Does new exec have the political savvy to keep the anti-poverty funds flowing?
Even as the board of the city’s largest Jewish anti-poverty agency rushed to do damage control this week in the wake of the corruption scandal ensnaring its longtime CEO, one insider admitted it was far from certain whether the board’s action would result in the city quickly releasing $1.4 million in taxpayer funds it froze in the wake of the scandal.
Six days after the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty fired longtime executive director William Rapfogel following an investigation of financial misconduct charges, the agency named David Frankel as his successor.
Less than two weeks before the start of the High Holy Days season, when large Yom Tov meals hosted in most Jewish homes increase the work of Jewish anti-poverty organizations who distribute food to the needy, some of the shelves of the food pantry at the Queens Jewish Community Council in Forest Hills are nearly empty.
Some scandals, when we learn of them, seem almost predictable, a disgrace that was just waiting to happen. Others, like the news this week that William “Willy” Rapfogel, the popular and successful executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, has been fired and is under investigation for financial misconduct, come as a shock. As a Jewish community leader who had helped Met Council, during his more than two decades at the helm, grow into a major social-service organization, Rapfogel was energetic, effective, focused and well connected. Now, it seems in hindsight, to a fault.
State probes agency as anti-poverty group's board cites financial misconduct; insurance payments scrutinized.
Adam Dickter and Steve Lipman
In a bombshell announcement Monday morning, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty announced that it had terminated its chief executive officer, William Rapfogel, one of the longest-serving Jewish agency heads in the area, citing financial misconduct.
Rapfogel evidently does not plan to dispute the charges against him, saying later in the day in a statement issued by his lawyer that "I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that led to my departure from the organization" after 21 years of service.
At first glance, the “Special Report on Poverty,” the third and final part of the 2011 population study of the Greater New York Jewish community that was commissioned by UJA-Federation in consultation with the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, holds no surprises.
Community struggles to respond to ‘immense’ needs, especially among elderly and chasidic.
A few years out of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he was a political science major and an active volunteer in several campus activities, Jeremy Levine works every day at the Manhattan headquarters of UJA-Federation of New York, helping to coordinate many of the anti-poverty programs the philanthropy supports.
Legislation would require USDA to monitor and increase kosher food supply.
A New York senator and congressman on Monday announced that they introduced new legislation in Congress to try to ensure that kosher food pantries receive enough food.
The legislation, sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joe Crowley, both Democrats, requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure it ends up at kosher food banks, according to a press release.