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It is rare that we follow up one post right away with another.  The primary reason is that we are understaffed, and in view of the tidal wave of propaganda that emanates from the JCA without any transparency, it is more than enough to keep everyone here very busy, so we must pick and choose our spots.  Furthermore, since we all have full time jobs, this is both a labor of love and of necessity.  That being said, we can not help but wonder whether the JCA is exploiting the horrible situation in Israel to raise money for their own purposes.  This is a horrific question to be asking, but there are lives in Israel in the balance, and it is the fault of the JCA and their lack of transparency that these questions have even come to the fore.

When you look at the plea sent out by the JCA to help Israel in her hour of need, you are asked to donate to a fund and told 100% of the money will go to help Israel, which I take to mean that the JCA will forgo their 46% cut that they take out of every dollar raised.  However, they do not specify this and the vagaries of this statement raise the eyebrows of everyone here.

How will the JCA accomplish segregating this money?  Their longtime CFO, Debbie Siebels has vanished and they have said nothing about who is replacing her.  Who will be handling these funds? Examine their plea for funds.  The plea says that 100% of every dollar donated will go to help Israel.  It does not say that 100% of every dollar will go to Israel.  The JCA has done away with targeted giving, so how are they now able to account for and accomplish targeted giving?  I donated $25.00 to the fund this morning and got nothing more than a reply to my donation, thanking me for my shekels.  They are somehow asking me to believe that they have the integrity and rectitude after they have my funds to withdraw my $25.00 (without subtracting their $12.00 for the Health Club Overhead) and send the whole $25.00 to Israel?  A non-profit organization with the track record of the JCA, who has not made their 2013 IRS 990’s public yet, who takes 46% of every dollar raised for overhead, who did away with targeted giving, now wants us to believe that at the snap of a finger they can make that happen.  I think what is more akin to the truth is that the JCA is simply exploiting this horrible tragedy to tug at the heartstrings of the uninformed and asking us all, again, to give blindly.  The sudden dismissal or resignation of the longtime CFO of an organization, coupled with the absence of publicly available financial statements and IRS 990s is not a badge of distinction nor does it provide comfort to the donor community.  It is not lost on us that the Interim CFO for the JCA,  Ms. Diana Feldman, is the spouse of a Board Member of the JCA.  How does one spell “conflict-of-interest”?  This is so embarrassing to the JCA it simply defies our imagination.

I also donated $25.00 to the Jewish National Fund this morning.  When you donate to the JNF, you donate by project you want to support.  You can access this link to the JNF by clicking here.  Their technology is not atom-splitting, it is just common for organizations who operate targeted giving campaigns.  You receive a receipt and a tracking number so that they know where to credit your money.

The JCA’s emergency plea centers on three organizations, and if one wants to donate to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to help Israel in this time of crisis, all one has to do is to donate directly to them, and they have a great site located here at www.jdc.org, and if one wants to support the Jewish Agency for Israel and donate, all one has to do is visit their website by going to http://www.jewishagency.org/.   And if you want to give to the Jewish Federations of North America, all one has to do is go to their website, which is located here http://www.jewishfederations.org/.  Not surprisingly, the front of the Jewish Federations Website has the same “Stop the Sirens” Campaign as what was set out by the JCA.  However, the payment gateway is different.  By the way, all three of these agencies have their audited financial statements and IRS 990s available on their websites, so one does not even have to ask how these agencies account for their donations.  That is not atom-splitting technology either, it is just the mark of transparency and integrity.

I think that if the JCA were truthful and they were actually going to send 100% of the money they are raising to Israel, they would have simply sent the campaign notice to everyone and the link would have sent them to the Jewish Federations of North America’s main site.  The JFNA Stop the Sirens site allows for the donor to designate which Federation should get the credit.   In the absence of any transparency one is left with the unseemly conclusion that the only logical reason for our JCA to handle these funds is to make sure they get to extract their 46 percent for their overhead.

We urge everyone to help Israel, but please make sure you donate to an agency that is reputable, that will send 100% of every dollar donated to Israel, agencies that will not skim off the top like our JCA for simply sending out an email. To see the contrast between the approach of two local organizations seeking support for Israel continue to scroll down and read the previous post TWO LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS APPEAL FOR SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL – THE CHOICE SHOULD BE CLEAR.  

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