Gender Equity in Jewish Education

Knowledge Topics
Human Resources, Professional Leadership
Deepening Talent

Heads of Orthodox Schools Salary and Benefits Report, 2023

Epstein, Odelia, and Shaffer Seeman, Debra. Heads of Orthodox Schools Salary and Benefits Report, June 2023

This report of heads of Orthodox schools includes significant analysis of gender equity. For female heads, the median salary is $200,000, whereas for male heads, it is $257,000. Overall women tend to lead schools with smaller enrollments and budgets. By conducting a regression analysis that takes into account enrollment and budget size, it was discovered that gender is the most powerful predictor of head of school salary.6 Female heads were found to earn $56,000 – $61,000 less than their male counterparts with similar school profiles. Based on this regression model, if a male and female head were running two schools with the same budget, enrollment, grade levels, and tenure at current school, the male head would earn $56,000 – $61,000 more than the female head. Using a different and standardized metric of the gender gap in salaries, the survey data show female heads of Orthodox schools earn 78 cents for every dollar a male head earns. For independent schools, that gender pay gap is 79 cents per dollar, and for other Jewish day schools, the difference is 82 cents per dollar.

Gender Equity and Leadership Initiative

Epstein, Shira D., and Jacobs, Andrea. Gender Equity and Leadership Initiative. Report. William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish, Jewish Theological Seminary. 2019.

Charts on gender equity related to job responsibility and suggestions to help close the gender equity gap.

A survey to Davidson Alumni found, “in the salary breakdown, only 15 percent of the women respondents reported earning between $100 and $150K as compared to 28 percent of the male respondents. And nearly three times as many men as women reported earning above $150K: 23.6 percent of men compared to 8.1 percent of women. The reverse is true in the lower salary ranges, nearly twice as many women (27.5 percent) than men (14.5 percent) report earning between $60 and $79K.”

Enhancing Female Leadership in Modern Orthodox Day Schools

Feldbulm, Meryl. Enhancing Female Leadership in Modern Orthodox Day Schools. Article. HaYidion. Prizmah, Center for Jewish Day Schools. 2019.

Heads of Jewish Community Day Schools a Portrait of the Field

Heads of Jewish Community Day Schools a Portrait of the Field. Report. RAVSAK. 2015. 

Includes tables on salary by gender

“Our research makes clear a lingering fieldwide disparity in income based on gender. Among men, 47% of respondents make over $200,000, and 16% make over $300,000. Among women heads, the comparable figures are 20% over $200,000 and 3% over $300,000. The disparity at the very top is especially noteworthy given the fact that women and men are equally represented at the largest schools (over 600). At the lower end, 14% of male heads compared to 32% of female heads earn $100,000 or less, and all of the heads earning $50,000 or less are women.”

Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools

Gorsetman, C. R., & Sztokman, E. M. (2013). Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools. Waltham, MA: Brandeis Univ. Press. View on Amazon

A Survey of Day School Principals in the United States

Schick, Marvin. A Survey of Day School Principals in the United States. Report. AVI CHAI. August 2007. 

Includes stats on percentage breakdown male/female principals, tables on salary and gender broken down by years of service and years in current school.

“In their first year of service at their current school, no men earned below $60,000, while 10% of the women did. At the other end of the pay scale, there were men who earned above $180,000 in their first year, but no women. Ten percent of first-year women are in the three highest salary categories of $120,000 or above. The comparable statistic for men is nearly 40%. For principals who have served between 5-10 years at their present school, one-quarter of the women were paid above $120,000, while for men the figure is close to 60%.”

Other resources