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February 10, 2021

Executive Compensation at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

by Anne Paddock

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 3 founded by a rabbi in 1983 as a way to “bless Israel and the Jewish people around the world with humanitarian care and life-saving aid” while “building bridges between Christians and Jews.”

Based in Chicago, Illinois, IFCJ raises about $120 million annually (primarily through contributions, gifts, and grants) and spends a few million less, allowing the organization to accumulate $32 million in net assets. Expenses are about $115 million, half of which are spent on grants to Jewish organizations in the US and Israel. There does not appear to be any grants made to Christian organizations. The other expenses are organization expenses – fundraising, compensating employees, paying fees for services, etc).

121 employees received $13 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $107,400.  27 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 10 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $2,949,100:  Yechiel Eckstein, President, CEO, and Founder (deceased 2/19)
  • $  625,980:  Yael Eckstein – Farkas, President and CEO
  • $  517,100:  George Mamo, COO (thru 8/2019)
  • $  364,900:  Robin Van Etten, Global COO
  • $  200,118:  Damon Card, VP of Information Services
  • $  193,886:  Robert Dalton, VP of Major and Planned Giving (thru 10/2019)
  • $  192,637:  Laurel Simkovich, Controller
  • $  183,535:  Christine Allen, Major Gift Officer
  • $  176,151:  Kristin Henning, Director of Financial Operations
  • $  169,346:  Katherine Rovani, Director of Operations
  • $  154,541:  James Ray, Director of Estate Planning

The former President, CEO and Founder of the IFCJ, Yechiel Eckstein passed away in Feb 2019.  Upon his death, a non-qualified deferred compensation plan vested which pays his beneficiary the present value of $2,949,100. Payments are made monthly and include taxes for 10 years.  Mr. Eckstein received the following compensation in previous years:

  • 2018:  $875,239
  • 2017:  $867,734
  • 2016:  $891,987
  • 2015:  $918,987

Yael Eckstein – Farkas appears to be related to Yechiel Eckstein. In addition, it is important to note that in Schedule L, Part IV, Business Transactions with Interested Persons, Yael Eckstein – Farkas, a business transaction of $521,179 was noted for salary, benefits and other. No other details were provided. In addition, a transaction with Talia Eckstein – Pollack, who also appears to be related to Yael Eckstein, in the amount of $111,594 for salary, benefits, and other was reported. And, finally, a $14,833 business transaction for salary, benefits, and other with Amichai Farkas was reported.

IFCJ paid for companion travel, which appears to be a $6,000 travel benefit paid to Yael Eckstein – Farkas.  This benefit was grossed up.

39  independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation. The five (5) most highly compensated independent contractors were reported to be:

  • $1,700,339:  Cannella Response Television, of Burlington, WI for television spot placement
  • $1,544,729:  Forward PMX, of New York, NY for mailing list
  • $1,223,609:  MDS Communications Corporation, of Mesa, AZ for telemarketing
  • $  869,827:  Causeworx, Inc., of Ontario, Canada for telemarketing
  • $  854,964:  Mindset Direct, of Reston, VA for direct mail

All of the above appear related to raising funds for IFCJ.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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