NewsBits: Around Our Jewish World

Touching the world of Jewish philanthropy, here are a few items appearing on other Web sites you may find of interest.

A story in the Los Angles Jewish Journal suggests responsible board members should resign in the wake of the Madoff scandal. Here’s the link and an excerpt:

Anger replaces shock as Madoff scam puts spotlight on charity boards

“Anger has begun to supplant shock as those who contribute to prominent Jewish charities or work on their behalf gasp for comprehension of the unprecedented percussion that the Bernard L. Madoff investment fraud is having on their favorite causes.

At least one governance expert, James Kristie, editor of Directors & Boards magazine, says that more board-level resignations are in order.

“You don’t see board members resigning when a bad situation happens. I think there is something wrong with that,” Kristie said. “It is not usually a single board member who has contributed to a bad situation.”

The New York Jewish Week is reporting that for the first time, UJA-Federation of New York will provide scholarship money to Jewish day school students.

Fortune Magazine, in a story titled Charities: the foundation of Madoff’s scheme?, suggests why Madoff may have targeted the foundation world:

“Some observers have theorized that Madoff’s apparent soft spot for foundations was a ploy to instill confidence in private investors. (“Look at all the good work he does for such fine groups!”) That might be true, but it overlooks a simple fact that makes foundations ripe targets for a Ponzi schemer: the 5% payout rule.”

And lastly, Fox News is reporting that Madonna gave $2.6 million to the Kabbalah Center of Los Angeles in 2007. With total contributions of $3.1 million, the Kabbalah Center was the prime beneficiary of Madonna’s giving.