What’s With All the Jewish Charity Scandals?

William Rapfogel, left, then the head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attend the social service agency's annual legislative breakfast in 2008. PHOTO: Metropolitan Council/JTA
A Tzedakah box. Photo: WMPearl.
A Tzedakah box. PHOTO: WMPearl

By Anne Faith | 11 April 2016

THE ALGEMEINER — Back in January, a Jewish healthcare charity in New York was ordered to repay $47 million to state and Federal authorities following the revelation of Medicaid fraud. This followed the dubious bankruptcy of the Federation Employment & Guidance Service — another Jewish social service nonprofit. And then there’s the scandal of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, whose former director is currently serving a prison sentence for a 20-year attempt to defraud the charity. What’s going on?

CenterLight Healthcare

Formerly known as the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, CenterLight Healthcare provides long-term care solutions such as nursing, home help, and rehabilitation services. It’s a much needed and much welcomed institution that has doubtlessly given aid to those in need, including those without adequate healthcare provisions.

However, late last year it emerged that CenterLight “did not play by the rules” (in the words of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman) when it came to certain Medicaid dealings. Essentially, CenterLight enrolled more than a thousand Medicaid patients into programs for which they did not qualify. CenterLight then fraudulently claimed state payments. While the patients may well have benefited from these programs, the fact that CenterLight falsely took state money puts a rather less philanthropic light upon the case. […]

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