Revealed: who gets what among charity movers and shakers

They have the biggest jobs in the community. But just how big are their pay packets?


The range of salaries paid to executives working in Jewish communal organisations is revealed in depth today.

A JC investigation into the biggest pay packets on offer at charities shows more than a dozen figures taking home six-figure incomes.

Our top 25 charities and communal bodies have a collective income of a quarter of a billion pounds, and between them recompense top earners to the tune of more than £2.5 million every year.

The executives we highlight represent groups from all sectors, including health and welfare organisations, Israel advocates and religious bodies, and are in charge of running organisations with employees ranging from more than 1,200 to just a handful.

Among the highest-paid were executives at the largest charities - Richard Benson at the Community Security Trust, Jeremy Jacobs at the United Synagogue, and Simon Morris at Jewish Care. All were paid more than Prime Minister, who earns around £142,500 a year.

Mr Benson and Mr Jacobs have left their organisations since the figures - the most recent available - were published.

At some organisations, the highest-paid role has been scrapped or drastically altered in the past two years.

At Reform Judaism, the chief executive position was made redundant when Ben Rich left the organisation after being paid £110,000 in 2012.

Lord Sacks received one of the largest salaries in the community - £180,000 - two years ago in his role as Chief Rabbi. He was paid by the Chief Rabbinate Trust, which operates the chief's office and financially supports his work. Its income is comprised almost entirely of donations.

Many of the organisations we spoke to said they were content to pay six-figure salaries to secure high-performing, outstanding individuals.

Mick Davis, chair of Jewish Leadership Council, said: "The trustees believe in attracting first-class talent to work for the organisation and who are able to deliver the JLC's strategic objectives. We will pay appropriate salaries to attract and retain the best talent."

There is an almost 50-50 split between male and female top-earners at the leading organisations, although the six highest-paid individuals were all men. Gillian Merron, unveiled earlier this month as the new chief executive of the Board of Deputies, is expected to earn around £100,000 a year - a slight reduction on her predecessor Jon Benjamin's salary.

Looking at the salaries as a percentage of an organisation's turnover offers one way of comparing Jewish groups of different sizes. On average, charities with a turnover greater than £10 million a year spent less than 0.5 per cent of that income on their chief executive. For mid-range groups bringing in between £2 million and £7 million each year the percentage rose to an average of four per cent.

But in a number of cases, organisations with lower incomes - between £1 million and £2 million - paid an average of seven per cent to top earners.

The Board of Deputies paid Mr Benjamin more than nine per cent of its turnover.

TrainE-TraidE, a charity which helps find work placements and jobs for young Jews, paid its chief, Shraga Zaltzman, almost 12 per cent of its annual income.

Comparisons to similar organisations in the non-Jewish world, and Jewish charities in the United States, also formed part of the JC's survey.

In the US, top-end salaries soared beyond $750,000 a year in 2012 - the equivalent of nearly half a million pounds and more than twice as much as the highest salary paid here.

In 2012, the Jewish National Fund's leading US executive was paid the equivalent of around £200,000.

In the same year, David Goodman was paid £70,000 as chief executive of JNF UK. The American charity did, however, employ around 13 times the number of people as its London-based counterpart.

At smaller charities it is clear British salaries are generally outstripped by US equivalents.

The New York-based National Council of Women employs 28 people and covers issues relating to social justice and abuse. Its chief executive was paid around £140,000. The top pay packets at Jewish Women's Aid and Wizo, by comparison, were both less than £60,000. Taking into account the differences in size between the organisations, that figure was still comparatively lower than on the other side of the Atlantic.

There was outrage nine months ago following the revelation that the number of British charity executives earning six-figure salaries had soared.

William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission, warned of the danger that could be done if donors felt money was too often going towards fat-cat pay rather than to the recipients of the charities' services.

Direct comparisons with the non-Jewish sector are hard to calculate as there are few like-for-like charities operating in our community.

However, global anti-poverty group Action Aid, which employs 145 people and has a turnover of £60 million, pays its chief executive around £90,000 a year.

World Jewish Relief, with around 26 employees and a tenth of the turnover, pays its chief, Paul Anticoni, around £109,000 a year.

Religious groups also showed some disparity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is one of Britain's biggest religious charities. It had a turnover in 2011 of £48 million. Its seven top earners were each paid between £70,000 and £80,000 each that year. The Diocese of Westminster, with 300 employees and a turnover of £37 million paid only four people more than £60,000.

