After five years’ operation, during which time over $100,000 was collected from sympathetic contributors, the American Jewish Association for the Blind, Inc., conceived and organized by Sheftel Needelman, has definitely discontinued its enterprising career of collecting funds on behalf of blind Jews who, from all indications, received practically no assistance from the Association, states the “Brooklyn Examiner,” English-Jewish weekly of which Rabbi Louis D. Gross is the editor in its current issue.
The “Brooklyn Examiner” conducted an investigation of the Association, and in March 1929 published an article exposing the methods employed by Mr. Needelman as the executive director.
“Yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Louis Goldstein announced that the Association, following a three months’ investigation by the District Attorney’s office of Kings County, which, under Mr. Goldstein’s direction, garnered startling and scandalous facts about the organization, agreed through Needelman to discontinue the conduct of its business and to absolutely refrain from soliciting or receiving any further funds,” says the “Examiner.”
“Most startling of all the investigation was the disclosure that, during the past four years, only two dozen blind persons were the beneficiaries of the funds collected. It was found that these comparative few received, over that period, small amounts ranging from $5 to $25.”
Among the officers and members of the Advisory Board listed on the letterhead of the Association were Louis J. Wronker, president; Benjamin H. Friedenberg, vice-president; Philip L. Tuchman, treasurer; Isidore L. Steckler, secretary of finance; Miss Sarah Goldstein corresponding secretary: Dr. David Brucar, Dr. M. Slater and Rubin Bell, trustees; Dr. Emanuel Waldinger. Dr. David Brucar, and Dr. Maxwell Slater, medical advisory board: Benjamin Werbelovsky, Samuel Ellman, Charles A. Schneider, Morris Bergman. Adolph Stern. M. Licberman. Rabbi Rubin Dickstein, Rabbi B. Fleisher. L. Friedman, Benjamin Biegeleisen, Louis Biegeleisen, Marcus J. Federman, Max Popper, Martin Raff, Isidore Robin and Mrs. Ada Lyttle.
Mr. Goldstein stated in his report that the officers and directors of the association, who were without knowledge of the discovered mismanagement, immediately agreed with the District Attorney that the association should discontinue business promptly, and permanently dissolve.
Although a home was never established, a building was purchased at 39 East 7th Street, New York. Comparatively little of this space was used for the association’s offices. The balance of the space was rented to tenants.