Survey: CEO of S.F.-based federation is highest paid woman among U.S. Jewish communal professionals

Jennifer Gorovitz, CEO of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, is the highest-paid woman among the nation’s top Jewish communal professionals, but she still makes less than many of her male peers according to an annual salary survey by the Jewish Daily Forward.

Coming in at No. 33 overall, Gorovitz earned $305,000 in 2010.

The No. 1 earner is Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, at $848,176.

The survey by the Forward covered 76 national Jewish organizations. Only taxable salary was included, not additional benefits or total compensation package.

Among other findings, the median executive pay among those surveyed was $306,025. Half the leaders received pay increases in 2010, while 20 received pay cuts. Gorovitz’s salary remained unchanged from the previous year.

Gorovitz is the only female CEO among the 18 largest Jewish federations in North America, and her compensation is lower than that of many of her male counterparts. For example, the federations in Baltimore and Washington pay their top executives $477,859 and $401,044, respectively.

After Gorovitz, the next-highest-paid woman on the survey is Ruth Messinger, executive director of American Jewish World Service, at $276,217.

Of the organizations on the list, only nine are led by women; they earned 62.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, based on median income.

“There needs to be many more women in the top ranks,” Gorovitz said. “I’m grateful that year after year [the Forward] points out the disparity, to give communities the drive and ambition to develop a generation of women leaders.”

The Forward survey included top federations, advocacy and public service groups, and religious and educational institutions. (Complete results can be found at

The survey included only organizations with national scope, and not those that serve a local community, such as Jewish Family and Children’s Services or the Jewish Community Relations Council

— dan pine