Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, announced that it had lost $90 million with Bernard Madoff.
“We are currently in the process of investigating the exact amounts and their impact, but it appears that at the time of his arrest, Hadassah had approximately $90 million invested with his firm,” the organization said Wednesday in a statement. “Falling victim to this unprecedented fraud will require us to make necessary adjustments, but it has not in the slightest affected our commitment to our core Zionist mission. These are indeed turbulent times, but the key pillars of Hadassah remain as strong as ever.”
Madoff was one of more than two dozen firms with which its funds were invested, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
This takes a sizable chunk out of Hadassah’s endowment, which was believed to be worth around $500 million.
Hadassah was already facing tough times because of the current economic downfall, adopting cuts in its operating budget and expecting additional reductions in the coming months. The details of the yet-to-be-determined cuts are likely to become more clear following a board meeting in January.
“Now the Madoff situation compounds accelerates the matter,” said a source close to the situation.
A Hadassah spokesman said the losses connected to Madoff will Not affect the construction of a new tower at its main campus in Ein-Kerem in Israel.
The $210 million Hadassah Medical Center the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower was started with a $75 million gift from Detroit Piston’s owner William Davidson.