Jewish women’s charity Hadassah, which is reshaping its image and mulling structural changes in the wake of its entanglement with convicted swindler Bernard Madoff, has sold its longtime headquarters for $71.5-million, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Marcie Natan, Hadassah’s national president, said the group is not in financial distress and did not need to sell its Manhattan home to make up a $45-million payment last year to Irving Picard, the trustee recovering Madoff investors’ profits to repay victims of the disgraced financier’s massive Ponzi scheme.
“This [sale] opportunity came our way. We said, ‘This meets our needs, the timing is right, and it allows us to move into appropriate space for us,’ ” Ms. Natan said.
The century-old organization, which primarily supports causes in Israel, shed a significant number of employees in 2009 after it was revealed to have put millions of dollars into investments by Madoff. The group recently brought in a new executive director and is weighing plans to shrink its national board and merge some chapters and regional units.