The United Synagogue in the same year brought in £32 million but paid 17 of its 600-plus staff members more than £70,000 each. Its top pay packet was worth around £160,000 alone.

One expert with experience of working for a number of Jewish organisations said the data revealed "two very different sorts of chief executives in the community".

He said: "There are those who are basically UK fundraising directors for local and overseas organisations such as JNF and WJR, whose raison d'être is to raise as much money as possible for people in other countries.

"Then there are those such as Chai and Jewish Care who have the responsibility to run relatively complicated and very important 'health services' for the community as well as ensuring that the funding is in place to do so."

Charity Chief executive / Highest paid Salary Turnover (£m) Salary (% of turnover) Employees
Board of Deputies Jon Benjamin* £110,000 1.2 9.17 14
British Emunah Fund Deborah Nathan Under £60,000 1.07 Under 5.6 6
British Friends of Hebrew University Nigel Salomon £90,001-£100,000 6.47 1.55 4
Camp Simcha Neville Goldschneider £80,000-£89,999 1.3 6.92 10
Chief Rabbinate Trust Lord Sacks* £170,000-£180,000 0.75 24 11
Chai Cancer Care Lisa Steele £70,000-£79,999 2.18 3.67 17
Community Security Trust Richard Benson* £170,000-£189,999 7.34 2.59 63
Donisthorpe Hall Carol Whitehead* £80,001-£90,000 5.58 1.61 225
Federation of Synagogues Yisroel Lichtenstein £90,000 3.65 2.47 76
Holocaust Educational Trust Karen Pollock £90,001-£100,000 3.15 3.17 19
JAMI Laurie Rackind £80,001-£90,000 1.08 8.41 23
Jewish Blind and Disabled Hazel Kaye £70,000-£80,000 3.47 2.3 34
Jewish Care Simon Morris £140,000-£150,000 45.3 0.33 805
Jewish Childs' Day Melanie Klass Under £60,000 1.13 Under 5.3 5
Jewish Chronicle Stephen Pollard £117,000 4.3 2.72 48
Jewish Leadership Council Jeremy Newmark* £80,000-£89,999 1.7 5.29 10
Jewish Museum Abigail Morris £70,000-£80,000 1.4 5.71 20
Jewish Women's Aid Emma Bell Under £60,000 0.73 Under 8.23 11
JNF David Goodman* £70,000 17.5 0.4 15
JW3 Trust Nick Viner* £110,000-£119,999 14.9 0.8 4
Kisharon Beverley Jacobson £70,000-£79,999 4.46 1.79 80
Langdon Alison Rosen* £70,001-£80,000 5.88 1.36 139
Leeds Jewish Welfare Board Rebecca Weinberg* £60,000-£69,999 3.36 2.08 131
Liberal Judaism Danny Rich £80,000 1.57 5.1 15
Limmud Raymond Simonson* Under £60,000 1.29 4.65 4
London Jewish Cultural Centre No name provided £80,001-£90,000 2.16 4.16 24
Maccabi GB Martin Berliner £90,000-£99,999 2.88 3.47 16
Manchester Fed Karen Phillips £80,000 9.95 0.8 323
Masorti Judaism Matt Plen Under £60,000 1.22 4.92 13
Magen David Adom Daniel Burger £90,000 3.78 2.38 20
Movement For Reform Judaism Ben Rich* £110,000 3.56 3.09 25
New Israel Fund Adam Ognall £60,001-£70,000 1.28 5.47 5
Nightingale Hammerson Helen Simmons £100,000 15 0.67 324
Norwood Elaine Kerr £110,000 33.8 0.33 1210
Ort UK Foundation Dan Green Under £60,000 1.26 Under 4.76 4
Oxford Centre For Hebrew and Jewish Studies No name available £132,600 1.81 7.33 28
Spanish and Portuguese Jews' congregation No name available £60,000-£69,999 1.39 5.04 26
TrainE-TraidE Shraga Zaltzman £60,000-£69,999 0.61 11.5 5
UJIA Michael Wegier £110,000-£120,000 10.2 1.18 56
United Synagogue Jeremy Jacobs* £160,000 33.3 0.48 623
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations Ephraim Padwa Under £60,000 1.1 Under 5.45 19
Wizo Linda Boxer Under £60,000 2.73 Under 2.2 15
World Jewish Relief Paul Anticoni £100,000-£109,000 7.2 1.51 26

*Denotes no longer at organisation/position no longer exists. Figures are most recent available as of May 15, 2014. Salary as percentage of turnover figures are calculated on highest possible salary figure where range is given

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive