This is one of those stories that seems fishy, but the kind of fishy you would have hoped could be taken care of by the institution itself. Unfortunately, it seems some egoes are in the way, and this story is already causing damage to a fine Jewish institution with a formidable reputation, with no less a figure than Edgar Bronfman Sr. as its primary benefactor and public face .

Anyway, Elliot Spitzer is now looking at the mysterious shuffling of funds at the WJC.

From October 2002 to February 2003, Mr. Singer, the Orthodox rabbi who has led the organization since 1985 and is a close friend and mentor of Mr. Bronfman, ordered the transfer of a total of $1.2 million from the congress’s New York account to a numbered account at a UBS branch in Geneva.

He quickly transferred the money to an account in London controlled by Zvi Barak, an Israeli lawyer, after the new manager of the congress’s Geneva office alerted him that the longtime accountant in that office had been paying himself roughly $1,900 a month more than his approved salary.

The people in the Geneva office have said they did not know of the account and learned of it a few months later, when the manager, Maya Ben-Haim Rosen, received a bank statement showing that a UBS account she was unaware of had been overdrawn by $40 when Mr. Singer transferred the money to Mr. Barak.

I hope this is cleared up without too much of a mess and hopefully with no legal ramifications.

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themiddle

2 Comments

  • I dunno. I mean I looove taking the piss out of Edgar Bronfman and all the Jewish community fat cats, but when I first read this story, I decided against posting it because ultimately, its really not that interesting. It seems like a lot of fuss was made over some silly accounting stuff, as part of some kind of internal power struggle – fat cat vs. fat cat. It all strikes me as a bunch of hooey. Boring.

  • Well, it was boring.

    Now Elliot Spitzer is involved. That makes it far from boring. He brought down Jeffrey Greenberg of Marsh, and Martha Stewart, and currently has half of New York’s financial community looking over their shoulders. But, as I wrote, I hope this clears up and remains boring.

    Sorry to bore you.

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