Hadassah loses $90 million in Madoff scheme


NEW YORK (JTA) — Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, said it lost $90 million it had invested 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.”

Hadassah already was facing tough times because of the economic downturn, 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 clearer following a board meeting next month.

“Now the Madoff situation compounds and accelerates the matter,” said a source close to the situation.

It is believed that Hadassah’s endowment stood at around $500 million before the loss.

A Hadassah spokesman said the losses connected to Madoff will not affect the building of a new tower at its main campus in Ein Kerem in Israel.

Construction on the $210 million Hadassah Medical Center-the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower started last year with a $75 million gift from Detroit Pistons’ owner William Davidson.

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