Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Just a few follow-ups to recent Posts:

~ As an example of a strong message to President Obama focused on the Administration's policies toward Israel, see Obama's Wobbliness is a Great Danger to Israel, Mortimer Zuckerman's brilliant analysis in today's US News and World Report.

~ As a commentary on the refusal of UJC's CEO, Howard Rieger, to offer a salary cut, see the Forward's strong editorial, CEOs Should Lead. The editorial stated: "Some of the executives whose salaries remained untouched displayed an arrogance stunning for this time, or any time. Howard Rieger, president and CEO of United Jewish Communities, all but dismissed executive pay cuts as 'political,' even though his organization has laid off 31 staff members over the last year while his salary and expense allowance topped out at more than $700,000. And that was just in 2006-07."

The Forward stated it on the nose..."an arrogance stunning for this time, or any time." This is the Frankenstein that we...we...have created and perpetuated. And I guess we need the Forward to tell us the stark truth. Just one of the many reasons that we need a strong and independent press.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for allowing us to see some of the heart wrenching postings on your blog. This has opened my eyes on how our inactions have allowed this to happen. You are right, we did allow this to happen. I will have to think twice before I ever donate to UJC again.

I am a fan of your blog and I could not agree more with Gail Hyman’s comments and applaud the Forward for writing their article. UJC is behaving in such a callous manner by only looking out for the big boys on top. I heard their senior management team all make huge salaries and do very little in productivity. I reached out to a long time friend who works in UJC and she is disgusted with what is happening in the organization and the morale is low. She thinks their Great Place to Work initiative is a joke. Their actions will forever tarnish their reputation. Many of the people that were laid off were not making big salaries but many made significant contributions to the organization. Reiger brags to the staff on how he started in low level positions like theirs and worked his way up. Has he forgotten where he came from and how hard it was to make ends meet on an average salary much less to be unemployed? Gail is right about the damage they have done on their image and they should not be using their much needed funds for a rebranding program during an economic crisis. It is rumored that they have already spent over $2 million on rebranding and allotted another $2 million in their new budget for this project. Couldn’t some of that money have been used to save jobs at UJC? Do they have results to backup this type of exorbitant spending of $4 million? To assert that they could not make cuts on high salaries because salaries need to remain high to retain talented staff is absurd. Were the 31 laid off employees not talented in their positions? As you mentioned before, some of them got awards. Eight employees at the Met Council on Jewish poverty donated part of their salaries to help save the jobs of 10 of their laid off co-workers. Couldn’t some of the big boys at UJC give up a small percentage of their salaries to save the jobs of those laid off co-workers? I have been told there are scores people at UJC who make over $100,000. They would probably not even feel the cuts on their paychecks after taxes.

Gail also brought up the fact that all those dismissed were women. My friend has confirmed this fact is true and is outraged by the idiotic comments to JTA by Joe Berkofsky that the reason 100% of the laid off workers were women was because they represent 66% of the organization. Why didn’t he disclose that the women in one of the departments that were cut (Mailing department) had a male boss that was able to retain his job? What ever happened to the UJC gender equity initiative that was started under Steve Hoffman? How does the Women’s Philanthropy feel about this? Please read the very interesting editorial in the Forward http://www.forward.com/articles/107557/ . The sentiment at UJC is that they decided to get rid of the women that worked hard so they can retain the big boys that are hardly working.

Anonymous said...

Couldn’t some of the big boys at UJC give up a small percentage of their salaries to save the jobs of those laid off co-workers? I have been told there are scores people at UJC who make over $100,000. They would probably not even feel the cuts on their paychecks after taxes.

There are 3 levels to this.

The first is the CEO, whose salary and benefits are in the stratosphere.

The second--probably close to a minyan or so of those who make a very nice $200,000+...mostly but not exclusively male.

The third--a surprisingly large group...several dozen is understating it....probably more males than females but a healthy female minority nonetheless, making $100,000+.

A 10% salary cut for level 1, a 5% cut for level 2 and a 2-3% cut (or even just a freeze) for level 3 would've saved a bunch of jobs for sure.

As if they cared.

Anonymous said...

let's not reinvent the past. Gail Hyman's department spent millions of dollars to little or no effect.

were her $100,000+, 7 minute campaign videos a good use of donor's money?

i dare anyone to say yes.

it's easy to pile on when there is blood in the water, but the fact is that UJC's old guard mktg/comm. dept. was innefective, irresponsible and incompetent.

RWEX said...


Almost simultaneous Comments on the same subject to two separate Posts. Sad that this anonymous correspondent attacks Gail Hyman's Post by attacking Gail's work.

The Campaign films were always a jpint venture of UJA and then UJC and the federations. They were used by the participating federations and, most likely, saved the system millions.

This Comment is but another attempt by those at UJC to play 1984 with history.

Anonymous said...

The UJA videos were 80-90% excellent. Any community could use them as a base for customization and save $50,000. Bring back Gail!!

RWEX said...


Your obsession with the campaign videos and your allegations will have to be moderated before they are published. (And, you might want to give your name as I do and as Gail Hyman did. Your cowardice is noted.