A committee of eleven prominent Jews to advise him on the issuance of permits to Jewish organizations and individuals soliciting funds from the public was appointed by Commissioner of Public Welfare, Bird S. Coler. The purpose of the advisory committee, it was stated, is to combat the pirates of charity, swindlers who prey on the public.
The members of the committee are: Joseph Barondess, Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, Jonah J. Goldstein, Judge Aaron J. Levy, Dr. Samuel Margoshes, Max Blumberg, Judge Grover M. Moskowitz, Judge Otto R. Rosalsky, Morris Rothenberg, Samuel Rottenberg and Bernard Semel.
In appointing the committee Commissioner Coler said: “The Welfare Department is desirous or ridding the city of persons who, in the name of charity, prey on the Jewish public, soliciting funds for supposedly charitable causes. To better combat these pirates of charity. I thought it advisable to appoint an Advisory Committee consisting of prominent and public spirited Jewish citizens, who would give me the benefit of their best thought and experience on the subject of Jewish charity.
“The purpose of the Advisory Committee of Jewish Charity, as I see it, would be to advise the Welfare Department of the City of New York on all applications made by Jewish organizations or individuals for legal permits entitling them to solicit funds from the public, it being understood that the only aim in view is the protection of the public from fraud, and that there is not the slightest intention of intervening in any shape of form in the internal affairs of any charitable institution of proved honesty and reliability.”
The appointment of the committee came as a result of a series of articles published by “The Day” which revealed the existence of hundreds of take collectors.
At the first meeting of the Committee Judge Otto Rosalsky was chosen chairman; Dr. S. Margoshes, vice-chairman and Jonah J. Goldstein, secretary.