Something is definitely not right at Hadassah, and it goes way beyond a continuing series of PR disasters the past year. According to the lead story in today’s New York Jewish Week, less than twenty-four hours after implementing the largest staff reduction in the organization’s history,
“Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, may have lost $90 million invested with Bernard Madoff, but over the last 20 years it withdrew $130 million from that account.
Nancy Falchuk, the president of Hadassah, confirmed the $130 million figure in a phone interview late Wednesday morning.
Prior to the conversation with Falchuk, the Jewish Week source said Hadassah’s treasurer, Marci Natan, has acknowledged to donors that Hadassah withdrew $130 million over the years.
“They are not publishing it, but they are telling donors who call,” said the source. “The money went for all of our projects — a college and two hospital campuses and for the support of a number of youth aliyah programs.”
One of the callers to Natan, Stan Epstein of Santa Monica, Calif., expressed surprise when she told him of the $130 million. And he said she told him that Hadassah made another $50 million with Madoff that the organization reinvested with him.”
Hadassah is clearly in need of life support – and a transfusion of new blood. My own opinion, there is no proper governance at Hadassah and there certainly is a lack of leadership. There is only a constant flow of spin – certainly no, or very limited, transparency. They are a superb organization with a long history of providing top notch programs and support in Israel and the U.S. However, they need to get help and they need it quickly.
Nancy Falchuk and the entire senior leadership, lay and professional, should resign. Today. For, is it really possible to believe anything coming from this organization, under the present leadership, from this time forward?