Hi there, I had been a donor to a Jewish food bank for a long time, eventually the founder of the food bank contacted me to ask if I’d like to help out with the organization. I was excited and said sure. He called me and explained all their inside operations, and revealed to me that they are doing something illegal in order to get more eggs to the families in need. He asked me to be the person to fulfill the illegal act for the following months. I told him I’ll have to think about it, as I couldn’t believe that an organization like this would do something illegal, so I wanted to check further if it was. He never wrote to me again as well, I guess he sensed my hesitation would probably lead to my not doing it. So I am wondering now if there’s any problem continuing to give monetary support to this organization, now that I know how they operate. They are not directly stealing money, but they are lying to the government about the families. They need to fill forms to get the larger amount of eggs donated by farm banks that are connected to the government, the government has to approve the forms. The entire content of their forms is a lie, nothing is true except for the number of families who need eggs. Anyone caught doing this could be in serious troubles. Should donating there then be avoided? I was wondering if there is anything in Jewish law.....Or should I think only about the families on the other side that are receiving the food, is it ok by Jewish law to ignore the operations they told me about and donate money?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Without any hesitation I am writing to you immediately in order to be very clear – it is absolutely forbidden, in both Jewish and secular law, to be involved in any type of dishonesty, even if the purpose is charity. Make no mistake about this – the ends do not justify the means. There is no justification for such actions. You should not take part in the running of such an organization. As to donating to them – if you know that the monies donated go to the poor, then it is permitted. However, if you have already seen some dishonesty in the organization, it is probable that there are other problems that you did not see. Because there are many good and worthy causes, my advice it to donate to a charity that is beyond question upright and law abiding. Blessings.