NewsBits: Odds and Ends

A few stories you may find of interest this morning.

from Newsday:

Suit eyes $5B in false profits earned via Madoff scam

A prominent Palm Beach, Fla., couple and the major philanthropic foundation they founded were among a group of defendants sued Tuesday for the return of $5 billion allegedly passed along as false profits by swindler Bernard Madoff.

The lawsuit against the Picower Foundation, its founders Barbara and Jeffry Picower and others was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal bankruptcy court by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff’s companies.

from The New York Jewish Week:

School Board Blues

In a move that some see as the latest in a string of necessary budget cuts and others as part of a growing national trend, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Boston federation, voted to end funding to its Board of Jewish Education, effectively causing the BJE to close its doors at the end of July.

from The New York Times:

Robin Hood Event Adjusts to Tough Time

Mr. Soros, who had flown in from Sweden hours earlier, pledged $50 million to address the rapid increase in people in New York City seeking basic support like food and shelter if Robin Hood and its board members raised almost the same amount in each of the next two years.

That is one of the largest gifts ever made to satisfy basic needs, according to fund-raising experts, and Mr. Soros said he hoped it would inspire other philanthropists and philanthropic institutions to make similar contributions. “Just as needs have increased so tremendously, the philanthropic organizations have been also victims of the crisis, and they have to cut back,” he said in a telephone interview. “We want to reverse that with this gift.”

The spirit of generosity was reflected in the total reached at the event, more than $72 million.