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!
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
  • 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.