Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 157–170 | Cite as

Determinants of the salaries of rabbis

  • Alan Kirschenbaum
  • Arie Melnik


The effect of communal internal labor markets on the generation of wage differences for prestigious occupations is examined here. We focus on the rabbi as an example of a free professional whose job opportunities are circumscribed within a communal or congregational labor market. Through an analysis of an unusual data set on rabbis in the United States, several hypotheses were tested. The dominant empirical variables explaining salary levels were found to be linked primarily to the rabbis’ communal labor market as reflected in a congregation’s size and general income level. A human capital factor, experience, proved of lesser importance. These results suggest that rewards are generated by a combination of factors allied to the socio-economic status of the local congregation. The significance of such communal labor markets in determining wages is discussed.


Labor Market Jewish Community Salary Level Contemporary JEWRY Material Reward 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Althauser, Roberts, P. and Arne L. Kallenberg. 1981. “Firms, Occupations, and the Structuring Labor Markets: A Conceptual Analysis.” Pp. 77–118 in I. Berg (ed.)Sociological Perspectives on Labor Markets. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, Frank, M., James N. Morgan and John A. Sonquist. 1969.Multiple Classification Analysis. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, Gary. 1964,Human Capital. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  4. Blau, Peter M. and W. Richard Scott. 1962.Formal Organizations: A Compositive Approach. San Francisco: Chandler Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, Steven M. 1988.American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Doeringer, P. and M. Piore. 1971.Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis. Lexington, Mass: Heath.Google Scholar
  7. Feldman, Abraham J. 1975. “The Changing Functions of the Synagogue and the Rabbi.” Pp. 102–123 in J. Neusner (ed.)Understanding American Judaism, Part II. New York: Ktav Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Fichter, Joseph H. 1971.Religion as an Occupation: A Study in the Sociology of Professions. South Bend: The University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  9. Glazer, Nathan. 1959.American Judaism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  10. Goldscheider, Calvin. 1986.Jewish Continuity and Change: Emerging Patterns in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Goldstein, Sydney and Calvin Goldscheider. 1969.Jewish Americans: Three Generations in a Jewish Community. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  12. Greenberg, Simon. 1975. “The Rabbinate and the Jewish Community Structure,” Pp. 117–129 in Jacob Neusner (ed.)Understanding American Judaism, Part III. New York: Ktav Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Hammond, Phillip E., Luis Salinas and Douglas Sloane. 1978. “Clergy Authority Measurement, Location and Effects.”Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 17: 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mincer, Jacob. 1974.Schooling, Experience and Earnings. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  15. Neusner, Jacob (ed.). 1975.Understanding American Judaism, Part I: The Rabbi and the Synagogue. New York: Ktav Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Newport, Frank. 1979. “The Religious Switchers in the U.S.”American Sociological Review 44: 528–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sklare, Marshall (ed.). 1982.Understanding American Jewry. New Brunswick: Transaction Books,.Google Scholar
  18. Sklare, Marshall (ed.), 1983,American Jews: A Reader. New York: Behrman House.Google Scholar
  19. Sklare, Marshall and Joseph Greenblum. 1967.Jewish Identity on the Suburban Frontier. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  20. Sonquist, John A., Elizabeth Baker and James N. Morgan. 1971.Searching for Structure (AID-III). Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  21. Sorensen, Aage B. and Arne L. Kalleberg. 1981. “An Outline of a Theory of the Matching of Persons to Jobs,” Pp. 49–74 in Ivar Berg (ed.)Sociological Perspectives on Labor Markets. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  22. Zola, Gary P. 1988. “The American Rabbinate, 1960-1986: A Bibliographic Essay,” Pp. 111–124 in Alfred Gottschalk (ed.)To Learn and to Teach: Your Life as a Rabbi. New York: Rosen Publishing Group.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Kirschenbaum
    • 1
  • Arie Melnik
    • 2
  1. 1.Technion-Israel Institute of TechnologyUSA
  2. 2.University of HaifaUSA

Personalised recommendations