Report By: Shimmy Blum
Hundreds of executive directors of Orthodox schools and other non-profit organizations from over twenty states participated in a recent two-part webinar that detailed many legal guidelines related to nonprofits entities. The webinars are the first of Agudath Israel of America’s Harry H. Beren Dina D’malchusa Dina series – “The Law of The Land Is Law” and it focused on a range of such pertinent issues, as: the role of the board of trustees and directors; record keeping and filing; fundraising and taxable income; parsonage; political donations; and more.
“Baruch Hashem, our communities are expanding, and the number of mosdos hachinuch and chessed organizations are increasing as well,” explains Rabbi Shai Markowitz, Director of The Agudah’s Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative, who organized the webinar programs. “It is crucial that everyone involved in this avodas hakodesh be familiar with all the complex legalities, and thus avoid all harmful pitfalls.”
The presentation was given by Baruch Gottesman Esq., a prominent attorney with particular expertise on issues relating to not-for-profits and religious organization. It was moderated by Rabbi Eliyahu Stern, Administrator of Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood, who formerly held leadership positions in Hillel Academy of Denver and Aish Denver. Rabbi Stern is well known for his knowledge in this field and is one of the founding members of the “Executive Directors Network,” which currently has over 400 members.
Every aspect of the webinar program is designed to target the issues most relevant to the Jewish community, and accommodate countrywide participation. Participants join – at no cost – from the comfort of their home and office, yet there was a feeling of togetherness through the exchange of Q & As with the presenters. “Helpful and refreshing,” remarked one participant, who leads a large school. Another participant added, “This webinar was exactly what we needed. It reinforced the rules that we were familiar with, and informed us of important laws that we had no idea about.”
The Agudah is planning a number of other webinars and events in the upcoming weeks and months, which will address topics such as labor laws; money laundering and criminal tax laws; civil rights discrimination; and much more. While many of the future webinars and events will be targeted towards nonprofits, several will also be relevant to private sector business owners.
Keeping an eye out for these upcoming webinars may help you run your entity with increased efficiency, and avoid potential serious legal infraction!
For more information about upcoming webinars, or to obtain recordings of previous webinars, please contact Rabbi Markowitz at email@example.com