Reeling from Madoff losses, Hadassah determined to recover
Longstanding Jewish philanthropic organization lost staggering $90 million when it fell victim to Bernard Madoff scam. In rare emotional plea, Hadassah president issues call to arms for immediate donations: ‘We've had to tighten our belt so much it hurts. But everything we do to meet the challenge is aimed at protecting our core mission of strengthening Israel and the Jewish people’
WASHINGTON – ‘Hadassah’ President Nancy Falchuk issued an urgent call for donations on Friday to America’s oldest Zionist philanthropic organization in the wake of the Bernard Madoff scandal. Hadassah announced earlier this week the organization’s losses stand at $90 million. Falchuk warned that the
organization’s plight was “critical,” and called on both regular donors and non-members to help Hadassh pull through.
Numerous Jewish charity groups are among former NASDAQ Chairman Madoff’s victims.
In an impassioned online video campaign under the banner ‘Times Are Tough – But We’re Tougher,’ Falchuk calls on Hadassah supporters to help the group weather the difficult epoch.
“We've had to tighten our belt so much it hurts. But everything we do to meet the challenge is aimed at protecting our core mission of strengthening Israel and the Jewish people,” Falchuk says in the video.
“Protecting our mission and our values takes more than planning. That's why we need every member of Hadassah, and generous non-members as well, to be involved. This a critical moment in which your financial support is so urgent.”
Noting that Hadassah has been hit twice in recent times, with the global economic crisis already having taken its toll on the organization’s finances long before the Madoff scandal broke, Falchuk remains confident.
Recalling that the organization, founded in 1912, has triumphed over numerous difficult events in its history, Falchuk says: “Despite the substantial loss, I want to assure you of Hadassah's strength, sustainability and commitment,” Falchuk says. “We will get through this crisis because of the wisdom that is our inheritance, because of the fortitude of our leaders and members, and because our life-enhancing and life-saving programs demand it of us.”
Hadassah has already said the loss would not affect the building of a new multi-story complex at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. The new medical center, to be named after Sarah Davidson, will cost $210 million - $75 million of which were donated by William Davidson, owner of the Detroit
“I appeal to you directly, simply, humbly,” says Falchuk to supporters. “We need your IMMEDIATE support to continue our projects in Israel. To save lives every day. To educate the next generation that will lead Israel in the years and decades to come.
“Jews have endured for millennia. Hadassah has endured for almost 100 years. With your help, we will continue because times are tough, but we're tougher