The Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto lost about $500,000 from its $200 million endowment, in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, according to the Associated Press.
The federation sent the following letter to its donors Wednesday, explaining the details of the loss:
You may have seen or heard news reports today about a connection between the Bernard Madoff situation and UJA Federation. We are writing to provide you with the facts involved.
The alleged Madoff fraud has no impact whatsoever on the Annual Campaign, on money donated to the Annual Campaign or on the use of United Jewish Appeal Annual Campaign funds to meet community needs.
The Madoff affair has had a small impact on the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto, which houses approximately $200 million in endowment funds. Unfortunately, through one of our fund of fund managers, the Foundation experienced a small exposure to the alleged Bernard Madoff fraud, representing 0.26% or $486,000 of the total Foundation assets. Any other figures that have appeared in media reports are mistaken and inaccurate.
We regard any loss, no matter how small a proportion of assets it represents, as regrettable. We take these circumstances very seriously and we will be even more rigorous in practicing prudent investment strategies, through our experienced fund managers who strategically invest Foundation assets to diversify risk and maximize returns.
The Jewish Foundation Investment Committee and Board of Trustees – all lay people – who oversee Foundation operations – include some of the most respected investment specialists in the country. They insist on the highest standards of diligence and integrity.
If you have any questions, please contact Howard English at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wishing you the best in 2009,
Ted Sokolsky, President & CEO
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto