TOMCHE SHABBOS OF ROCKLAND – RED FLAG!!!

Amazing Tomchei Shabbos Organizations

SADLY NOT ALL RUN THE SAME WAY FINANCIALLY -TOMCHE ROCKLAND’S DISTURBING FINANCES…

tomche rockland.2_4

By A Tomchei Shabbos Volunteer, May 31, 2016

Tomorrow, June 1, 2016, several Tomchei Shabbos organizations across the country will band together to promote an amazing fundraising campaign, including Baltimore, Lakewood, Chicago, Monsey, Queens, and Los Angeles. It is a 24 hour matching-gifts fundraiser trying to raise a wonderfully large sum of 3 million dollars!

Here is the website https://www.charidy.com/solvehungertoday

Since they put all of these Tomchei Shabbos organizations together on one pedestal, the question for any potential donors is, “Are they all being run the same way financially?”

Tomchei Shabbos organizations have traditionally been run by volunteers that don’t get any salaries. Every week, thousands of people across the country volunteer at every level of these organizations, to ensure that every single dollar received as a donation is used directly for the poor, with minimal overhead. Now it is totally understandable that many of these TS organizations have grown from a ‘mom and pop’ operation, and do require spending on necessary overhead (dinners, mailings, office expenses, etc), yet somehow, when it comes to actual manpower and man hours, the wonderful citizens of klal yisorel continue to donate their time and efforts for free, or at the very least, minimally. Yes, there are many tzedaka organizations that pay their executives larger salaries plus paid staff, and in most cases, they are totally justifiable because of the nature of that specific charitable mandate.

But Tomchei Shabbos, by its very own unique nature has for so many years been inherently run without compensating those involved, or at the very least minimally (compared to overall expenses), including those at the executive levels. Tomchei Shabbos and their affiliates are sterling name brands that are universally endorsed for their irrefutable reputations of volunteerism and minimal salaried overhead.

So I was curious, how much are they all actually distributing for charity?  So I looked over the last few year’s tax returns of these 6 Tomchei Shabbos that are participating in the June 1st fundraiser, as well as 3 other Tomchei Shabbos organizations across the country, to get a sense of how they are all being run. What I found was 8 out of the 9 Tomchei Shabbos run a beautiful tight ship.  As expected, many pay zero salaries, others average 2-3%, and just a few pay slightly more, all perpetuating the aforementioned unique nature that is a Tomche Shabbos tzedaka fund.

tomche rocklandHowever, looking at the ninth, Tomche Shabbos of Rockland, Monsey NY, (https://www.tomcheshabbos.org/) I saw a disturbing and very stark contrast compared to all the other eight TS organizations.

Over the last few years, Tomche Shabbos of Rockland has consistently paid both the highest percentage of executive salaries versus total charities distributed, an average of 13%(!), as well as the actual dollars paid, most recently $308,181 annually(!!).

See the following Salaries Comparison Report for all 9 Tomchei Shabbos. See the difference among them!

Tomchei salaries

Please note, I am NOT knocking the great work that Tomchei Shabbos of Rockland does, they clearly help the underprivileged in Monsey. But if they would run it like all the other Tomchei Shabbos across America, then an additional $150,000-$300,000 annually could be ‘found’ and allocated directly to the poor. How’s that for a common sense fundraiser?

Looking specifically at TS Rockland’s tax returns from the last few years, one finds several disturbing things (http://www.guidestar.org/profile/13-3694712) :

EIN
13-3694712

Physical Address

313-E Spook Rock Road

Suffern, NY 10901

Contact

Mr. Alan Rosenstock

jobs@tomcheshabbos.org

President

Tel: (845)356-0202

http://www.tomcheshabbos.org

Main Address

PO Box 847

Monsey, NY 10952

Physical Address

313-E Spook Rock Road

Suffern, NY 10901

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Meals on Wheels (K36)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

 (1) It seems that this $300K+ salary is primarily for 2 people. Including employee benefits and payroll taxes, they each average an over $120-$130,000 salary!

I called a Monsey resident, and was informed that Alan Rosentock is the founder and primary employee. So even if one could justify such a high salary for one person at a Tomchei Shabbos (assuming they are working full-time on this), why does employee #2 need to get paid over $120,000-$130,000 a year including benefits and payroll taxes? Is he working full time on this (40+ hrs), every week of the year? And why can’t Tomche Shabbos of Rockland find someone who’ll do these jobs, for far less, even for free, just like all the other Tomchei Shabbos across the country? Why do they need to pay 2 full time large executive salaries, when they have access to a fantastic and robust community that already volunteers for them in the hundreds?  Looking at Tomche Shabbos Rockland’s website, one can see they also provide many services; but so do the other Tomchei Shabbos across America, and they do it for free or minimally. In fact, many of the other organizations are much larger and complex, yet pay far less salaries or nothing at all.

