An Ap­peal for Sages

Donors Say They Thought They Were Sup­port­ing a Nurs­ing Home That Closed in 1996

Forward Magazine - - News - By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Donors to a Man­hat­tan char­ity claim they have been mis­led.

The cal­en­dar, il­lus­trated with im­ages of old bearded rab­bis and filled with pleas for do­na­tions, is a fundrais­ing ap­peal that an Ortho­dox char­ity called the Home of the Sages of Is­rael dis­trib­utes in the weeks be­fore the start of each Jewish new year.

“As you turn the pages of this Cal­en­dar, look well at the faces of the Aged Sages and Scholars for whom we care,” reads the latest cal­en­dar, which ar­rived in mail­boxes in July. “Won’t you ex­tend a help­ing hand to your old sages?”

Re­cip­i­ents ap­pear to re­spond to the so­lic­i­ta­tions en masse: The group raises around $500,000 a year from donors, ac­cord­ing to tax fil­ings. Yet three donors have now filed pa­pers in New York State Supreme Court say­ing that they thought the cal­en­dar was ask­ing for money for the nurs­ing home that Home of the Sages opened in the 1960s. In

JOSH NATHAN-KAZIS

Nurs­ing Home: To­day, a plac­ard at the Lower East Side build­ing iden­ti­fies it as New East Side Nurs­ing Home. A ramp cur­rently in front of the build­ing is not pic­tured in the cal­en­dar photo.

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