Camp HASC is a well-regarded Orthodox camp for special needs children that gets funding from the government as well as from charitable sources.
Seven years ago, Bernard Moshe Kahn was forced out as the head of Camp HASC after a forensic audit allegedly showed he had misused at least $1.4 million of the camp's money.
Kahn apparently took his case to the Beit Din of America, which is associated with the Rabbinical Council of America, where the HASC board agreed to rehire Kahn as the director of strategic planning, and pay him $180,000 per year.
Many HASC staffers and supporters are outraged at Kahn's return, and have told the board in no uncertain terms that they will not go along with it.
What follows are two letters sent to the HASC board, one by key staffers sent February 21, and the other by fundraisers sent February 7. The board has not answered these letters.
To the Board of Directors of HASC Inc.,
The administration of Camp HASC is bewildered and chagrined at the course of events leading up to the return of Moshe Kahn to the administration of HASC Inc. We do not see how this decision can be construed as being in the best interest of the camp or its campers and families. As the professionals who actually run the camp program, we find ourselves torn between our love of the program, its campers and staff and our utter dissatisfaction with the lay leadership's decision to turn back the clock to the darkest time in the camp's history.
We are invested in the current and future reputation of the camp program. We have collectively dedicated many summers to its growth and professional development, and on a yearly basis, spend countless hours planning for the summers ahead. Yet throughout the recent process of returning Moshe Kahn to HASC Inc., we feel that our concerns have been largely ignored and that we have been communicated to with dishonesty. We are ashamed to see our beloved program recklessly guided down such a regrettable path and are most uncomfortable with the consent that our association with the camp implies.
We call upon the Board of Directors of HASC Inc. to reconsider their plans and to fulfill the charge that they have legally accepted - to lead HASC Inc. with yashrus, transparency and prudence, aiming only to benefit the organization and its campers, and not, chas v’shalom, to use their role for the personal aggrandizement of any person.
(Names listed in alphabetical order)
Mrs. Yael Gitelis, Medical Director, 4 summers in Camp HASC
Mrs. Marcy Glicksman, Recreation Program Coordinator, 18 summers in Camp HASC
Dr. Stephen Glicksman, Psychologist, 22 summers in Camp HASC
Ms. Kayla Levin, Medical Director, 6 summers in Camp HASC
Ms. Deena Markowitz, Behavior Specialist, 2 summers in Camp HASC
Rabbi Judah Mischel, Camp Rabbi, 6 summers in Camp HASC
Rabbi Avi Pollak, Head Counselor, 13 summers in Camp HASC
Dr. Shulamis Pollak, Psychologist, 11 summers in Camp HASC
Dr. Rayzel Yaish, Head Counselor, 11 summers in Camp HASC
Rabbi Ronn Yaish, Program Director, 1 summer in Camp HASC
Excerpt from the fundraisers' letter:
The fundraisers' entire letter as a PDF file:
Update 9:54 PM CST – Another letter was sent to the HASC board on April 11. Here it is:
Board of Directors of HASC Inc.,
On Thursday April 7th, members of the Team HASC committee once again had the opportunity to speak with Mr Abe Eisner and Rabbi Dr Chaim Wakslak. This conversation ensued a few months after our last conversation with them. During these few months, we respectfully stood by to see if an amicable resolution with the Board of HASC Inc could be reached in this catastrophic event that we have watched unfold. We believe with complete certainty that Mr Eisner and Dr Wakslak have the purest of intentions in their involvement with HASC Inc.
As a Committee, we had hoped that a cordial and acceptable resolution would be reached with regards to Moshe Kahn that would not jeopardize the name of HASC Inc. With progress and the complete certainty of Moshe Kahn’s disinvolvement with Camp HASC, Team HASC would have been thrilled to move forward with plans for Team HASC 2012. Unfortunately, the only progress that we have seen thus far is not progress at all, rather stall tactics that are unacceptable to us.
After Thursday night’s phone call, we have decided to take the route that we have discussed with you in the past. Our committee raised over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars this year, and we realistically set a goal of one million dollars by our third year. Now, we will proudly create a running team and pour our hearts and souls into a different respectable organization that benefits the special population. It is our hope that in the future HASC Inc will recover with an honorable new board in place or with a State forced acquirement of the HASC Inc program by a trustworthy organization. Until such events occur, we are cutting our ties with HASC Inc.
The Team HASC Committee has no intentions of remaining silent with regards to this miscarriage of justice. Spin doctors and smokescreens that the Board instates will surely be unsuccessful in the light of raw truth. Layer by layer the lies and corruption are being exposed and are forever damaging the purity of the place that our special souls call their summer home. Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me. You have fooled us enough and now we are walking away.
- Team HASC Committee