Hadassah president: We didn’t know about ex-CFO and Madoff


Thursday we reported on the upcoming book by Madoff victim and former Hadassah chief financial officer Sheryl Weinstein, in which she claims to have had an affair with the confessed swindler. Later in the day, Hadassah’s current president, Nancy Falchuk, sent out the following note to the organization’s national board:

Shalom Dear Friends,

It is likely that by the time you receive this letter you will have read about the alleged relationship between Mrs. Sheryl Weinstein, Hadassah’s former Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Bernard Madoff. Her tenure at Hadassah ended in March of 1997.

Hadassah was shocked to hear the news reports of Mrs. Weinstein’s personal admissions regarding this relationship. Indeed, we knew nothing of her relationship with Mr. Madoff until today, and her departure was unrelated to Mr. Madoff.

This unfortunate news comes at a time when we are moving away from the events of the past year and looking ahead with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the coming year. In my travels around the country I am buoyed by your ongoing support, and your commitment to our programs and projects in Israel and the United States. These are the only headlines that matter to all of us who believe in our mission and historic partnership with the land and people of Israel.

I felt it important to communicate to you personally on this sensitive matter and remain committed to an open and honest ongoing dialogue in the weeks and months ahead.

With best wishes,

Nancy Falchuk

As for the sort of news that Hadassah would rather be talking about, here’s Falchuk on recent fund-raising successes:

"This past year has not been an easy one," Nancy Falchuk, National President of Hadassah, said. "I am gratified to see how hard and passionately our members are working to face the challenges presented by a difficult worldwide economy. Our members and leaders have proven again and again that when times are tough, we’re tougher."

A few weeks ago, Hadassah Board Members and Delegates from over 30 states gathered in New Orleans to discuss and finalize plans for the year ahead. At the same time, attendees celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Young Judaea, the Zionist Youth Movement of Hadassah and its bridge to the future.

As we near the end of August, Hadassah has received some good news. A new pledge of one million dollars, with two others in the pipeline, reflect the excitement, vitality and health of the organization. To date, over $213 million in gifts and pledges have supported our commitment to build the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, approaching our goal of $318 million without equipment. "What a hopeful way to end the summer and begin the New Year," Falchuk said.

"In three years, 2012, Hadassah will celebrate our Centennial Anniversary and dedicate the new Tower in Jerusalem. We look forward to a vibrant future for the organization and continuing our good work into the next century — in Israel, America and around the world," said Falchuk.

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