The world’s largest Jewish membership organization insists its programs will not be affected by a 10 percent cut in staff at its national headquarters here.
“No departments were eliminated,” said Ellen Marson, executive director of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
“In light of the overall market and economic considerations, we felt the need for a review of our administrative costs,” she said. “We are reviewing how we can reduce costs without affecting programs in any way whatsoever.”
Marson would not reveal how many employees were fired or what positions they held, but she said between 200 and 300 employees worked at the organization’s West 57th Street headquarters.
The firings were apparently across the board, from new to senior employees, union and non-union, administrative and professional.
“It was a
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very difficult and painful reorganization,” said Marson.
Hadassah’s union representative, Jackie Almanzar, did not return calls.
Hadassah, which is poised to celebrate its 90th anniversary, says it has 300,000 members worldwide.
The organization is best known for its two hospitals in Israel, but also runs the Young Judea youth movement and other social and cultural programs.
The organization is funded by membership dues and by private fund raising, including wills and bequests, which have made up a large portion of the organization’s budget. But Marson denied any setbacks in fund raising.
The cuts come at a time when Jewish philanthropy is reeling from the slowing economy. The United Jewish Communities recently asked its departments to cut as much as 40 percent of their budgets in an effort to reduce some $20 million in costs.