Photo by ArteMuestra
By now there is no way that you haven’t heard of the Bernard Madoff securities scandal, which ripped through the Jewish world, leaving contrails of devastation in its wake. Madoff is the perpetrator of what has become the largest Ponzi Scheme in the history of finance, knowingly sabotaging tens of Jewish foundations, many of them comprising the vertebrae of the Jewish giving world.
Since I haven’t been able to write about this myself (remember those baby feet?), I am outsourcing this post by listing relevant sources where you can learn more about the disaster.
Start by knowing your terms.
- Bernard Madoff and Charles Ponzi’s eponymous Ponzi Scheme are now synonymous. Check out their entries in Wikipedia.
Read the story as it broke.
- “Boston Donors Bilked Out of Millions” (Boston Globe)
Ask: “How could this have happened?”
- “How Bernie Madoff Made Smart People Look Dumb” (Wall Street Journal)
- “The World’s Largest Hedge Fund is a Fraud”— submission to the Securities Exchange Commission, 2005 (sourced from Wall Street Journal)
— Keep reading to learn about how the Madoff scandal affects the Jewish giving world. —
Learn the details of the scandal so that you understand its context and effects.
- Line by line accounting from the Wall Street Journal and Clusterstock
- “Fund Fraud Hits Big Names” (Wall Street Journal)
Get a better understanding of how this will effect Jewish philanthropy beyond the simple and heartbreaking closing of major foundations.
- “Madoff with the Monday: Impact of Financial Scandal Could Run Deep” (New York Jewish Week)— especially good, early analysis
- “Is Bernard Madoff Jewish? Very. Oy” (Jewish Journal)— provides detailed picture of Madoff and the Jews
- “Prominent Jewish Foundations Shut Down Due to Wall Street Madoff Affair” and “Elie Wiesel, Steven Spielberg Said Among Victims of Madoff Affair” (Haaretz)
- “600 Million in Jewish Charitable Funds Lost” (Jerusalem Post)
- “Charities, Day Schools Hit Hard by Madoff” (The Forward)
- “Ponzi’s Victims” (Gerhon Gorenberg, South Jerusalem Blog)
And finally, read the hands-down best coverage anywhere in the media by my colleagues in the Jewish philanthropy blogosphere: eJewish Philanthropy and The Fundermentalist. Start at the first posts when the story broke (listed below) and keep reading forward chronologically to get a full understanding of this tragedy.
- “The Madoff Ripple Through Our Jewish World” (eJewish Philanthropy)
- “Madoff Fraud Forces Lappin Foundation to Close” (The Fundermentalist)
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