Willie Rapfogel Scandal Prompts Few Signs of Change at Jewish Groups

Despite Stunning Fall, Little Angst at Non-Profits

met council

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen (Haaretz)

Published October 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The stunning array of charges against William Rapfogel, the disgraced former head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, should prompt Jewish organizations to engage in soul-searching and make governance changes to avoid similar misfortunes, say experts in non-profit management and ethics.

But that, they say, isn’t happening.

Charming and savvy, Rapfogel was arrested September 24 and charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, money laundering and tax fraud for having allegedly stolen $5 million over his two-decade-long tenure as chief executive officer at Met Council, the premier anti-poverty organization working among New York’s Jewish community. According to the indictment, in August investigators found some $420,000 in cash stashed in Rapfogel’s apartment and upstate New York vacation home. He is out on $100,000 bail (paid in cash) pending his first court date in January 2014, said Andrew Friedman, a spokesman for the state’s attorney general.

Rapfogel’s arrest – and the extensive charges against him – left the local Jewish community, where he was widely viewed as an exemplar of effective leadership, stunned.

“I don’t know of another case in the non-Jewish or Jewish community where people were so adoring of someone and then so disillusioned,” said Naomi Levine, executive director of the Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University.

For more go to Haaretz


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!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • 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.