Amid the COVID-19 health crisis, many Jewish nonprofits in Greater Boston have resorted to layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts to remain fiscally solvent.
Combined Jewish Philanthropies, New England’s largest Jewish charity, announced last month that it planned to cut 30 positions – or about 15 percent of its staff – in July. CJP spokesman Dan Seligson said the organization’s Marketing, Development, and Strategy and Impact departments would be most impacted by the layoffs.
“Though the timing was accelerated due to the global pandemic, many of the positions eliminated are part of an organizational redesign and a longer-term strategy to ensure that we are best aligned to deliver the critical support needed by our community,” said Seligson.
In addition, CJP has also implemented pay cuts at the institution – which employs 147 people. The cuts have occurred at different levels of the organization, and also impact CJP’s executive leaders. CJP did not disclose the total amount of money it will save through the layoffs and payroll reductions.
CJP’s upcoming fiscal year budget will be $62 million – or six percent less than this year’s $66 million. The charity also raised about $49.5 million in the past year, compared to $54.8 million the previous year.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston also had to resort to layoffs, cutting five employees last month to bring its staff to 12. The two most senior employees, Executive Director Jeremy Burton and Deputy Director Nahma Nadich, are taking voluntary pay reductions.
“With heavy hearts, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all of our Jewish teen and young adult engagement programs, specifically: TELEM, ReachOut!, and our efforts connecting Jewish young adults to Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers,” Burton wrote in an email to the community in June.
At the Anti-Defamation League New England office in Boston, where 12 people work, management has frozen hiring and top executives have taken a pay cut. In addition, staff has reviewed its budget in order to prevent layoffs. “From cutting costs to repurposing grants, renegotiating leases, and raising emergency funds, we are making every effort to maintain the staffing levels to do our important work for the communities we serve,” said Shellie Burgman, an ADL spokeswoman.
In Marblehead, at the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore, the building has been closed since mid-March. Since then, the center has reduced payroll around 60 percent through a combination of furloughs and pay cuts. The center has been able to stay on budget through a combination of furloughs, salary reductions and people maintaining their membership through the health crisis, said Marty Schneer, the center’s executive director.
At Epstein-Hillel School in Marblehead, the school has furloughed three employees from its nursing, food service and building maintenance departments.
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