Israel’s Technion University Lost $70 Million To Bernie Madoff

The Technion is Israel’s Institute of Technology. Here is the 2006 990 filing by Technion’s American friends who lost the $70 million. The filing is about 100 pages long and I can’t figure it out.

Technion is known as one of the sharpest charities out there. It is bizarre that they would have money with Bernie Madoff.

It is counter-intuitive. If you were shlocky, you didn’t get in with Bernie Madoff. Only if you were elite would he take your money.

From JTA:

The executive vice president of the American Technion Society, which lost in essence $72 million in the Bernie Madoff scheme, told the Fundermentalist that there would have been very little his organization could have done to avoid getting bilked.

The Technion society lost $29 million it had invested in Madoff Securities, and then another $43 million in “profits” it made and then reinvested with Madoff — money that Melvyn H. Bloom, executive vice president of the organization now calls “illusory.”

By contrast, American Associates for Ben Gurion University of the Negev emails its supporters:

2008 is drawing to a close in more complex circumstances than any of us imagined. We don’t have to tell you that the United States, Israel and the world are wrestling with profound economic challenges. Now, the philanthropic and financial worlds have been rocked by the Bernard Madoff scandal.

We want you to know that neither AABGU nor BGU had any funds invested with this firm. AABGU’s financial status remains strong, thanks in large part to your steadfast support and our board and staff’s diligent fiduciary governance.

And, we’re proud to inform you that AABGU has once again been rated a four-star charity by  

But that doesn’t mean we don’t need your help.

The extent of the full impact of the Wall Street and Madoff crises on our donors is still not known. The economic downturn and devaluation of the dollar have already taken a toll on the amount of philanthropic support we are able to provide to BGU.

For the first time in over 15 years, Ben-Gurion University is bracing itself for a deficit budget year. Up until now, BGU has been the only Israeli university operating in the black.

We need your support to provide scholarships to students in need, and to support our groundbreaking research in sustainable development of drylands, from water purification and management to the development of biodiesel fuels and alternative energy sources, where BGU is already a world leader.

Please consider making a generous, tax-deductible donation  before the year ends. Help us ensure that new beginnings are always possible.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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