Hadassah, the women’s Zionist group, has ended its relationship with Larry Blum, the chief operating officer whose allegations led to an investigation of top Hadassah executive board members. Blum had been on administrative leave since November amid a separate investigation into allegations that he misused his corporate credit card.
Blum’s departure was confirmed by Hadassah. A spokesman said his contract with the organization, which ended April 30, was not renewed. Reached via telephone, Blum said he had not been contacted about the investigation into the credit card allegations since late November, and that the only information he had received from Hadassah about his termination related to his health insurance coverage.
A spokesman for Hadassah told the Forward that a Hadassah attorney contacted Blum via correspondence to his attorney within the last five weeks but had received no response.
Blum served as Hadassah’s top-ranking staff member between May 2009 and his 2011 suspension. He was placed on leave over questions regarding expenses charged to his corporate credit card.
In a letter sent to Hadassah’s board in January, Blum accused Hadassah’s current president and immediate past president of misusing charitable funds. Hadassah announced in April that an investigation into the charges conducted by outside counsel had found Blum’s charges baseless, though Hadassah would not release the details of the investigator’s report or answer questions about it.
At the time, a spokesman for Hadassah said that the organization’s investigation into Blum was ongoing.
Blum was dismissive of the investigation into the charges he had leveled against the volunteer leadership. “I believe three people that rely on the president for their portfolios going forward and a law firm that has been paid thousands of dollars in legal fees…is not a credible source to make a determination,” Blum said, referring to the investigative committee of Hadassah board members and the law firm that investigated the charges.
Hadassah announced in April that it had hired Janice Weinman as its new chief executive officer. Weinman is slated to start work in June.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.