Jewish American Congress closes doors.
The Jewish American Congress, one of the oldest and historically powerful organizations of the Jewish-American establishment, will close its doors for good.
Inside sources told The Jerusalem Post that the Jewish group, which was hit hard by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzie scheme, would merge with the American Jewish Committee, marking the end of the 92-year-old organization’s time as an independent group.
An official statement announcing cessation of the AJCongress has yet to be made, but the decision was confirmed by sources which spoke on condition of anonymity, as well as by an automated email response from one of the organization’s senior officials.
“After July 15, 2010, AJCongress has suspended most of its operations,” an automatic email sent by AJCongress’s Matthew Horn read in response to an inquiry. “It has been a great pleasure and honor working with you during my nearly 5 year tenure with AJCongress, both as its Policy Director and for the past 2-years as its co-Executive Director.”
Rumors surrounding the imminent demise of the near-insolvent AJcongress have been circulating since shortly after news broke that it had lost a large sum in an investment with Madoff.
Last April Haviv Rettig Gur reported for The Jerusalem Post that the group may have lost as much as 90 percent of its roughly $24 million endowment, and lacked a large membership and donor base.
According to its Internal Revenue Service Form 990 for 2008, its net assets dropped from $16.9m. in 2007 to $3.8m. in 2008. It has spent much of the time since the collapse trying to find a replacement financial base.
At the time of print details regarding the details of the group’s merger with the American Jewish Committee were unclear.
During its 92-years the organization has had a huge impact on the Jewish-American establishment. Ironically, the American Jewish Congress was originally formed as an alternative to the Jewish American Committee, which is now rescuing it from insolvency. Under the leadership of its founder the influential Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the support of notable jurists Felix Frankfurter and Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis it was an early and loud supporter of human rights, Zionism and other matters important to the Jewish community in North America