soup kitchen 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Registrar of Nonprofit Organizations is reviewing complaints it received in
recent weeks about the operations of Jerusalem-based humanitarian aid network
Hazon Yeshaya, a charity that provides thousands of hot meals each day to people
A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry, which oversees the
registrar, a department in the Corporations Authority, refused to divulge who
had made the complaints or exactly what those complaints were but said it would
likely be lengthy process. If the complaints prove to be valid, the
organization’s status as a recognized charity could be revoked.
Yeshaya, which has received up to $20 million over the past two years from
international donors, has come under scrutiny in recent months from supporters
around the world.
Last October, Friends of Hazon Yeshaya groups in the UK
and Canada started to raise suspicions over the scope of the charity’s
activities in Israel and, subsequently, supporting branches in Hong Kong,
Australia, South Africa and France suspended their activities.
Bogot, a lawyer for the charity, said Thursday there was no investigation by the
Registrar of Nonprofit Organizations or by any other official body.
weeks ago, Hazon Yeshaya released to the media the results of an internal audit
carried out by a registered Jerusalem-based CPA that claimed to account for all
of the charity’s income and expenditures. At that time, Hazon Yeshaya’s founder
and director Rabbi Abraham Israel announced that the audit was a response to
suspicions raised about the charity’s operations.
In an interview with
The Jerusalem Post
last month, Israel admitted that due to a drop in donations
over the past year he has been forced to reduce the scope of the charity’s
While in the past his soup kitchens, which are based in
Jerusalem, Rishon Lezion and Ashkelon, produced around 14,000 meals a day to
those in need, more recently its output has sunk to 9,000 and now, he said, it
is closer to 5,000.
The audit showed that Hazon Yeshaya also funds
vocational training courses, and special classes training religious court
employees, as well as providing free dental treatments, medical kits for
soldiers, and food, transport and other services for kindergartens and schools
for children in need.
Former supporters of the charity, however, have
since expressed surprise that the audit showed how Hazon Yeshaya is providing
financial support to several kollels, Jewish learning institutions for married
men, and yeshivas in Jerusalem, as well as offering financial aid to families
and individuals in need, including religious brides and grooms.
the audit failed to answer all of their questions about the charity’s
Suspicions about Hazon Yeshaya were first raised this past summer
when the charity’s Canadian Friends requested Israel provide it with more
details about food distribution and other services. When Israel’s response was
less than sufficient, the group sent a charity investigator to Israel and based
on his findings decided to suspend its work with Hazon Yeshaya, raising alarm
among other groups worldwide.
A few months later, with the support of the
other international funders, the Canadian group hired a team of private
investigators, including ex- Mossad agents. This team has apparently filed a
100-page report with vast accusations against Hazon Yeshaya although no
information has been made public.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>