6 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2009
What does a nonprofit do when its major donor is indicted on insider trading? This case details the uncomfortable position and subsequent decisions that a rabbi and his congregation must make after the synagogue finds itself in that position.
Rev. Feb. 19, 2009
Rabbi Eli Rabkin's heart pounded as he sat in the boardroom of the Shaarey Tzedek Synagogue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and counted the votes that would determine the fate of his congregation and his synagogue. He slowly opened a folded ballot with the boxes checked for “Option 1: Return the Funds” and “Option A: Remove the Name.” With five of twelve ballots counted, the vote was close, and Rabbi Rabkin's worst nightmare was coming true: If there were a tie, he would need to cast the deciding ballot in the difficult and unfortunate situation that had befallen his shul.
Barry Fine was the third son of Joseph and Chaya Feinberg, who with their first two children, Max and Wolf, had emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1938. The Feinbergs narrowly escaped before the start of World War II and the Holocaust. Hoping for a smooth transition into American society, they “dejudaized” their last name, changing it to Fine, shortly after arriving. When their third son was born five years later, again they chose not to stress their roots; they ignored traditional Jewish names and settled on “Barry.”
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Keywords: ethical issues, business ethics, community relations, goodwill, morale, public relations/publicity
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