A Little Rant

Ronit Sherwin

Ronit Sherwin

I recently read a listing of salaries of top Jewish communal professionals in a national Jewish publication. As a Jewish communal professional myself, I was incredibly interested. Of course, I feel that all not-for-profit professionals are over-worked and underpaid, but that comes with the territory. We do this crazy work because we thrive on the non-monetary rewards, such as genuine job satisfaction and passion for organizational mission.

But to my shock and awe, that is apparently not the case for all Jewish communal professionals. One particular executive in one particular community earns over $600,000 annually. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, he heads a not-for-profit organization, one which laid off several employees just a few years back. How is that so? This is not a rhetorical question. I am looking for a real answer.


So, this is my rant. I am appalled and disgusted. I do not think any not-for-profit executive should draw such a salary, even if he/she is saving children in third world countries. The causes for which we as not-for-profit professionals support are never complete and are always in need of more resources. How in good conscience can anyone working for a not-for-profit take that much needed money from programs that are constantly in need? Inner city schools always need technology to enable children the knowledge to succeed in life, not to mention more dollars to pay their vastly underpaid teachers. Shelters for families and abused women never have enough beds to fill the need that exists.

My point is that money should be distributed more fairly. I may sound like a socialist or an idealist, but someone working in the not-for-profit world should understand my world view. And if they do not, perhaps they should consider working in corporate America.