Friday, October 28, 2005

Spitzer WJC investigation

The Jewish Week :

Attorney General Elliott Spitzer's investigation of the World Jewish Congress has focused of late on statements attributed to Israel Singer suggesting that the chairman of the group's governing board had a personal $2 million "slush fund" provided to him each year by Edgar Bronfman, the WJC president.
The subject came to light recently through an e-mail written Jan. 9, 2002 by Larry Cohler-Esses, then an investigative reporter with The Daily News, to Singer, who was then secretary general, the top professional post at the WJC.
At the time Singer had offered Cohler-Esses the position of head of the North American section of the WJC, the international defense agency currently under scrutiny for alleged financial improprieties.
In the e-mail, Cohler-Esses summarized his prior meetings and conversations with Singer, and asked him a series of questions.
One of the questions: "Are there any skeletons in WJC's closet of which I should be aware before I take this position?"
Apologizing for any possible perceived "impudence" in the nature of the questions, Cohler-Esses wrote: "As we discussed on Friday, WJC officials publicly describe their annual budget as approximately $5.5 million, but its 1999 IRS tax report lists a budget of $11.1 million on income of almost $12 million. Of this, $8.1 million is listed as going to program services; about $741,000 to administration and management; and $2.2 million to fundraising.
"When we spoke on Monday, you mentioned that Edgar [Bronfman] has established a 'slush fund' of about $2 million for use at your personal discretion. If you subtract this sum and the amount devoted to fundraising, that leaves about $6.9 million, or still an extra $1.4 million." Cohler-Esses then asked if Singer's "personal discretion fund" explained "some of the extra money," where the rest of the money...

Singer is a noble, hard working, frum man devoted to klall work. I sure hope he is cleared.

The WJC has got to be more transparent and less of an extension of Edger Bronfman.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 12:06 PM

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