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August 11, 2021

Executive Compensation at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

by Anne Paddock

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (also known as “The Joint” or the JDC) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) (3) with about 150 employees in New York City, NY. The governing board – 169 independent board members although 173 board members are listed on the Form 990 (the difference appears to be due to timing issues – is comprised of 92 males and 81 females.

As one of the leading humanitarian organizations that works in 70 countries, the JDC works to rescue and provide aid to Jews in the advancement of Jewish life across the globe, primarily through awarding grants:  in 2019, 65% of revenue was used for grants.

In 2019, the JDC reported total revenue of $334 million (compared to $357 million in 2018) most of which came from contributions and gifts ($271 million), government grants ($49 million), and investment income/gains on the sale of assets ($9 million).

Expenses totaled $331 million (including $2 million in depreciation) with the two largest expenses reported to be grants ($217 million or 65% of revenue) and compensation ($68 million or 20% of revenue).

163 employees received $68 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $417,000 (which appears to be very, very high).  However, only 49 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 15 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $912,392:  Edward Schizer, EVP and CEO
  • $450,149:  Ophir Singal, CFO
  • $432,957:  Asher Ostrin, Program Director*
  • $412,999:  Pablo Weinsteiner, Chief HR Officer
  • $403,574:  Michael Novick, Exec Director, Strategic Development
  • $343,624:  Elliot Goldstein, Exec Director, Resource Development*
  • $340,172:  Michal Frank JDC FSU Director General*
  • $338,030:  Itamar Albek, CIO
  • $335,535:  Elliot Halperin, Director, External Relations
  • $332,278:  Amir Shaviv, Asst EVP, Special Operations
  • $325,657:  Linda Tarlow, AEVP, Director of Global Archives
  • $302,437:  Sigal Shelach, Director General, JDC Israel*
  • $290,879:  Guy Billauer, General Counsel
  • $278,221:  Diego Ornique, Chief Program Officer*
  • $274,000:  Michael Hartel, CEO Myers JDC Brookdale*

The 15 most highly compensated employees received $5.6 million (although those with a “*” received all or part of their compensation from a related/affiliated organization). In actuality, the above 15 employees received nearly $4 million from JDC (with the remaining paid from a related/affiliated organization) which means that 148 employees received $64 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of $430,000.  Given that only 49 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation, there appears to be an error but it is unclear if the error is in the number of employees or the amount of compensation.

14 of the 15 (93%) most highly compensated employees are male while 1 (7%) is a female. The 10 most highly compensated employees are male.

The JDC made gross up payments or provided tax indemnification.  For details, see the Form 990 (2019), Section J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

12 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 highest reported to be:

  • $726,002:  Grant Thornton, of NY, NY for audit and tax
  • $561,865:  KPMG, of Dallas, TX for internal audit
  • $455,851:  Cambridge Associates, of NY, NY for investment advisement
  • $365,181:  Oberland, Inc, of NY, NY for media and branding
  • $270,726:  Baker and McKenzie, of Chicago, IL for legal services

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