By: Yitzchak Carroll and Sruli Fruchter  | 

President Berman and Senior Administrators Salaries, YU Finances Released

The salaries and compensations of President Ari Berman and various senior executives, along with details of the university’s finances, were disclosed in Yeshiva University’s Form 990 tax records for the 2018 fiscal year. The Commentator received the public filing on July 31.

Most non-profit organizations are required by federal law to reveal financial information — including the salaries of senior executive officials — in a public filing due on May 15. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for submission of the Form 990 was delayed until July 15.

The tax record revealed that Berman made nearly $750,000 in aggregate compensation in 2018. Berman’s salary consisted of a $592,834 base with over $150,000 in other compensation, totaling $747,392. This aggregated sum was $160,000 higher than his $582,000 total compensation for the first ten months of his presidency in 2017. As The Commentator previously reported, Berman is also provided with a parsonage house in Teaneck, New Jersey, which YU purchased for $1.8 million upfront more than three years ago. 

Former President Richard Joel, who currently teaches on a part-time basis in the Sy Syms School of Business, received $665,889 in aggregate compensation in 2018, including a base salary of more than $500,000, the tax record revealed. This was in addition to the use of his university-owned residence. During the final years of Joel’s tenure, he was among the highest-paid university presidents in America. 

In response to The Commentator’s inquiries on Joel’s pay and other related matters, a YU spokesperson said, “Other than what is required by law to be disclosed in the Form 990, the university does not disclose confidential salary or benefit information of individual employees.”

Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Andrew Lauer’s total compensation was over $700,000 — about $50,000 less than his pay reported in YU’s 2017 filing — ranking him the highest-paid senior staff member after Berman. Jacob Harman, vice president of business affairs, trailed behind Lauer with approximately $655,000 in total pay, making him the third-highest paid employee of the university listed on the filing.

Outgoing Senior Vice President Josh Joseph, who will begin as chief operating officer and executive vice president at the Orthodox Union in September, was paid a base salary of more than $340,000, with over $150,000 in additional compensation. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Selma Botman’s sum total was over $360,000.

Compared to the 2017 Form 990, former Vice President of Institutional Advancement Alyssa Herman’s 2018 total compensation more than doubled from about $195,000 to over $400,000. 

As The Commentator previously reported, for the 2020 payroll year, President Berman is taking a voluntary 20% cut through December, while other senior staff members are voluntarily taking a pay cut between 5 and 10 percent.

The 2018 Form 990 also included key financial information about the YU’s expenditures and fiscal positions. According to the document, the university spent roughly $2.5 million in advertising in 2018 — around $1 million more than it spent in 2017. Additionally, more than $3 million was spent on travel costs in 2018, and roughly $5 million was spent on outside consulting costs, including fundraising consultants, third-party legal and lobbying firms as well as outside accounting services. The university spent over $3.75 million on food in 2018, and office expenses exceeded $6 million. 

According to the filing, in 2018, over $95 million in grants and assistance went to student financial aid, scholarships and fellowships, including “emergency assistance student grants.” This marked a more than $7 million increase from such assistance disbursed by the university in 2017.

The university spent more than $9.16 million on security services in 2018, the overwhelming majority of which went to a $9 million contract with Securitas, which YU contracts with to provide security personnel for its campuses.

Photo Caption: Former President Richard Joel (left), President Ari Berman (middle) and VP for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Andrew Lauer (right) were among the senior executives listed in Form 990
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University