Eric Greitens, who resigned this week as governor of Missouri, will remain a recipient of a lucrative prize for Jewish humanitarians sponsored by one of the Jewish community’s most notable philanthropists.
The 44-year-old Republican, the state’s first Jewish governor, won the Charles Bronfman prize in 2012 for his establishment of a nonprofit called The Mission Continues, which helps veterans readjust to life after deployment. The Navy SEAL-turned-politician is currently under investigation for his alleged illegal use of the organization’s donor list to help him win his political campaign, and resigned after months of facing charges for a separate allegation, which stemmed from a sex scandal.
Executive director of The Charles Bronfman Prize, Jill Collier Indyk, told the Forward on Thursday that she stands by a February statement that neither of Greitens’ alleged actions will change his status as a Bronfman recipient.
While the invasion of privacy charges, in which Greitens allegedly took nonconsensual nude photographs of a woman he was having an affair with and threatened to release them should she reveal their affair, were dropped on May 14, Greitens continued to face calls for his impeachment.
“We are saddened and disappointed by the recent allegations brought against Eric Greitens. He was the overwhelming choice for the 2012 Prize when his life journey had shown him to be an outstanding leader and humanitarian,” Collier Indyk told the Forward in February when news of Greitens’ felonies broke. “These allegations do not in any way diminish the admiration and profound respect the Prize has for the ongoing work of The Mission Continues, the organization Greitens founded, and the values it shares with the Prize.”
“I think about tikkun olam, about the call to repair the world, and about how we can use our limited time to be of service,” Greitens wrote in his acceptance statement of the $100,000 prize. Before the scandals, Greitens was reportedly considering a presidential run.
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Eric Greitens Can Keep His Bronfman Prize