U.K. Supporter Forces Audit of Major Israeli Soup Kitchen

British supporters of Hazon Yeshaya say they were compelled to halt the transfer of funds after they had 'heard rumors' of financial irregularities.

David Sheen
David Sheen
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
David Sheen
David Sheen

One of the largest networks of soup kitchens in Israel agreed to allow an accounting firm to examine its financial records this week after a group of supporters in the United Kingdom announced that they would halt the transfer of funds to the group, pending the results of an external investigation.

U.K. Friends of Hazon Yeshaya issued a press release last Friday announcing that money raised for Hazon Yeshaya, a 14-year-old Jerusalem-based charity, would not be sent to Israel until the auditing firm Deloitte completed its analysis of the organization's finances.

Abraham Israel, Founder & Director of Hazon Yeshaya, in their Jerusalem Kitchen.Credit: Yulia Mestechkin

British supporters of Hazon Yeshaya say they were compelled to halt the transfer of funds after they had "heard rumors" of financial irregularities, according to Shimon Cohen, a spokesperson for the group. "A trustee of a charity is a huge and heavy legal responsibility," said Cohen.

Cohen stressed that the group was not accusing anyone of impropriety. Rather, he said, "they must make sure the money they are raising is being used correctly."

Directors of the Hazon Yeshaya head office issued a press release on Tuesday in response, seeking to reassure its supporters. The organization says it has "cooperated fully" with the review, and that "the Deloitte audit will prove that all donations are being properly applied in Israel according to the principles of good governance."

Hazon Yeshaya's 60 distribution points provide more than 400,000 hot meals to Israelis in need every month, according to the group's website.

The organization says that it "subscribes to a doctrine of transparency."

Its website includes a digital copy of its 2010 IRS tax form, listing the organization's net assets at just over $13 million.

Cohen estimates that the U.K. Friends of Hazon Yeshaya raises about 1 million pounds for the network annually. A representative of the American Friends of Hazon Yeshaya told Haaretz that they would not be freezing funds and would continue to transfer money raised to the network's head office in Israel.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott