A Worthy Cause and its Finances
In Memory of R’ Chaim Munzer
The life story, goals and accomplishments of R’ Chaim Munzer ע”ה , personify what Tomche Shabbos is all about. He grew up in difficult economic circumstances in pre-war Galicia, lost his entire family in the war and was on the run for six years in Russia experiencing starvation first hand. He never lost faith and was always מדקדק במצוות in the most difficult of circumstances. With the help of his life partner Sara Munzer שתחי’, he rebuilt a life in New York and raised a family based on תורה, חסדות, ומעשים טובים. He conducted his life in a quiet and unassuming manner, always cheerful and שמח בחלקו, while never forgetting those in dire need. He leaves a legacy to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of אהבת תורה ואהבת ישראל. He would be immensely proud to see how his offspring are engrossed in לימוד תורה and חסד.
The family takes great pride in the fact that Tomche Shabbos has been named in his memory. May his זכותים and מעשים טובים reverberate and multiply through the work of Tomche Shabbos and that of the דורות that he nurtured and sustained.
TOMCHE SHABBOS OF ROCKLAND – RESPONSE TO COMMENTS
June 1, 2016
(***Additional updates below 5:45pm EST)
Yesterday we posted an article written by a volunteer for the Tomchei organization, someone who holds the organization in high esteem. The article came with an introduction regarding a fundraiser which is happening today, June 1, 2016 with a link to the fundraiser. The author focused on a specific concern: the finances of the Tomche Shabbos of Rockland and the inordinate payments made to executives of the organization.
In fairness, the author repeatedly reiterated that he did not want to malign the work done by the Tomchei organization as a whole, or for that matter the dedication of Rockland’s Tomche Shabbos branch. He could not discount, however, the financial discrepancies of Rockland’s Tomche Shabbos.
As a result of that article we received numerous comments, as did other social media sites that shared our article. We have decided to address one of the comments in particular:
There are several possible responses to the comments above. The first, as pointed out by one of our commenters, is that we cannot assume that the dedication of any other Tomchei Shabbos organization is any less than that of Rockland. It is likely that in each organization there are people who “eat, breathe and sleep…this organization.”
The author of yesterday’s article focused on the raw numbers. And, contrary to the comments above, the numbers tell a slightly more nefarious story than the author’s piece described. Had the author wanted this to be a “hit piece”, the author would have also brought up the history of Rabbi Moskowitz, which would have detracted from the purpose of his story, finances. We received the following by email. It may be irrelevant in telling the story of this organization in terms of numbers, it is relevant insofar as its exclusion was intentional. The author did not want to write “hit piece”. We are not being so generous.
Perhaps the same ’employee’ Rabbi Moskowitz quoted in a 2007 story in which his sympathy for a sexual abusing Rabbi knew no bounds?
Regarding the raw numbers, the following photos are taken from the summary page of the form 990 for the 2014 tax year (which also includes the previous year) for each of 8 Tomchei organizations in addition to Rockland. We have posted them in alphabetical order.
We are in receipt of the returns, available upon request, along with the 2013 returns for each organization which summarizes 2012.
On the basis of numbers alone, the Rockland Tomche organization declares far more in expenses in proportion to its gross receipts/contributions than most, if not all, of the other organizations. In comparison it pays salaries disproportionate to its gross receipts and an argument that paying higher salaries yields greater returns is simply not a conclusion which can be raised by comparing the returns.
On raw numbers alone, the author’s concerns regarding voting members is also legitimate if not questionable. We thank the author of yesterday’s article and also those who wanted us to dig deeper. We do believe that Tomche Shabbos of Rockland’s tax returns tell a story that is not financially consistent with the other organizations and warrant further investigation.
***After reading some more comments today, it encouraged us to do some more research on this subject and we found something amazing. To end the argument once and for all, we discovered that for sure one of the employees cannot possibly “eat, breathe and sleep…” Tomche Shabbos Rockland, nor can he “do work on this organization for more than 40+ hours per week” because he also ‘happens to be’ dean of a girls school. We wonder how he can be paid a large full-time salary from Tomchei Shabbos of Rockland with public tzedaka money while is is also dean of a girls’ school.
We have included at the very bottom of the page two YouTube videos for the purposes of an introduction to the organization and its mission for those unfamiliar. While we question Rockland’s numbers, we would be remiss in not mentioning that the organization has dedicated volunteers who perform a well-needed service for the community. We hope that the good is not overshadowed by what looks to us to be cloudy business practices.
We leave it to you.