When William Rapfogel wanted to expose scandals


Earlier this week, William Rapfogel was sentenced to prison for stealing millions of dollars from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, the group he headed for more than two decades.

The sentencing — between 3 1/3 and 10 years — marked the final chapter in a scandal that first became public last August when Rapfogel, long seen not just as a power broker but a pillar of the community, was fired for his role in a kickback scheme.

Knowing what we now know about Rapfogel, particularly how he was defrauding the Met Council for almost his entire tenure there despite earning one of the Jewish nonprofit world’s highest salaries, it’s striking to watch  the above 2006 interview Rapfogel gave to the “Building New York” TV show. In particular, check out the part at 3:47 when he shares how, soon after graduating Brooklyn College, he started a “muckraking” Jewish newspaper, which he ran for four years. Among other journalistic motivations, Rapfogel said, he’d wanted to “examine scandals” in the nursing home business and the Diamond District.

Apparently he was not content merely to cover Jewish scandals, choosing instead to create one.

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