Top Hadassah Officials Probed Over Funds

COO Larry Blum Made Claims After Being Placed on Leave

Questions Raised: Allegations of mishandling funds have been raised against Hadassah board members Marcie Natan, left, and Nancy Falchuk, right.
hadassah/facebook
Questions Raised: Allegations of mishandling funds have been raised against Hadassah board members Marcie Natan, left, and Nancy Falchuk, right.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published February 07, 2012, issue of February 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Hadassah, the international women’s Zionist organization, is investigating fraud allegations against two top members of its executive board, the Forward has learned.

The allegations came in a letter sent to the organization’s board members on January 12 by Larry Blum, Hadassah’s top staff member. Blum was placed on administrative leave in November amidst separate charges relating to his alleged misuse of his corporate credit card. He declined comment.

In his letter, Blum accused Hadassah national president Marcie Natan and former national president Nancy Falchuk of misusing Hadassah funds. Both declined to comment on the charges through a Hadassah spokesperson.

Blum alleged that Natan, who was elected as Hadassah’s national president in July, used Hadassah funds to buy favors for members who supported her candidacy for national president. Those favors allegedly included flight upgrades to business class and the unnecessary extension of trips to Israel made on Hadassah business.

Blum charged that Falchuk, who served as Hadassah’s national president from 2007 to 2011, moved furniture and fixtures valued between $10,000 and $20,000 from a Hadassah-owned apartment to her own home without the approval of the organization’s leadership.

Blum also accused Falchuk of charging thousands of dollars in wine, entertainment, and personal trips to Florida to Hadassah’s credit card.

A special whistleblower committee of Hadassah board members is investigating Blum’s charges. The committee has secured Daniel Kurtz, who heads the nonprofit law practice at the Manhattan legal firm Skadden, Arps, as outside counsel. Kurtz has deep experience in charity fraud and is former head of the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.

In a statement emailed to the Forward, Hadassah said that the investigation of Blum’s allegations and of Blum’s alleged misuse of his corporate credit card was “ongoing.”

“No conclusions have been reached,” the statement read. “Until there is a final resolution, Mr. Blum is on administrative leave.”

Following inquiries from the Forward about the allegations, Natan and Falchuk emailed board members on February 7 to assure them that the charges were “being reviewed by an independent committee with an independent outside investigator.”

“We welcome this review and we are confident that the committee has in place a sensible and fair process for reaching a conclusion as to the allegations and, the appropriate action to take, if any, that will protect the interests of Hadassah, its members, employees and officers,” the two leaders wrote.

Blum has been Hadassah’s chief operating officer for ten years. He has been the group’s highest-ranking staff member since Morlie Levin was laid off as national executive director in 2009.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • 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.