The Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) selected Association Research, Inc., to conduct its 2020 Compensation and Benefits Survey as a follow-up to a similar survey ARJE conducted in 2013/2014. The purpose of the 2020 survey is to assess trends in Reform Jewish educators’ compensation and benefits and to study factors impacting compensation. Those factors include individual-specific characteristics such as gender, education, experience, being an ordained rabbi/cantor, and professional certification as well as position-related characteristics such as job title/role, serving as a senior staff member, and supervising others in the organization. Employer-specific features, including location, primary work setting, size of the congregation (in terms of the number of households), and the number of education/youth staff, are also considered factors affecting compensation and benefits. The 2020 survey also asked questions about the extent to which COVID-19 had been impacting members and their jobs.

In late 2020, a link to the online survey was emailed to 669 individuals, excluding remove requests and bounces. In total, 252 surveys were completed—an overall response rate of 37.7%. The number of responses received enables reliable and valid characterization of compensation and benefits for Reform Jewish educators/education directors in the United States. Almost all reports were received from locations in the United States; 6 responses were from Canada. The ARJE also posted announcements regarding the survey on social media and sent out notices to members encouraging their participation. These efforts may have positively impacted the response rate.

This survey was made possible by a grant from the Reform Pay Equity Initiative (RPEI), with funding provided by the SRE Network and the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York. The ARJE is extremely grateful for their generosity.

Association Research, Inc., an independent survey research firm specializing in research exclusively for trade associations, other non-profit organizations, and professional societies, carried out the survey and performed the analysis reported herein. Total confidentiality was maintained throughout. No individual salary data is or will be reported.


Many of the graphs report median values along with the mean (average) value. The median salary is the value that is in the middle of all of the salaries, sorted from lowest to highest—higher than half of all salaries in the category and lower than half of the salaries. The mean, or simple average, is the total of all salaries divided by the number of individuals reporting. The mean value can be distorted by unusually high or unusually low numbers. The median is not influenced by extreme values.

Another statistic used in the report is the quartile. This statistic is similar to a median in that it is the salary that divides all salaries into two groups: one group containing 25 percent of the salaries and the other group containing the remaining 75 percent. The first quartile, therefore, is that salary that is higher than 25 percent of the salaries but lower than the remaining 75 percent. Similarly, the third quartile is that salary figure that is higher than 75 percent of the other salaries presented. It should be noted that to protect confidentiality, medians and quartiles are only presented when four or more individuals are included in a particular category and the mean value is presented for three or more individuals.

Base salary excludes benefits and represents the annual salary for the respondents’ primary position in Jewish education. Unless otherwise stated, base salaries referenced in this report are for full-time employees who provided a salary.


The information in this report is suitable for making general compensation comparisons—that is, it provides an array of useful benchmarks (location, education, congregation size, etc.). However, no one benchmark is a sufficient basis for comparison. It is only by combining and considering the information available from a number of benchmarks that appropriate compensation determinations can be made.

It is our hope that you find the information contained in this study useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the ARJE.
Association of Reform Jewish Educators
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Rabbi Stan Schickler, RJE, Executive Director
Marisa Kaiser, RJE, President

ARJE Compensation and Benefits Survey Committee
Lisa David
Laura Perpinyal, RJE
Rabbi Rena Rifkin


In all cases reporting is designed to protect the confidentiality of responses. Data sets with fewer than 5 data points do not include percentiles.

It is our hope that you find the information contained in this study useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the ARJE.

Download the complete report.