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Sunday, June 13, 2010

For Two Weeks a No Show

Two weeks ago I got work that management of Kol Yisrael Areivim was going to appear on the Zev Brenner Talkline program to "clear up the misinformation and rumors spread on the Internet." Being that I hosted the second blog post regarding Areivim that I know of I tuned in last motzei Shabbat. The planned program was postponed because of "new" and "exciting" breaking developments. Tonight (motzei Shabbat, June 13, 2010) I once again tuned in and again the program was postponed, this time because the organization was putting together their documentation, instead I'm listening to an extended and heated Q and A with a frum lawyer about why ponzi schemes seems to hit the frum community hard. How timely!

There are a lot of defenders of the KYA program and the second postponement by KYA should raise some really huge red flags for those who still believe this program could work. This organization didn't develop yesterday. KYA was formed in 2005 (5 years ago). In February of 2007 (3 + years ago), Jonathan Rosenbloom posted an editorial "Look Before You Leap" at Cross-Currents. In his editorial, he pointed out a number of concerns with the program calling it too good to be true. But he nevertheless endorsed the tzedakah aspect of the program calling it an "improvement" over the current situation. For the most part, commentators including seasoned actuaries, chimed in decrying this program.

Now we are in 2010 and following the guest post I hosted, the second such post that I know, Rabbi Horowitz took up a conversation with KYA management, the 3rd post dealing with this organization that claimed in their response to Rabbi Horowitz that the organization has been checked out and endorsed by actuaries, CPAs, and lawyers, to say nothing of Rabbis and community officials. Following this post, KYA pulled the endorsements of the Agudah, NCYI, and an official from the OU were pulled from the website.

Rabbi Horowitz's first post of a handful went up on May 17, 2010. Nearly one month later after that post and 5 years after the founding and marketing of the organization through numerous print and Internet advertisements, the organization is unprepared to go on Talkline defend their program and "clear up the misinformation". Either the research has been done or it hasn't been done! I've written audit reports. In fact, I have an entire stack of such reports sitting in my home office. With a quick review of any of my reports I would be half prepared to talk about work I did a decade ago. My papers have been used by auditors who came after me and they have been examined by outside lawyers and auditors. Such is how a professional office is run. It is truly astounding that for for 5 years KYA and others (Areivim and Areivim USA) have been able to advertise and collect funds without making nary a blip on the radar. Now that they have been put on the radar, they have been unable to go on the air and talk and take questions for no more than 2 measly hours, much of which is interrupted by commercials and buffered by the back and forth with Mr. Brenner. This is just downright terrifying!

Think of how much money has been poured into this program that could have been used to start up a tzedakah to help families fill in the gap to buy REAL life insurance, i.e. the type that pays upon death with no strings attached and allows a family freedom to use the proceeds as they see fit (rather than throwing some interest income their way until the time when a child might qualify to use the lump sum to get married!). Think of all of the people who have bought into this program, passing up opportunities to buy REAL Life Insurance at more affordable prices. Think about the families that could have bought REAL Life Insurance 5 years ago but are now no longer able to do so because they have been hit by the unthinkable.

So will KYA make a showing on Talkline next motzei Shabbat? I really hope so and I hope that readers will take an interest and pepper management with questions and educated commentary. It really shouldn't take this much time to get your docs together KYA. You've been around since 2005. Your docs should have been in hand then!


megapixel said...

hey, I know a guy who refused to hand in his important papers and is sitting in the oval office...

Zach Kessin said...

One thing that bothered me about this plan (outside the whole it was sure to collapse as a ponzi scheme) was that they seem to think that the major need for cash for a family after loosing the father is to pay for a wedding, not say food and rent.

Orthofan said...

1) Is anyone surprised they were a no-show?
2) If they do show, would the host allow for an expert to call in and question them directly?
3) Zach: Is it possible that due to the large numebr of Tomchei Shabbos orgainzations in EY they are not worried about food? And with so many people whose parents bought them apartments that rent is not much of an issue either?

Zach Kessin said...

So you leave them dependent on others to eat, but with a fancy wedding? Seems a totally backwards.
And if they family is so broke how in the world did the parents buy them a flat without taking out a HUGE mortgage

Found this link ( various friends have posted it)
How to set up a very sick system:

thought it might be interesting to people.

megapixel said...

maybe they think that the widow could work and support her family on a day to day basis, but when it comes to big expenses like weddings, there will be a crisis? also, it will enhance the orphan's chance of doing a nice shidduch. As much as it hurts to say this, MONEY helps.