Bronfman: Singer took money

World Jewish Congress President Edgar Bronfman says he fired Rabbi Israel Singer because Singer was taking money without proper authorization or documentation. Bronfman made the allegations in a March 14 letter to European Jewish Congress President Pierre Besnainou after WJC affiliates in Europe, Latin America and Israel expressed dismay about being notified in a conference call earlier that day that Singer — who held a variety of top positions in the WJC over the past 30 years — had been fired. Singer “helped himself to cash from the WJC office, my cash,” Bronfman wrote in the letter, a copy of which JTA obtained. “We thought we had that all cleared up, and then we discovered that he was playing the same game in Israel, taking cash from the office and never accounting for it.” He continued, “The final blow came when we discovered that he was playing games with his hotel bills in Jerusalem.” Attempts Tuesday to reach Singer through his attorney, Stanley Arkin, were unsuccessful. On Monday, before JTA received the letter, Arkin had said: “We are currently trying to engage in an intelligent, constructive, and balanced dialogue with the WJC and its principals. Several previous statements made in the media have been strident and false.” Singer has been under a cloud since the revelation several years ago that he secretly transferred $1.2 million of WJC money to a Swiss bank account. The money subsequently was returned, but critics say the transfer was never fully explained. A 2006 report by the New York State Attorney General’s Office found no evidence of criminality on Singer’s part, but assailed the organization for lax record keeping and said Singer had violated his fiduciary duties by moving money around without proper authorization.

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