Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New "Jewish" Charity Fraud? It Appears So …

A "Jewish" charity site bills itself as the JCC (Jewish Charity Center). It's logo looks disturbingly like a real JCC (Jewish Community Centers) logo. It has a large banner ad on Ynet. The site claims:

Jewish Charity Center was developed by a team of marketing professionals who recognized the power of the Internet to dramatically change the world of Jewish Philanthropy and how the public chooses where they donate and which organizations they support.

Through a user-friendly interface, the Jewish Charity Center introduces visitors to all the information they need to make informed decisions about where and how they contribute their time and charity. The Jewish Charity Center is designed to usher the ancient commandment of charity into the twenty-first century.

While the charities featured on this site may vary from time to time, the Jewish Charity Center makes an effort to review the activities and use-of funds of the listed organizations to help ensure their legitimacy and honesty and that they subscribe to the core ideals of helping Jews in need. The Jewish Charity Center is here to offer two primary services:

To offer you, the visitor, choices and information about how you can help the Jewish Community and Israel.

To offer worthy Charities, supporting the Jewish nation and the Jewish people, a platform from which they can tell you, the reader, about their worthy cause.

The site lists many Jewish charities, including Agudath Israel of America, Hadassah, NJOP, Aish HaTorah, YU, the ADL, several Federations, the Ynet_jcc_2 Zionist Organization of America, and others – including at least four messianic ministries whose goal and purpose is to convert Jews to Christianity, Jewish Voice Ministries International, the International Board of Jewish Missions, Maoz Israel Ministries and the Zola Levitt Ministries.

Here is a PDF of the charities page:

Download jewishcharity.pdf

None of the listed charities has a working link its own website or to other information about it and no other information about these or any other charities is provided on the site.

The purpose of the site seems to be to get people to sign up for a raffle giving away one free trip to Israel – in other words, to harvest email addresses and other contact information of committed Jews.

Other than an email address, there is no contact information given and no names of officers, board members, etc.

Here's a PDF of the contact page:

Download jewishcharity_contact_us.pdf

The site claims to be created by the J Media Group LLC. The problem is the real J Media Group was formed by the American Jewish Press Association and it is not a LLC – it is division of Gemstone Communications, Inc.:

J Media Group provides you direct access into over 100 of the top Jewish targeted newspapers nationwide.

J Media Group is a division of Gemstone Communications, Inc., which has been successfully representing grassroots, community based media since 1977.

The readership of the J Media Group newspaper network takes your message into an affluent, educated community and family focused marketplace. Our newspaper network offers the perfect environment for the brand to consumer introduction and invitation. We reach the Jewish community in their markets and in their media – Media to Motivate™

Offering market and publication flexibility combined with complete 360° service fulfillment including a one contact, one order, one invoice system – J Media Group is your partner for Jewish targeted media placement.

Here is a PDF of the J Media Group's page with the above quote:

Download j_media.pdf

So what's up with this? Has the American Jewish Press Association sold out to missionaries?

I don't think so. I think a group of scammers has found a great way to get the contact information and perhaps credit card numbers of a very valuable group of people. What will they do with this list? We may never find out.

1 comment:

  1. I think, Friends of Efrat is the best Jewish charity around. It simultaneously achieves major religious and political aims. I found it here and donated that same day which is sort of unusual for me.


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