I’ll be picking up my mother-in-law in a few minutes for our regular weekly lunch at the JEA. Yes, her dementia continues to unravel her memory and self-identity, thanks for asking. But she still remembers that every Thursday I pick her up at 12:15 and that lunch costs five dollars a person. (She insists on paying. Call me a schnorrer all you want – you try arguing with her.)
I’m not quite sure how it breaks down, but I figure five bucks a plate for thirty seniors doesn’t cover the food, the staff and the facility costs. But that’s the beauty of the Jewish Federation – it plugs the holes in the services the community needs most – like providing its warm, hilarious, heritage-carrying seniors a nice meal a few times a week. Some of us give a little, some of us give a lot, some smart people invest those shekels and all of us enjoy the safety net.
And now the biggest Jewish douchebag of all time has fucked it up. The JPost reports that Bernie Madoff’s greed has delivered a “major massive shock” to the Jewish philanthropic system, with $600 million in losses estimated before anyone’s really done any complex math – some are expecting a 20% reduction for the Federation in 2009. But hopefully we won’t be eating sock soup on Thursdays just yet:
“People who are starving are going to have to continue to be fed,” Avraham Infeld, president of the collapsed Chais Family Foundation, told the Post on Monday. “That means every other kind of Jewish expenditure is going to have to move aside in order to allow welfare to take place for the aged and the poor.”
I’m just so depressed and disgusted that someone even has the power to dupe people this way and have such a far-reaching effect. Worse yet, the motherfucker has his bail restrictions loosened to the equivalent of tying a piece of licorice around his ankle and continues to waltz around Manhattan and as far as his property in Connecticut during daylight hours.
How are we supposed to defend ourselves when anti-Semites sneer that Jews DO in fact cheat the world and get away with it? How can we explain to our children that one of our own screwed us worse than our enemies ever could?
Jewlicious blogger The Middle says it well:
I guess that just as we take pride in Jewish Nobel prize winners, we have to include thieves like Madoff in our recognition that Jewish life is multifaceted. Along with our successes, we have failures, people who disappoint and also those who commit crimes.
And it’s going to be a long time before our tribe recovers from this one.