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April 21, 2019

Executive Compensation at the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

by Anne Paddock

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is a 501 (c) (3) (AJJDC) based in New York City that describes itself as the “world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization.” Staffed with 169 employees who were compensated nearly $66 million (an average compensation of $391,000, which appears very high), the AJJDC reports 36 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation.  The 15 most highly compensated individuals were reported to be:

  • $919,088:  David Schizer, EVP and CEO
  • $853,299:  Jack Habib, CEO, Myers-JDC Brookdale (through 9/17); ($843,705 was from a related org)
  • $395,985:  Ophir Singal, CFO
  • $371,284:  Pablo Weinsteiner, Chief Human Resource Officer
  • $357,593:  Diego Ornique, Regional Director (Europe) ($245,795 was from a related org)
  • $355,513:  Eliot Goldstein, Exec Director, Resource Dev ($322,697 was from a related org)
  • $317,772:  Michael Novick, Exec Director, Strategic Dev
  • $316,768:  Yossi Tamir, General Director, JDC Israel ($308,877 was from a related org)
  • $298,560:  Elliot Halperin, Director External Relations
  • $275,004:  Heather Morgan, Director Global Marketing and Communications
  • $265,483:  Guy Billauer, General Counsel
  • $263,542:  Michal Frank, JDC FSU Director General ($253,948 was from a related org)
  • $252,899:  Amir Shaviv, Assistant Executive VP  Special Operations
  • $247,149:  Sarah Eiseman, Assistant Executive VP
  • $241,979:  Elizabeth Fine, Assistant Executive VP Board

AJJDC has many related organizations in which AJJDC is the controlling entity.  In reference to the compensation from a related organization listed above, the related organization appears to be Joint Israel (“the Israeli arm of the global JDC”) a separate 501 (c) (3)  based in Jerusalem but whose principal officer is based out of the same office as AJJDC in New York City and whose many highly compensated employees are also employees of AJJDC. Supplemental information on the 990 indicates AJJDC filed Form 990 on a consolidated basis that includes the activity of Joint Israel, a separate 501 (c) (3) who also filed a 990 for the year ending December 31, 2017.

Of the 15 most highly compensated employees, 12 are male (80%) while 3 are female (20%). Of the 10 most highly compensated employees, 9 are male while 1 is a female.

The 990 also reports the following information:

Michal Frank, Eliot Goldstein, Yossi Tamir, and Jack Habib received tax gross-up payments in 2017.

Jack Habib received a severance payment ($470,466 of taxable and $144,312 of non-taxable) “for recognition of his service” that represents an accumulated contributions to the severance plan. “Consistent with the laws of Israel, all employees will receive severance benefits upon the end of their employment with Joint Israel.”

In closing, it is unclear why the total compensation costs are so high – $66 million for 169 employees or an average of nearly $400,000 each.  36 employees received more than $100,000.  The 15 most highly compensated individuals received $5.8 million.  Even if the next 21 employees (who received more than $100,000 in compensation), received $240,000 each (slightly less than the 15th most highly compensated individual, – which translates to about $5 million, then it would stand to reason that $55 million was used to compensate the remaining 133 employees (169-36). According to the 990, 133 employees received less than $100,000 in compensation. If they received $99,999, then they were compensated $13.3 million. So, the numbers don’t add up.

Since the 990 includes Joint Israel, I thought of checking the 990 for Joint Israel but I was unable to find it on their website or at Charity Navigator (who had a 2016 that showed Joint Israel had no employees yet paid $16 million in compensation).

To read the IRS Form 990 (2017) for AJJDC, click here.

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