 (2) It seems they have illegally misstated their tax returns since 2013. It clearly states on Page 7, that any Trustee, or highest compensated employee, particularly anyone getting paid over $10,000 annually, must be listed on Page 7.

See the attached 2011 and 2012 tax returns, where they list on Page 7, two employees, Alan Rosenstock and Jacob Moskowitz, who got paid salaries. However, starting with the 2013 tax return, Jacob Moskowitz’s name is dropped from Page 7, and simply relegated to the total amounts of salaries – ‘no names’, on Page 10, line items 7, 9, and 10. The salaries didn’t go down, in fact, they went up that year. Looking at their website, Jacob Moskowitz is still listed as Director, a title that most definitely warrants being listed in name and salary amount on Page 7 of their tax returns.

2013-tomcheshabbos

2012-tomcheshabbos

TS Rockland 2011

(3) Another questionable find was the minimal amount of people who are on the Board, controlling so much money, some who even get a salary. In particular, up until 2012, of the 4 Board members listed, 2 were getting full salaries. Now there are officially only 3 board members listed, one of which is getting a full salary (The other full salary is still being paid, just not listed on the correct page). It seems fiscally irresponsible that:

(a) A board member that decides on any financial decisions is getting a salary.

(b) Such a multimillion dollar charity should have so few people on its Board running it (Just 3 board members in this case). This can lead to irregularities such as financial conflict of interests, self dealing, minimal self governance, etc. The bigger the amounts distributed, in this case millions, the more board members are necessary to ensure complete transparency. And looking at the aforementioned items, as well as comparing to the other Tomchei Shabbos, these irregularities are to be found here.

Once again, I am not knocking the work done by Tomchei Shabbos of Rockland (https://www.tomcheshabbos.org/).

But I am questioning their Board’s handling of its finances. This is a massive red flag! Why are their salaries astronomically and substantially much more than literally every single other Tomche Shabbos in America that run the same type of organization on much leaner salaries, or none whatsoever, by utilizing non-paid volunteers. Monsey has enough people that I am sure would do this all for free or minimally, so why are they spending over $300,000 on executive salaries?

To reiterate, I am not questioning their good work, I’m just questioning their usage of public donations for their extremely high executive salaries, especially compared to all the other Tomchei Shabbos across America.

 

 

24 thoughts on “TOMCHE SHABBOS OF ROCKLAND – RED FLAG!!!

  1. Filling out a an IRS form is mesira. It makes no difference if you are right or wrong.
    TS of Rockland does exemplary work. The executives are more then capable of earning many times the amount taken in the private sector.
    It is very difficult to get qualified people to dedicate their lives to an organization. Perhaps the talent pool of volunteers in other cities is more substantial…
    Were the organizations contacted for a comment prior to putting this out not as information but as a bonfide hit piece

    Like

    • Contacted about what, to explain their taxes? They filed the taxes. What is there to ask about? So, wait…. a mesira? You mean like exposing child molesters and rapists… that mesira? Ummm.. Would that mean that if a Rabbi molests 15 kids but teaches 100 others his behavior is excusable. Please explain as we could use some clarification. The purpose of the organization is “altruism” – tzedukah, principles of giving. You have 9 organizations, all of which abide by those principles, one does not and you can find a “talent pool” argument. The mesira and IRS forms is our favorite of the month. We suppose that abiding by any form of civil law fits into the same category. The word of G-d and the bastardization of a religion in one single word, mesira…

      Like

  2. As someone who’s been a trustee on the boards of several charities over the years, I can tell you that if you only have 3 people on a board, one of whom is getting paid a full salary, very little corrections or adjustments can be expected. It’s so easy to become complacent. They need to add substantially more people on the board to constantly challenge and motivate each other to find ways to improve, streamline, and most importantly save on unnecessary or redundant expenses.

    In fact, it is the volunteer members of a Tomchai Shabbat board that typically pool all their time to help at the administrative level, which of course saves a lot of money on salaries, more money gets disbursed for the poor, and everyone on the board feels great doing their assigned jobs. In the end, you may still need to pay some minimal salaries for some of the work, but you first need to exhaust all your volunteer human resources, and only then pay for whatever jobs no one was willing to voluntarily do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Everyone agrees that TS Rockland and the people working there all do great work. But all the other TS do the same work for less, at the very least, with only one ‘executive’ salary. I do feel that one person on top should get paid a full salary to oversee the operation (and it seems the column agrees with that). But why do the other TS manage with none or only one full executive salary? Looking at the chart posted, TS Rockland pays over $105,000 more than the next highest paid TS (Chicago, who also has a much larger budget). That is a striking difference! At our local TS, there are so many lovely people involved at the administration level, besides the people who deliver, etc. And our local TS has other programs besides food, all done by volunteers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Halavai that other comparable organizations would be limited to these kinds of expenses and salaries. While there is always room to ask legit questions such as this about whether one can be doing better, the salaries here are by no means excessive if the people are doing a good job. And nothing compared to administrative salaries at any MO school.

