Your editorial “Bringing Openness to JNF” (WJW, May 14) demands a response from us, and a clarification from you to your readers.
Your editorial purports to describe certain recent political and legal issues in Israel relating to what you misleadingly identify as the “Jewish National Fund.”
In fact, the Israeli debate is all about “Keren Keyemeth Leisrael” (KKL), the historic Israeli legal entity. On this side of the pond, “The Jewish National Fund, Inc.” (JNF) is a legally and financially separate U.S. entity, listed by the IRS as an independent section 501 (c)(3) non-profit.
JNF has an independent board of directors, composed entirely of U.S. persons, and an independent U.S. management. JNF fully complies with all applicable U.S. disclosure and fiduciary requirements.
Our many donor-designated public projects and programs in Israel are funded by hundreds of thousands of U.S. donors, and they are carefully developed and monitored from start to finish with strict accountability.
We are proud that JNF and KKL work closely together to strengthen the land and people of Israel, but the Israeli political debate does not apply to JNF. Suggesting otherwise is shoddy journalism, at best.
Finally, and most importantly, whether judged by Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau as among the best Jewish and non-Jewish charities fiscally and administratively, or judged by its acclaimed Israel-centric projects – from the bombproof playground at Sderot, to world-class facilities for the disabled at Aleh Negev and the transformational Alexander Muss High School in Israel – JNF can only be described as an “open book” to which we should all subscribe.
KENNETH J. KRUPSKY, JNF National Board of Directors, JNF Washington, DC Region president
BARUCH FELLNER, JNF National Board of Directors, JNF Mid-Atlantic Zone president