Jewish Journal

Madoff scheme stings Israel

by Danielle Berrin

December 18, 2008 | 11:00 pm

As Bernard Madoff awaits trial in his $10 million Manhattan apartment, non-profit organizations in Israel are closing their doors.

The Chais Family Foundation, which closed its Encino office last Sunday is now closing its Jerusalem satellite. Foundation chair Avraham Infeld told NBC News he got a phone call from the Chais family who said, “You’re gonna have to close down the office, you’re gonna have to fire the staff, and please let everyone know we cannot fulfill another penny of committment.”

Infeld said the foundation’s $250 million endowment is “gone—there’s nothing there.”

There is grave concern that Jewish philanthropists affected by the Madoff scheme may have to curb their support to Israeli universities, hospitals and social service programs.

Watch the NBC Nightly News report

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