Here’s a classic instance of the odd gray areas that the Mayor’s vast philanthropy creates.
His recent $20 million gift to a long list of organizations, distributed by Carnegie, didn’t include any openly political ones. A reader points out, however, that it did include two prominent Jewish groups: Agudath Israel and COJO of Flatbush, that are major constituent organizations of the Va’ad Harrabonim (Rabbinical Assembly) of Flatbush. That umbrella group just endorsed the Mayor.
Nobody’s suggesting an endorsement like this is for sale. But across New York’s often cash-strapped non-profit, religious, and cultural scenes, the Mayor’s current giving and hopes of future money has to be part of the calculus.
NOTE: People who know their way around that community say “constituent organizations” isn’t the right way to describe the relationship between COJO, Agudath, and the Va’ad. They’re independent groups whose members are concentrated in Brooklyn, and which have some overlap both among members and interests.