Char­ity boss ar­rested

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY JEN­NIFER LIP­MAN

THE HEAD of an Is­raeli soup kitchen has been ar­rested along with nine em­ploy­ees amid claims that the char­ity stole from its donors.

Ha­zon Ye­shaya, which was re­port­edly the sub­ject of an un­der­cover fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion, was founded by Rabbi Abra­hamis­rael15yearsago.atit­sheight it claimed to make and serve some 14,000 meals daily to Is­rael’s poor.

This week­end, the char­ity’s head and his col­leagues were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pock­et­ing do­na­tions from fundrais­ing groups in the di­as­pora, in­clud­ing money given to the char­ity by Holo­caust sur­vivors.

Ac­cord­ing to Ha’aretz, in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve those ac­cused of the scam may have sold food that was in­tended f or the soup kitchen to ex­ter­nal buy­ers, and then kept the prof­its.

It is also thought that Ha­zon Ye­shaya is­sued false lists of food dis­tri­bu­tion points around Is­rael. There are also al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing money laun­der­ing and forged doc­u­ments.

A po­lice spokesman said that the char­ity “re­ceives tens of mil­lions of dol­lars from donors abroad”.

Sus­pi­cions were raised about the char­ity’s ac­tiv­i­ties in Oc­to­ber, when donors to the Bri­tish and Cana­dian arms of Friends of Ha­zon Ye­shaya ques­tioned where their money was go­ing.

The Bri­tish group, which raised about £750,000 an­nu­ally, sus­pended its fundrais­ing op­er­a­tions and shut down in De­cem­ber over the al­le­ga­tions. In ad­di­tion to fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment these re­ferred to the mis­lead­ing of donors in re­la­tion to fund­ing re­li­gious train­ing.

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