    Like

    • The writer is questioning why is one Tomchei Shabbos paying 2 people such a high salary compared to the other organizations. It is definitely a fair question. They all pretty much help with job placements and some side things besides for the deliveries and do the same work. I am sure they have an answer but it definitely stands out. Then you must ask, can you get volunteers or help for less money. You have to be careful when using other peoples money and not take advantage when dealing with charities which happens too often.

      They do great work to help the poor and needy . Maybe they can figure something out to lower spending by finding help for less money as the others have figured out how to do it. I do not think the individuals are doing anything wrong by taking money if it was offered to them. Why were they offered that money to begin with is the question- seems like a lot.

      Like

      • We have written a follow-up piece to the first one to answer criticism of the article as a “hit-piece” which we felt was a valid criticism absent a comparison of all of the numbers. The author must have anticipated this possible criticism and had supplied us with all of the 990 pdf’s for all of the organizations.

        Like

    • @DB, we have done a follow-up story and we would beg to differ. When you are dealing with a for-profit business, in our opinion, salaries can be based upon job performance. When you are dealing with a not-for-profit/tax-exempt charity, the model should be a L-C/E (Least-Cost/Experience) analysis, in our view.

      Like

    • Seriously??????
      $308,000 running a charity in 1 county?? Are you for real? Nobody upstate gets *anywhere* near that for a comparable position. Now compare that with the $0 the head of the Queens (where the cost of living is huge) and Bergen Co. get. How is it possible to justify this???

      Like

      • I was thinking the same thing. I would love a position like that!
        I have cousins in Monsey who volunteer and big supporters and I will try and get more information from them . Something does not seem right.

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        • Agreed. The full Rockland Tax returns are attached to the first article. We have just added that the main “paid employee” actually also works full time at a girls’ school. Thought you might find that interesting.

          Like

  5. They do work on this org for more then 40+ hours a week, and I am curious in singly out this Tomche Shabbos, if you checked if they are distributing to the same amount of people, or have the same programs, or get the same calls about kids who need to be placed out of their families, or families who need housing because they are living in their cars. Are all the Touché Shabbos orgs, doing the same work? Do they all have job placement, and job training programs? If you look at the chart you put up, the orgs that have the most money are the ones that pay the salaries, so clearly it helps that they are paying people.

    I know for a fact that the people in Monsey who run Tomche Shabbos and get paid eat, breathe and sleep (very little sleep, btw) this organization. You took raw numbers, you should have called them. This just comes across as a hit piece

    Like

    • We were provided with tax returns for 2 years for 9 entities. We will do a follow-up tomorrow. Tomchei of Chicago, Queens and LA have far higher gross receipts then Rockland. In fact, Rockland is in the middle on rhe numbers scale. On the basis of tax returns alone we should be far more critical of Rockland’s salaries then the author of the post.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is quite presumptuous of you to think that all the folks running the other Tomchei Shabbos don’t “eat, breathe and sleep their organizations” and only Monsey has to deal with “kids who need to be placed out of their families, or families who need housing because they are living in their cars” or any of the other things.
      They ALL deal with this, some on much larger scales!
      I think the author made it clear that they are not questioning the work, but questioning why everyone else without exception manages to do it for far less or nothing at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I dont get it those people who get from Tomchey shabbas most probably get food stamps also my own neighbor got both for many years before he was to ashamed from other neighbors to receive from Tomchey shabbas i saw it with my own eyes i am sure he is not the only one getting from both places

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey, LostMessiah ,

    Can you find articles on Chabad ? Like fraud and other stuff …

    I miss Shmarya a lot , bc he would have found tons of articles about Chabad .

    Can you please designate someone in your blog to find articles about crimes , misdeeds, abuses , arrests and more about Chabad . Thanks .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Can you do a similar investigative search on Project Ezrah?

    I thought their salaries to expense ratios were also very high.

    Like

  9. I am quite surprised that they list that they take a large salary. Most just skim off the top whatever they want.

    This is a big problem with all these charities most of what one gives goes to line someone’s pocket. There is little accountability.

    If this fraud or semi fraud is done against a govt. agency still not right , but if it comes out of the ‘nickels and dimes’ of the poor people who give its a travesty.

    Liked by 1 person

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