AJ Congress suspends activities

Organization lost most of its endowment in Madoff Ponzi scheme.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
July 18, 2010 01:50
2 minute read.
An American Jew.

American Jewry 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The American Jewish Congress, one of the oldest and historically powerful organizations of the Jewish-American establishment, has temporarily suspended its activities due to financial constraints.

Richard Gordon, president of the AJCongress told The Jerusalem Post that the organization has temporarily run out of funding.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
After Madoff, AJCongress looks for merger
Confronting Jews who defame Jews


“We have the money in the bank, but can’t get to it due to our constitution,” Gordon said.

“We expect to be able to access the account within a few weeks.”

Although an official statement announcing the cessation of the AJCongress has yet to be made, the decision was confirmed by sources that spoke on condition of anonymity, as well as by an automated e-mail response from one of the organization’s senior officials.

“After July 15, 2010, AJCongress has suspended most of its operations,” read the e-mail sent by AJCongress’s Matthew Horn in response to an inquiry. “It has been a great pleasure and honor working with you during my nearly five-year tenure with AJCongress, both as its policy director and for the past two years as its co-executive director.”



Rumors surrounding the imminent demise of the nearinsolvent AJCongress have been circulating since shortly after news broke that it had lost a large sum in an investment in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Reports group lost up to 90% of its endowment

Last April, the Post reported that the group may have lost as much as 90 percent of its roughly $24 million endowment, and that it lacked a large membership and donor base.

According to its Internal Revenue Service Form 990 for 2008, its net assets dropped from $16.9m. in 2007 to $3.8m. in 2008. It has spent much of the time since the collapse trying to find a replacement financial base.

Throughout its 92-year history, the American Jewish Congress has had a huge impact on the Jewish-American establishment. Under the leadership of its founder, the influential Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the support of notable jurists Felix Frankfurter and Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, the AJCongress was an early and strong supporter of human rights, Zionism and other matters important to the Jewish community in North America.

Ironically, it was originally formed as an alternative to the American Jewish Committee, which is now rescuing it from insolvency.

“We are talking to the American Jewish Committee constantly,” said Gordon.

“Where it will lead, I don’t know.”

Related Content

kurds syria
July 22, 2018
Iran and Turkey pressure Kurdish groups on different fronts

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN