The 2017 Jewish Forward annual salary survey of American Jewish organizations was published today and it’s a sad, sorry sight. Of the 55 CEOs listed in the survey only 8 are women and they are paid much less than their male counterparts. The award for biggest hazer goes to “Rabbi” Marvin Hier of the Wiesenthal Center who takes home over $800,000. 2nd on the list is Howard Kohr of Aipac who “earns” over $700,000. Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition earns well over $600,000. The CEO of Birthright earns well over $600,000 thanks to the $100-million Sheldon Adelson has contributed over the past ten years. Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL earns $545,000. In case any of you Open Hillel folks were wondering how much money Hillel International blew on their CEO, Eric Fingerhut: $500,000. One of the biggest wastes of money is Mort Klein, paid $450,000 by ZOA. Josh Block, the capo di tutti at The Israeli Project: $460,000.
In an age when American Jewry is rapidly losing direction and vitality; when Jews in their tens of thousands are fleeing the organized community, including synagogues and federations; when federation campaigns are tanking; and Israeli pols like Bibi Netanyahu are running roughshod over American Jews. This is precisely the time when the fatcats are raking in the dough. They should be ashamed. But they aren’t. Because they’re entitled. They have their enormous egos and bank accounts to boot. Their boards of directors ratify the disaster into which they are leading us all. They have their edifice complexes with capital campaigns funding monstrosities like the Wiesenthal Museum of “Tolerance” built on a historic Muslim cemetery.
These men fiddle while Rome burns. They don’t have a clue how to change things. In fact, change scares the crap out of them. So they fiddle at the margins and call that innovation.
Worst of all, they stand silent while Israel approaches the iceberg like the Titanic. They are good, obedient Jews schooled in the lessons of humility and subservience when it comes to Israel. Jerusalem calls and we do its bidding. These “leaders” have no spine. They have no vision.
They barely have any self-respect. How can anyone have respect for them? If only there were a Jeremiah or Isaiah or Amos to preach thundering sermons against them; to warn the people of the danger:
Ah yes, each of these charities are doing their little bit for the poor. They’re offering palliatives and then saying they’ve relieved themselves of their responsibility to promote radical change.
They offer bromides in opposition to Trump and Netanyahu’s outrages. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t turn off those billionaire donors who keep the boat afloat in stormy seas.
Walter Ballin says
Regarding the $800,000 salary paid to the Weisenthal Center’s ceo Martin Heir, Norman Finkelstein mentions in his book The Holocaust Industry how holocaust money funds that organization and the salary. This among other things.
Beautiful essay. From the heart.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the gret Jewish enterprises are saying, “Yes, remind us of the words of the prophets, but not today, we are busy with the deeds of today’s world, we have no time to be concerned with the next. We are not overpaid and not underworked — we are doing the work of our lord, state-of-Israel, and have no time to do the work of the-people-Israel’s tired and displaced old God, old whats-his-name.
Richard Silverstein says
What a male bastion!
There are a few names which sounds Sfardi in the list.
But why even bring up the color thing?
Richard Silverstein says
@ Ginger: It’s not an issue of “color.” It’s an issue of privilege. In case you’re not “up” on your terminology, a “white Jew” is an Ashkenazi member of the Jewish elite. The list is overwhelmingly composed of this ethnic strata. I’d suggest that you too are a member because only those who are members of a privileged class refuse to recognize that there is one.