Hundreds of layoffs with more to come: We’re tracking coronavirus job losses in the Jewish world

May 27, 2020

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(JTA)—The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is recording layoffs and furloughs at Jewish organizations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This story is updated regularly and serves as a running log of layoffs and furloughs imposed at Jewish nonprofits.
May 14: 60 laid off from Union for Reform Judaism

The Reform movement laid off 60 full-time employees, constituting 20% of its workforce, and said other workers would be furloughed for three months this summer. The organization also announced pay cuts of 3–16%.

The announcement came two weeks after the organization canceled its summer programming, ensuring a significant loss of revenue from camp tuition.

May 6: Deep cuts at Jewish Federations of North America
Dozens of people were laid off in early May, representing about 20% of the organization’s workforce. Executives also took temporary pay cuts.

JFNA is the umbrella group of communal fundraising and programming organizations across the country. It is leading an emergency coalition to coordinate the Jewish response to the pandemic-induced financial crisis.

April 27: 20% of Hillel International employees laid off

The organization that operates a network of campus centers for Jewish college students laid off or furloughed 30 people in late April. The cuts represented 20% of staff at Hillel’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. (More than 1,000 people work for individual Hillels across the country.)

April 23: Conservative Yeshiva in Israel lays off 5 people

The Conservative Yeshiva, a school located at the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center of the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism, has laid off five staff members.

The news was announced in an email to the yeshiva’s alumni, which include alumni of the Nativ gap-year program. The Conservative Yeshiva attracts students from Nativ as well as rabbinical students studying in Israel and post-college students.

Among the employees laid off at the yeshiva were two educators who taught there for more than 20 years.

“Like so many institutions responding to COVID-19, we have faced a dramatic, unprecedented reduction in resources. This has meant making heartbreaking decisions about our staff,” Stephen Arnoff, CEO of the Fuchsberg Center, wrote in the email. “There are no words to describe adequately our disappointment at this change in our community.”

April 1: Virtually total layoffs at Philadelphia-area JCC

The Kaiserman Jewish Community Center outside Philadelphia laid off 176 of 178 staff members just two weeks into the crisis. The JCC, like most others across the country, depends on fees paid for services such as day care and gyms that it could no longer deliver.

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