Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Canadian Jewish News-Charity watchdog to weed out ‘bad apples’

Canadian Jewish News: "Charity watchdog to weed out ‘bad apples’

Staff Reporter

Tzedakah is one of the most important mitzvot in Jewish life. And Toronto, asserts Rabbi Reuven Tradburks, spiritual leader of Kehillat Shaarei Torah and secretary of the Vaad Harabonim, is known as a community that wants to help those in need.

But while most charity collectors are honest and honourable, there are unfortunately “a few bad apples,” said Rabbi Tradburks and Tzvi Richman, chair of the newly formed Toronto Vaad Hatzdokah. Some exaggerate or even outright lie about the cause they are collecting for. They might be collecting for a perfectly genuine cause, but don’t send the money where it is supposed to go.

To help donors determine if a cause is genuine or worthy, the Toronto Vaad Hatzdokah, with the encouragement and sponsorship of the Vaad Harabonim, has designed a certificate that all meshulachim, (charity collectors) must carry. The certificate is laminated so that the signature can’t be tampered with, said Rabbi Tradburks, includes the collector’s photograph and is issued for only one to four weeks at a time."

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