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B’nai B’rith rejects listing among insolvent charities

JTA

December 19, 2012 | 2:56 pm

B’nai B’rith International rejected as inaccurate its topping a well-known charity watchdog’s list of “charities in deep financial trouble.”

“B’nai B’rith International does not have $13 million negative capital and we are not in financial trouble,” the group said on Charity Navigator’s Web site. “The numbers Charity Navigator used to place B’nai B’rith on its ‘10 Charities in Deep Financial Trouble’ list were a year old.”  

It appears from the most recent of the organization’s International Revenue Service 990 forms posted on the B’nai B’rith Web site that Charity Navigator was working from 2010 figures, when B’nai B’rith recorded $13.5 million in negative capital.

The most recent form, for 2011, shows B’nai B’rith $154,145 in the black. The 2011 return also shows that donations to the organization spiked from $8.7 million in 2010 to $12.2 million last year.  

The B’nai B’rith statement cites the U.S. government’s takeover in September of B’nai B’rith International’s pension plan as a factor in the group’s improved fiscal outlook, noting that the decision to turn to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. was a difficult one.

“The request was made for a greater good — to continue the good works we do, and to ensure former employees and current pension-eligible employees will have their pensions when they need them,” the statement said.

B’nai B’rith’s listing as the most insolvent of 10 charities was part of a Top 10 issue of Charity Navigator marking its 10th anniversary for December, when charitable giving tends to spike.

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