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12 Responses

  1. Joel Katz says:

    “…and Hadassah all lost heavy millions, but they all assure us that – even though they will never recoup those millions – they are not broke and will continue to operate and function normally.”

    It looks like Hadassah will not continue “to operate and function normally”.

    According to JTA, Hadassah just laid off one-quarter of its staff.

  2. Yechezkel Hirshman says:

    This entire post, complete with the quote from Senator Dirkson (unnamed) was expressed in my blog post entitled The Richest Man in the Cemetery on Dec. 25, 2008.

    Boruch she’kivanta.


  3. Leah says:

    Ahhhh yes, that is an excellent idea- One Jewish organization giving to another. No man dies with half of what he desires. How true- and pathetic.

  4. BobF says:

    If you give money to an organization, the organization has the responsibility to use it for the programs described when they were fund raising. THey have no right to give it to some other organization-if people wanted to give to some other organization they would.

  5. Ron Solomon says:

    Bar-Ilan University in Israel did not lose a dime to Madoff. Please correct your stories. It was incorrectly reported and keeps getting picked up.

  6. Chaim Fisher says:

    The author asks, “why did he keep running after more?” about Madoff.

    Madoff had to get more and more money new pouring in, to pay off all the non-existent gains he kept promising earlier investors. That’s how Ponzi schemes work.

  7. Bob Miller says:

    What we have here are essentially independent private organizations, each focusing narrowly on its own priorities and survival.

  8. Yehoshua Mandelcorn says:

    “if Yeshiva University would allocate only 1% – something over $10m. a year – to struggling small yeshivot and day schools that cannot pay their teachers on time”
    Flagship schools with large endowments should support feeder schools.
    But they will never support schools that do not believe in the flagship school itself.
    YU is viewed in many circles as the “dark side of the force”.

  9. Michoel says:

    I really wish you would feature R. Feldman more often. He is a wonderful, wise writer and someone that all participants of this blog can learn from.

  10. Michael Mirsky says:

    I wouldn’t say that they will be unaffected. Hadassah has already announced layoffs of some of their staff.

    I think you are inappropriately comparing the size of their funds with the size of their annual disbursements. Most of these funds have very large amounts in capital which they invest in stocks or bonds. The idea is that what they disburse each year is the interest or profits on the principal, so that the payments can continue to be made for many years to come. They don’t want to touch the capital, because that affects future payouts. Also I believe some of these funds are constrained by the donors in how much they can disburse.

    What you’re suggesting is that they whittle down their capital on an ongoing basis giving 1% to other causes. 1% may sound like a small amount, but when you consider the possibility of huge drops in the total value of the capital (especially in equities as happened last fall), you really don’t want to touch your capital at all, but only draw on it in extreme circumstances. I’m sure some of them have had to do that to keep operations going after the recent losses in the stock market.

  11. Leah says:

    Bob F. I was just reading your comment and I agree with it…also , is it something that could be worded and announced that ABC organization is working with organization XYZ and funds are distributed amongst the two. Meaning it would be something that would be announced so it is fair.

  12. Eliezer says:

    I agree with the sentiments of Michael. But to take it one step further, what you are asking is for these organizations to break into their endowment funds on a yearly basis, however, these funds don’t get increased all that often. Since as mentioned they are living off the interest, by taking away any of that fund, they would end up lowering their income, which would severly limit what they can acomplish.

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