Below is a chart of Mort Klein’s salary taken from the official Form 990s filed by the ZOA with the government:
Year – $
2001 – 134,747
2002 – 162,029
2003 – 186,279
2004 – 212,769
2005 – 249,462
2006 – 279,346
2007 – 315,385
2008 – 1,245,851
2009 – 717,700
2010 – 467,818
2011 – 518,869
2012 – 472,764
Total for 12 years: $4,963,019
Average for 12 years: $ 413,584
Note that 2008 was the first year in which the ZOA “forgot” to file its Form 990. It was not filed until the end of 2012, so the information about the enormity of Mort Klein’s salary was not publicly available for more than four years. The Form 990s for 2009, 2010 and 2011 were also not filed until late 2012, so again the public was in the dark. Moreover, Mort Klein actually laid off some employees and asked others to take pay cuts starting 2009 because of the recession.
It was the failure to file the Form 990s that caused the ZOA to lose its 501c3 status from May of 2011 until May of 2013, a fact that was covered up by Mort Klein until September of 2012.
Mort Klein justifies his enormous salary by claiming that he donated his time as a volunteer for the first six years at ZOA, and that his big increases were to compensate him for his sacrifice. That excuse doesn’t wash. First, the job was a volunteer one when Mort sought the position in 1994. He knew he was not getting paid. It is disingenuous for him to complain about it later.
Second, Mort Klein has stated in the press that if you averaged his salary for his 20 years of presidency of the ZOA, it would come out to only about $200,000 per year.
But Mort Klein’s arithmetic is off. Here’s the proof. We know Mort Klein earned substantially more than $400,000 in 2013, which will bring his total for 13 years to approximately $5.4 million. Assuming Mort Klein made absolutely nothing for the seven years of 1994 through 2000, his average salary would be approximately $270,000 per year, which is 35% more than the $200,000 he claims. Since Mort Klein almost certainly was paid a salary in 2000, and perhaps earlier, his average compensation is actually even higher.
Mort Klein has to know how much he earned and that his excuse that he averaged “only” $200,000 per year over 20 years is false. Why does he feels the need to understate his income so substantially?
Steve Goldberg, Mort Klein’s challenger for ZOA President, believes the ZOA should be spending money fighting for Israel, not enriching its President. If Steve is elected, the ZOA will no longer be squandering its money on an unseemly salary for its President. Instead, the money will be spent on programs, activism and growth aimed at defending Israel.