The World Jewish Congress and its former president, Edgar Bronfman, each have filed a lawsuit against the organization’s former top professional, Rabbi Israel Singer, according to multiple sources.
The sources said that the separate suits were filed in recent days in the Supreme Court of New York County, but county officials could not be reached for confirmation.
One, filed by Bronfman, alleges that Singer did not pay back more than $500,000 in personal loans stemming from a 2004 investigation by the New York State Attorney General into the WJC’s finances.
As a result of that investigation, which found that Singer and others acted improperly, but not illegaly, with WJC funds, Singer was required to pay back more than $300,000 to the organization. He remained employed by the WJC until earlier this year, when he was abruptly fired by Bronfman over alleged financial improprities.
Singer, who steadfastly denied all the allegations, sent JTA an e-mail dismissing the filings as “nuisance suits” that are “completely without merit.” He described them as “a foolish and angry parting shot” from the WJC’s outgoing secretary-general, Stephen Herbits.
According to sources, Bronfman loaned money to Singer to pay back the WJC and to pay for legal expenses relating to the attorney general’s investigation. The suit, sources said, claims that Singer never paid back Bronfman. The WJC filed a separate, smaller suit against Singer involving expenses, according to sources close to Bronfman and the WJC.