The Latest Madoff Victim

In the continuing fallout being reported in the foundation world, The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, the largest in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, has lost money through investments with Madoff. Nancy Berman, whose late parents were the owners of Hess’s Department Store and started what became a $42 million foundation, said the fund had an undisclosed amount of money indirectly invested through Madoff.

Recent gifts from the foundation to the Jewish/Israeli world include:

  • $6.5 million – the Alexander Calder sculpture in Jerusalem
  • $450,000 – American Friends of Tel Aviv University
  • $106,000 – Hadassah Hospital School of Nursing

Berman said she hopes to continue giving on the same level, but acknowledged such philanthropy hinges on future performance of the fund. ”We intend to do whatever we can to continue at current levels. With all that has happened recently, the need is greater than ever.”