all from this week’s edition of The New York Jewish Week:
Israel correspondent Michele Chabin speaks with Avraham Infeld (Chais Foundation):
Underprivileged students from inner-city slums getting a taste of college. Gifted high school students working in state-of-the-art science labs. Aspiring musicians looking to perform overseas. Soldiers trying to deepen their Jewish identities.
These are just some of the people affected by the fallout from the Bernard Madoff financial scandal, which played out in a midtown Manhattan office tower known as the Lipstick Building. Some of Israel’s most renowned educational institutions have been hurt, directly or indirectly, by the Ponzi scheme run by the New York financier.
Bernard Madoff’s alleged, record-shattering Ponzi scheme may ignite a crisis of confidence among donors to Jewish causes, adding to the impact of an economic climate that already has many reeling.
Just days after Bernard Madoff’s arrest, senior lay and professional leaders of Hadassah huddled here to determine the extent of their loss and to figure out how they ever invested with him in the first place. The amount lost was staggering — $90 million. There was no way to sugar coat it. The group had already delayed release of the figure by a couple of days.
A big concern was how Hadassah’s 300,000 members would react. Most of them are senior citizens who, it was believed, would be less than sympathetic to the way their money was handled.