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Cje Says $1 Million Contract with the D. O. E. Remains Valid

February 19, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The director of the Washington office of the Council of Jewish Federations stressed today that the CJF, one of four national organizations which each received $1 million from the outgoing Department of Energy (DOE) special counsel, did not seek out the money.

Mark Talisman, the director, also told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a telephone interview, that the $1 million was made available to the CJF on a contractual basis. He said the contractual agreement provided that the funds, slated to help needy families to cope with severe weather conditions, were to be distributed on a non-sectarian basis.

Other contractual terms were that the funds would go directly to the most needy households and that the entire $1 million would reach needy beneficiaries, with no deductions for administrative expenses.

Talisman said that when the allocation of the money by Paul Bloom, the outgoing DOE special counsel, became public last week, leading to reports that the new Energy Secretary James Edwards wanted the $4 million returned to to the federal government, he met with Eric Fygi, the acting DOE general counsel, “to ascertain the facts.”


Talisman said that, on the assumption that the $1 million grant to the CJF was valid, he had arranged for a study of areas of below-average temperatures. Talisman said his office took the position that the change in federal administrations did not affect the contract signed by the CJF for distribution of the funds.

Bloom said, when the $4 million distribution became known, that he had done nothing wrong in sending the money to the Salvation army, the National Council of Churches, the National Conference of Catholic Charities, and the CJF.

Talisman added that he had made a survey of all CJF-affiliated Federations with the goal of setting up a system for prompt distribution of the federal funds to the most needy families.


The CJF official said that during his meeting with Fygi, the CJF had asked for a written statement on the situation. He said that checks had been prepared, to have been mailed to needy families yesterday, covering about $750,000 of the DOE grant, but that the checks had not been mailed, pending the requested statement from Fygi.

Talisman said he assumed that the CJF was one of the four beneficiaries of the federal funds because it was known that “we have an effective delivery system, without red tape and without bureaucracy.” He said he had not dealt with Bloom but with the DOE’s Department of Compliance.

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