Tallying the Jewish Communal Losses

By Gabrielle Birkner

Published December 18, 2008, issue of December 26, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

In the week since Bernard Madoff was arrested and accused of running one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to Jewish foundations and social service organizations have been totaled; two charities that backed mostly Jewish and Israeli causes have been shuttered.

The ripple effect of the alleged fraud could be felt for decades to come — as venerable Jewish foundations, organizations, day schools and synagogues find their operating funds and grant-making pools depleted, and their largest donors with newly shallow pockets.

The president of the Jewish Funders Network, Mark Charendoff, has called Madoff’s collapse “the atomic bomb in the world of Jewish philanthropy.” The president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, Gary Tobin, spoke in equally dire terms: “For the philanthropic elite who invested with him, the means they would be giving away for many more years is gone. The long-term effects of dollars that would have been contributed is severe.”

The table below, compiled from tax returns, press statements and news reports, details some of the most significant Jewish communal losses reported to date.

Click below for a larger version of the chart:






Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.