Magen David Adom and Its U.S. Arm Feud Over Their Future
Feb. 22, 2010, The Jewish Daily Forward, Washington — American Friends of Magen David Adom is a staple of American Jewish charity for Israel. Children give their bar and bat mitzvah money to it, communities take group photos in front of ambulances they donated to Israel through it, and sons and daughters dedicate plaques at Israeli medical centers in memory of their parents. The U.S. funding arm for Magen David Adom — Israel’s version of the Red Cross — symbolizes the most basic kind of heartfelt consensus giving by Jews to help Israel.
But behind the scenes today, this well-endowed and iconic charity is torn by strife. Suspicion and mistrust between the U.S. fund-raising organization and its Israeli beneficiary are threatening to end their lucrative partnership. Within AFMDA itself, feuding senior officials are making charges of misconduct. Six senior officials have been forced out of or resigned from the American group since last spring.