Yesterday, Yeshiva University let go of closer to 120 people (if you include forced retirements) [see the previous post] in what many are saying is a massive screw up by the people on top. Rather than having the senior level staff take 2-5% paycuts, they decided to let go of al the “little people”, people who in fact make the university run. I wonder how the rabbis in the various departments are going to get stuff done without their trusty assistants. Only time will tell.

What really irked me was the gall that YU had to announce a job fair for later this month, for YU affiliated personnel (students, alumni, and I would presume the recently laid off) only. That’s what I call Chutzpah. If you really cared about your employees’ welfare, you would’ve take pay cuts like any moral institution would do.  Or G-d forbid you dip into your $1Billion+ endowment.


If you are in New York City, looking to network, looking for a job, looking to meet others, check out a community organized event: ParnasaFest NY, taking place at Mt. Sinai Jewish Center this Thursday 2/12 between 8-10pm. Click here for the Facebook event.

About the author

wendy in furs

I live and blog anonymously from New York. If my boss knew this was me, I'd be fired in a nano-second. Ha ha! Screw you boss man!


  • as a yu alum i was appalled when i received this email about their “job fair”. its worse the chutzpah. i am mamosh embarassed. why not work with those who were laid off and find them these open jobs before making it like they are the saviors of the unemployed jewish community! i’d attend your mt sinai event before ever showing my face at the yu one.

  • In the month of February, I thnik, YU has a Seforim Sale, which brings in HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars. Maybe the Student Association can use these proceeds to hire back some staff members, or donate it to a fund in support of their laid off (fired) community members

  • With all the “liitle people” gone I wonder who the higher ups will abuse and belittle.

    They talk a lot about YU as family over there, but it’s pure, cynical bs. Some of the people forced to take a buyout are in their 60s and have been there for 30+ years. Where are they going to find jobs in this economy? Not to mention retirement funds in the toilet.

  • Perhaps instead of forcing out the people who actually run the university, YU should consider following the example of Middlebury (VT) where the top staff are taking pay cuts of up to 10% in order to avoid layoffs. The individuals who are responsible for the success of the university are at the top, yet they don’t take responsibility and step down! Shame on you, YU.

  • this event has been planned for months even before the madoff scandal. as a yu alum i’ve been getting so many emails about this annoying event sometimes even twice a day that i sent it to spam.

  • Word is that the Madoff losses are a convenient cover for other financial shenanigans that were discovered back in mid-2007, resulting in YU having to freeze many operations and re-do budgets that had already been finalized.

  • Are you suggesting that YU not have the Job fair? In a time like this it is all the more needed.
    Why do you assume that no one at the top is taking a pay cut? I have no knowledge of what goes on behind closed doors at YU, maybe you do.

  • <>

    Because no institution would miss a PR opportunity like that if it were true. And YU needs all the good PR it can get right now.

  • Larry – The SOY Seforim Sale is run by student government and its proceeds go to the student government’s operating budget. Are you saying SOY should donate the student’s money back to the school because the administration screw up?

  • Y
    We are dealing with a private matter as to what people are being paid and what agreement they might have come to about what they should be paid. People may not want to make this public. Not everything is about PR.

  • Gettign a group of faculty to take a pay-cut is rather difficult – they typically feel udnerpaid (this isnt true of muffti who feels way overpaid, but..)

  • Benzion,

    The salary of Richard Joel and his vice presidents are a matter of record.


    Nobody suggested that faculty take a pay cut, but that the president, provost etc take them. They’re the ones who earn 400-650K.

  • Ah, yeah. But will taking even 10% of their pay really save many jobs? 40000$ or so each? Truthfully Muffti can’t imagine it would help

    Though it would be a nice gesture.

  • Question: would each and any of you go for a 2% to 10% pay cut, based on income, to ease the woes of welfare recipients / welfare recipients in the Jewish community? Afterall 10% of one’s income are the traditional Jewish amount for a donation.

  • I already spend at least 10% of my income on charitable causes. I think YU had an amazing opportunity to do something great – institute across the board voluntary pay cuts along with voluntary retirement in order to save jobs and prevent sending staff people out onto the street at a time when finding a job is hard as heck. They would have scored such an amazing PR coup and would have stood as an example to all on how a community bands together to help each other out. Instead of acting like an exemplar of the finest in Jewish values, Joel and YU acted like any other corporate entity would have. I am not saying that what YU did was bad, but man… too bad. Those who lost their jobs have my deepest sympathy.

  • I think an organization as huge as a university would not have had any serious troubles in getting loans [or alumni funding] had they wanted to, so I suppose cutting down staff numbers basically just coincided with the Madoff scandal (I don’t know any university that funds administration staff that way, c’mon now; such money goes to academic chairs, labs, exchanges and thelike). And I haven’t seen many people here scream, “Hooray for danations!” Asking solidarity is always an easy task when it’s not done from one’s own purse.

  • the so-called “jewish” job fair was little more than a glorified chinuch job fair. if you are an aspiring morah / rebbe then it might have been a worthwhile event. otherwise it was a pointless waste of time.

  • I was insulted last night. I’m looking for a position at a Jewish non-profit. 60% of the employers were day schools and I am not a teacher. One of the exhibitors there, her only open position was for a camp couselor. I’m sorry but I’m not competing for a job with a 16-year-old girl. The chutzpah that Yeshiva has to not only charge attendees, but to charge organizations who are offering jobs is just revolting. Its times like this that the doors should be wide open, bringing these two groups into the room together. For free.

  • i agree with the last comment and others. i was there and it was so lame. (except for overabundance albeit juvenile amount of free candy. WTF???) if you werent looking for an entry level position as a morah or rebbe in a local day school then there was next to nothing for anyone looking for a job in the jewish community. this is really no different from my days as a yu student when there were some mini events like this billed as “jewish job fairs” and unless you were going into MO chinuch, your best bet was a camp counselor or a volunteer opportunity with disabeled kids. the more things change, the more they stay the same. was an absolute waste.

  • seriously there were maybe a total of 3 non school entities there comprising the entire spectrum of organizations, agencies and non profits.

    (i heard vendors had to pay a hundred dollars per. can anyone verify this? maybe thats why there were so few. either way, all i got out of the event was mike & ikes)

Leave a Comment