Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

19 Iyar 5760 - May 24, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Delays in Certification Hinder Torah Institutions Finances

by Betzalel Kahn

Hundreds of directors of Torah institutions throughout the country have yet to receive approval by the registrar of non- profit organizations regarding proper management of their institutions. As a result, the Religious Affairs Ministry and other Government offices have yet to transfer the financial support that they are entitled to by law.

Many institution directors have recently complained to Yated Ne'eman, noting that the outside accountants appointed by the Non Profit Organization (NPO) registrar are proceeding at an inordinately slow pace, thus preventing the institutions from receiving the proper management certification that is now required to proceed with the transfer of funds to these institutions.

In addition, offices of the NPO registrar and its staff do not respond to requests by heads of the NPOs to receive certification. In many cases, certification has even been issued, but the registrar's office does not transfer the documents to the Religious Affairs Ministry or to the various other Government offices.

Most of the institutions involved are kollelim that are subsidized by the Religious Affairs Ministry only.

Last year the Government decided that any NPO which lacks a proper management certification from the NPO registrar cannot receive Governmental support. Because of the newness of the directive, the NPO registrar was unable to personally review all of the records, so he assigned the job to various accountants throughout the country.

Most of these accountants -- who generally have other, more profitable ventures --- put off doing the work but in the meantime the Government offices received orders to stop support of institutions lacking proper management certificates. May 15th was the deadline. As a result, support of many NPOs with spotless records was stopped simply because the statements had yet to be issued.

Yated Ne'eman was told that the Religious Affairs Ministry has held up the subsidies of hundreds of NPOs, yeshivas and Torah institutions that still lack these certificates, although the audits indicate no problems with their operation.

Responsibility for the fiasco is placed upon the NPO registrar, Amiram Bogat. In the meantime, the financial distress of these institutions is worsening. Many kollelim support hundreds of avreichim.

Last week, the Vaad Roshei Hakollelim demanded that the State Comptroller take all steps necessary to ensure the continuation of the support of the kollelim. "An NPO with the required certificate must be considered deserving of support and if the NPO registrar cannot cope with the job of examining the records, the institutions and NPOs are surely not to blame," they wrote in their letter, copies of which were sent to the NPO registrar, the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Finance Ministry and to MKs Rabbi Ravitz and Rabbi Gafni.

Vaad Roshei Hakollelim demands that the State Comptroller intervene in the issue and instruct the Government ministries to support the NPOs until the NPO registrar manages to overcome his problems. "Temporary approvals should be given to NPOs whose records are still in the process of being examined. Since the NPOs meet all the requirements they are entitled to approval and continuation of their ongoing support. The registrar's problems do not justify holding up the transfer of these approval statements."

So far no response has been received from the NPO registrar.

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