Tax panel taps four top Jewish officials


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Four top Jewish officials were named to a commission studying tax accountability for religious groups.

Nathan Diament, who directs the Orthodox Union’s Washington office; Rabbi David Saperstein, who leads the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, who heads the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly; and Steven Woolf, the senior tax policy counsel to the Jewish Federations of North America, were among 25 members of a panel of religious representatives announced Thursday by the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has long pushed for greater accountability for religious groups seeking tax exemptions, in January had asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a group established by evangelical churches in the 1970s, to set up three panels to examine proposals to eliminate abuses his staff uncovered, particularly among media-based ministries.

Aside from the panel of religious representatives, there is one comprised of legal experts and another of nonprofit representatives.

Recommended from JTA