(JTA) — Herbert Klapper, the president of a New Jersey not-for-profit cemetery, has one of the top salaries in the Jewish communal world.
Klapper, of Cedar Park & Beth El Cemetery in Paramus, took home a base salary of $729,000 in 2009, according to tax documents, the paper reported.
The Forward’s 2011 survey of Jewish communal salaries — a survey that did not include Jewish cemeteries — found only two individuals earning more than Klapper: Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center received $739,000 in 2009, and Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, received $853,000.
The paper found that only one other not-for-profit cemetery in the country with comparable revenues paid its top executive a higher salary in 2009. The cemetery, which is not Jewish, had assets 3 1/2 times larger than those of Cedar Park.
Lawrence Rose, Cedar Park’s general manager, defended Klapper’s salary.
“We have 300 acres of property and over 25,000 crypt spaces in modern beautiful buildings. There are no other facilities like ours on the East Coast," he told the paper. "If you had visited other cemeteries, especially those in New York, you would have concluded that none offer the quality and dignity at burial, or offer mourners and visitors the opportunity to reflect in an environment like ours.”