ZOA West Coast director, self-described ‘whistleblower,’ is fired


(JTA) — The head of the Zionist Organization of America’s Los Angeles office, who was critical of the organization for not coming forward with the revocation of its tax-exempt status, was fired.

Orit Arfa, who had referred to herself as a "whistleblower" in internal ZOA memos, was informed of her dismissal on Monday, according to the Forward. No reason for her termination was reported.

At the same time, the Orange County chapter of the ZOA voted to disband after its president and vice president resigned, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported. 

In an internal memo to her bosses, Arfa opposed the organization’s decision not to make public its loss of tax-exempt status, according to the Jewish Journal. 

David Drimer, the ZOA’s national executive director, told the Jewish Journal this week that a donor offered to fund a new office if it was moved to San Francisco, and pay the salary of a new executive director. Drimer did not name the donor.

ZOA had already closed the Los Angeles office and required Arfa to work from home.

Arfa confirmed to the Forward that she had been fired but would not provide any details.

Drimer told the Forward, “I consider this a private matter regarding a lawful and not retaliatory termination of an employee.”

In September, the Forward reported that ZOA lost its tax-exempt status eight months earlier after failing to file financial disclosures for three consecutive years. The organization reportedly only informed large donors of the loss.

The organization canceled its high-profile annual fundraising dinner, which usually takes place in November or December. 

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