Committee (whose legal name is The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.) – need to be considered (analysis of executive compensation of these two organizations will be posted in subsequent posts) because $205 million of the $214 million awarded in grants (96% of grants) were made to these two organizations. Knowing this, some people may ask why JFNA needs 178 employees, including 13 executives who were compensated $3.8 million to distribute 96% of the grants awarded to 2 organizations? One of the reasons could be related to the other functions JFNA does outside of grants – program services, management and fundraising – which are expressed as expenses on the income statement.

JFNA raised $261 million and spent $261 million in 2017. If the total grants were subtracted out of revenue ($261 million less $214 million), $47 million in other expenses were incurred:

  • $35 million (13% of revenue):  Program Services ($16 million in compensation, $8 million on other expenses, $4 million on travel and conferences, $4 million on office-related expenses, and $3 million on missions) which includes those costs related to grants (but not the grants themselves)
  • $10 million (4% of revenue):  Management
  • $ 2 million (less than 1% of revenue):  Fundraising

As illustrated above, JFNA spent $35 million on compensation, other expenses, travel and conferences, office-related expenses and missions related to organizing assistance, training, and leadership to the Jewish Federations and communities in North America. $10 million was spent on management while $2 million was spent on fundraising.

The Form 990 also reports the following information:

29 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation. The five highest independent contractors were:

  • $1,224,209:  Blackbaud of Atlanta, Georgia for federation donor management
  • $1075,030:  Washington Hilton Hotel for meeting space and ancillary services
  • $  694,886:  Showcall of Germantown, Maryland for GA production
  • $  535,089:  Alliance Exposition Service of Pasonian Springs, VA for meeting exhibition services
  • $  482,053:  Fusion of Chicago, Ill for federation donor management

JFNA paid for companion travel (additional notes indicate travel for the spouse of the CEO was paid for when attendance was required).

To read the JFNA IRS Form 990 (2016 for the year ending June 30, 2017), click here.

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