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 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:
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:
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:
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? <s>We may never find out</s>.
UPDATE: I contacted several Jewish charities listed on the Jewish Charity Center site. None knew about the site or were involved with it in any way. Eventually, after several tries, I was able to get the head of the J Media Group, Jess Dolgin on the phone.
Here's what he said:
- The site is a for-profit site intended to promote Jewish charities.
- Any charity can pay to have a listing. That listing will include either a link to that charity's website or a link to a webpage created by J Media for that charity – the choice is the charity's.
- The page listing Jewish charities is not the paid section of the website. It will not contain links to these charities.
- J Media is removing the Hebrew Christian missionary organizations from that webpage and from the entire site.
- The idea behind JCC is to provide a clearinghouse for Jewish charities.
- It also allows smaller charities to gain visibility. How? By pooling the advertising dollars of many charities into one highly visible campaign.
- Jess Dolgin dismisses any questions about using "JCC." He told me to Google it with him. I did. He began to read the listings, skipping the first four listings, all traditional Jewish Community Centers.
- The email list gathered from the Israel trip giveaway will be used by charities (that pay the JCC) for occasional email campaigns.
- Dolgin says his company was using the name J Media Group for a long time before they realized the AJPA had a J Media Group.
- He says the AJPA's J Media Group is not a registered name.
- In respone to my questioning, the JCC has added the following text to the charity listings page: "List of additional Jewish non profit organizations[:] This list is supplied for the reader’s convenience and does not claim to be comprehensive
nor imply any connection between the organizations listed below and the Jewish Charity Center
(Please contact us if you notice any errors or omissions)"