A Boston Globe article released on November 18th revealed that former Brandeis University President, and current head of the Mandel Foundation of Cleveland, is still receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary every year from the university. The article made its rounds on social media, going viral and generated many negative responses from students, faculty, alumni, and current members of the Brandeis Administration. The Boston Globe also posted the IRS documents filed by the Mandel Foundation and it’s affiliates on its website.
A recent Deis Nooz exclusive update on this story has revealed that Jehuda Reinharz salary was actually paid in Hanukkah gelt, the traditional tin-foil covered chocolate money used for the game of Dreidel.
“This is correct, his salary was paid in gelt,” stated Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel in an email to Deis Nooz. “The administration was originally reluctant to compensate Jehuda accordingly. However, at the time of the demand, the currency conversion rate favored our paying him in gelt as opposed to US dollars.”
The news has drawn mixed reactions from members of the Brandeis and greater Massachusetts community . Currently, three separate protests are planned across campus to oppose this form of payment, as many Social Justice majors disagree with the current labor policies of Bolivian coca fields, where the raw confectionary materials for gelt are produced.
“We will continue to protest this move by the Brandeis administration,” exclaimed frustrated Social Justice major Andrew Rosenblum. “The poor workers slaving away in the cocoa fields of Bolivia make $1.37 an hour and can hardly feed their families! We demand an increase in the minimum wage, and we demand that Reinharz convert his gelt to another currency!”
However the effects are not just being seen on Brandeis’ campus, and are being felt throughout Massachusetts. Hanukkah, as many Jews know, is unusually early this year, starting on November 27th, and with the news breaking of Reinharz’s salary being paid in the fake chocolate money, there is a state-wide gelt shortage. Rabbi’s and bubbe’s across the state are rushing to their local kosher supermarket to stock up.
Reinharz was notorious for propensity for fundraising, and raised significant capital to expand the Brandeis campus during his term as President. In October of 2012, the New Ridgewood Residence Hall was renamed the Jehuda Reinharz Residence Hall in his honor.
Since the news of this gelt conundrum broke, students have literally attempted to take bites out of buildings erected during his tenure in hopes of them being chocolate. Currently, Deis Nooz can confirm that Jehuda Reinharz Residence Hall, the Village Residence Hall, and Mandel Center for the Humanities are not, in fact, constructed of the Hanukkah treat.
“We recommend that students do not risk their dental health by trying to eat the buildings,” said Head of Public Safety Edward Callahan. “Listen, while we are still unsure about the construction materials used in some of these buildings, why risk it?” said Callahan in a campus-wide email to students.
Current University President Fred Lawrence could not be reached for comment. His secretary expects him to be back on Tuesday after an extensive orthodontist appointment.